5 Tips for Emerging Filmmakers from FEST – New Directors|New Films Festival

Filmmakers, don‘t submit only to the festivals: go to the festivals!‘ Filipe Pereira, Festival Director of the 10th FEST – New Directors|New Films Festival, knows what is important for upcoming filmmakers. They need to build a network, therefore filmmakers need to attend festivals. With the panels and workshops that make up FEST’s Training Ground, networking is at the heart of the festival on the Portuguese coast. We met Pereira at a Berlin cafe and he gave us 5 tips for emerging filmmakers and why this is the time to submit to FEST.


Deadline • 09 March 2014


Filipe Pereira FEST © FilmFestivalLife


1. Meet the industry

This year is our celebratory 10th edition. We’re going to have a special program to celebrate the best films that have been shown at FEST over the last 10 years. We have two competition sections – a section for short films from directors under 30  and one for those directing their first feature film. We will also have our Training Ground again. At this edition we will welcome one of the best industry guests we’ve ever had. Tim Corrie, the Head of BAFTA, will attend the industry meetings, which are new to this edition. Filmmakers can meet people from the industry and they can discuss and then solve some of the issues they might have in their production. Overall, it will a celebration of 10 years of FEST with something looking back and something looking forward.

2. Have an innovative story

A good film is a good film. What we particularly like are innovative storytelling ideas. Usually our focus is more on the storytelling part than on the visual part. But let me repeat – a good film is still a good film. It needs to have something special, whatever that is. A beautiful visually-exciting film can also be considered by our festival as a good film.

3. Attend festivals

My advice for filmmakers is to not submit only to the festivals: go to the festivals! In the last few years we’ve seen a new generation of filmmakers who are bringing products that span the whole spectrum of technology. Their films are now available in many different ways. Some now think that their film can be seen everywhere and to visit a festival is not so important anymore. Quite the opposite! It‘s now more important than ever! When your film is listed in a festival program it acts as a great conversation starter. You are in focus, people want to hear something from you. So go there and use your chance.

4. Network is king

At FEST it is not only about showing your film, there are so many networking opportunities. We have some of the top industry people on our guest list. Filmmakers have the opportunity to learn from these established insiders, for example over dinner. As a filmmaker you can also pitch your future project at our forum. So it‘s not only a place where you can show your film, it is a place where you can look to the future.

We also cooperate with some other festivals. We are inside the NisiMasa Network – there are a fair few festivals there such as Lago Film Fest and Encounters. We also cooperate with some other festivals external to this network such as the Puerto Rico International Film Festival. As well as that, we have some cooperation with festivals in Norway and a program exchange with a couple of festivals. When a film is accepted to FEST, it might be showing at Encounters or Lago, or one of our other affiliates.

5. Find the right online submission platforms

Now there are a lot of film submissions platforms. Over the last few years, there were already a few competitors, but now it’s a full-on explosion! We are using FilmFestivalLife because we believe it’s most eloquent of them all. FFL did not ask for exclusivity. It was the only platform which we found trustworthy. We met the people behind FFL, who are motivated, taking part in an honest project, with no intention to make a fast profit in comparison to many other online submission platforms. From all the platforms we encountered, we found FilmFestivalLife to be the only one worth associating with.


Filipe Pereira, Festival Director, FEST – New Directors|New Films Festival
Jun 24 – Jun 30, 2014
Espinho, Portugal

Submit to FEST – New Directors|New Films Festival on FilmFestivalLife:

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Late Deadline: 09 March 2014

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Jana Dietze

Jana Dietze is the Head of Communications at FFL. Her editorial background includes positions as Editor of N24 News channel and Editor of Fulmidas Media Agency. Her film experience is grounded in studying Film Science, Georg-August University, Göttingen. Reach her at jana(at)filmfestivallife.com

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