About Training Ground

About Training Ground

FEST – Training Ground is an annual educational event that takes place alongside FEST – New Directors | New Films Festival. Its sixth edition will take place from the 24th to the 29th of June in Espinho, Portugal.

FEST – Training Ground hosts more than 25 masterclasses and 10 workshops during the festival, and is an educational event where the public and upcoming filmmakers and film students from all over the world, attend a deluxe training from workshops to master classes, lectured by some of the Film Industry’s top experts with highly acknowledged achievements. 

Each training activity will be classified so everyone can adapt their experience according to his level. There will be 3 levels of classification, from training activities for people who are fairly new to the film world Level 1, Intermediate level (level 2), and advanced level, for people who are well familiar with the Film Industry and want to take they network and knowledge to an extra level (level 3)

A different array of key issues on film making will be approached, including Script Writing, Photography, Editing, Sound & Lighting, Production Design, Acting, Direction, Casting, Non-fiction Filmmaking, Make up, Distribution, Financing, and many more. Every year the program tries to cover as much as possible, trying to provide the broadest and complete view of filmmaking today.

We invite the best talents to transmit their knowledge, and our audience has come to expect nothing less than that. Throughout the year we work hard to guarantee the presence of some of the most influential and inspiring Film professionals out there, whose experience and portfolio speaks for itself. Previous editions of FEST- Training Ground brought very high profile speakers to Espinho such as:


– Peter Webber (“Girl with a Pearl Earing” and “Hannibal”)

– Fernando Trueba (Oscar winning Spanish director of Belle Epoque)

– Scandar Copti (winner of Golden Camera in Cannes with Ajami)

– Dome Karukowski (multi awarded Finish director)

– João Pedro Rodrigues (influential art house director)


– Melissa Leo (Oscar Winning Actress of films such as “The fighter” and “Frozen River”)

– Marika Green (Actress in “Pickpocket” by Robert Bresson or” Emanuelle” by Just Kaeckin)


– Tom Stern (cinematographer of Clint Eastwood, nominated for Oscars)

–  Eduardo Serra (Oscar nominated DOP of the last two Harry Potter films)

–  Larry Smith (cinematographer on Stanley Kubrick´s Eyes Wide Shut)

– Christian Berger (”The White Ribbon”, “Caché” or “The Piano Teacher”)


– Tariq Anwar (“American Beauty”, “the King´s Speech” e “Revolutionary Road”)

– Martin Walsh (Oscar winner and editor of Chicago and V for Vendetta)

– Alex Rodriguez (legendary mexican editor of Children of Men)

– Sylvie Landra (Editor of Luc Besson´s 5th Element and Leon)

– Hervé Schneid (Editor of Amelie and Alien:Resurection)

Art direction:

– Eugenio Caballero (Oscar winning Production designer of Pan´s Labirynth)

– Laurence Bennet (Oscar nominated art director of The Artist)

– Stephen Altman ( “Gosford Park” and “Ray”)


– Anders Osteergard (Oscar nominated director of Burma VJ)

– Christian Frei (Winner of the Peabody Award with War Photographer)


– Etgar Keret (Cannes Golden Camera Winner)

– Vicente Alves do Ó (influential Portuguese scriptwriter)

Sound and Music:

– David Macmillan (3 time Oscar winner Sound Mixer)

– Kjartan Sveinsson (Composer and former member of Sigur Ros)

– George Christophoulos (Founder of OTICONS, international talent agency for film composers)

Other Industry Professionals:

– Tim Corrie (Deputy director of the BAFTAs and one of the most influential talent agents in Europe)

– Irena Taskovski (Producer and Head of Taskovski Films)

– Tivi Magnusson (Oscar winning Danish producer of films such as “The new Tenants)

– Jarle Bjorknes (Head of Filmkraft, regional film fund of Rogaland, Norway)

– Marion Klotz (Distributor at Memento Films)

– Nancy Bishop (Emmy Nominated Casting director)

– Colin Arthur (Special Effects artist famous for his work on 2001:Space Odyssey)

– Cynthia Heargreave (American Producer)

The masterclasses will take place in the main auditorium. These masterclasses will have the duration of 2 hours, and will focus on the most sought of speakers.

There will be a wide array of workshops available in the event, from basic level to advanced workshops lectured by top experts. The workshop will all have one or two day duration.

The Training Ground section of the festival will have in 2014 have its sixth edition. The five previous editions were a huge success, with participants coming from over 42 countries. In 2013 we hosted 31 training activities and attracted the attention of top experts, as well as worldwide media coverage. The feedback on the last edition was very encouraging with a large number of the audience eager to come back in 2014, due to our innovative approach on these activities.

When and where?

The event will take place between the 24th and 29th of June 2014 in Espinho, a tourism orientated city and one of the summer hotspots of Portugal, 15 minutes south of Porto in the seacoast line.

All activities will be in Centro Multimeios de Espinho, a modern infrastructural and high quality building with screen IMAX, planetarium, café, computer room and wireless Internet.


We are confident that the program will be very interesting for all participants and the methodology behind the project will be a great advantage.

The program is designed in a way to allow each participant to tailor make their own individual program, according to interests and priorities to make it a more personal experience. In addition to the official program and parallel activities there will also be Gala Dinners, where participants and guests will share the same dining area.


All sessions of the Training Ground will be in English for practical reasons. The majority of the lectures and participants are from various countries, so the communication has to be in one common language.

FEST – New Directors | New Films Festival

FEST – Training Ground takes place during the same time as FEST – New Directors | New Films Festival, one of the most vibrant film festivals in Portugal. Throughout its 9 editions the festival has been dedicated to highlight and promote the work of young filmmakers from all over the world creating a privilege space for them to show their work. Participation in the Training Ground grants full access to all film festival sessions.

Networking and sharing of experience

FEST is a unique communication platform for the participants as they, while participating in Training Ground, will be able to make new contacts from a variety of backgrounds and origins in one single place. Networking is extremely important in the film industry and FEST – Training Ground is a one of those opportunities to make a jump. Just as important is the constant exchange of experiences and perspectives, which will enrich the work life and knowledge for any participant.  At the event we offer the possibility to work together with other filmmakers from all over the world at a very high level, creating new opportunities and widening the horizons of any participant.

What subjects will be taught?

A wide variety of subjects will be taught in the area of the professional audiovisual industry. For more detailed information, please see the timetable and detailed course description.

The action will consist of a short period of intense training divided between 6 days. This type of training has several advantages, besides the breathing of knowledge, participant will also be able to share their experience and wide their contacts with the other trainees and professionals in a dynamic and interesting atmosphere. There will be at least 25 training activities during FEST – Training Ground. Some of the themes already planned are; Editing, Photography, Light, Sound, Documentary, Scriptwriting, Production Design, Woman Cinema, Criticism, Actor-Director Relationship, Pitching and Production.


Participants are given a series of alternative accommodation in the town of Espinho. These options are provided by the organization, in collaboration with local businesses to ensure low-cost accommodation designed specifically for the event. The existence of special campuses is very important because it contributes to the creation of a cohesive community sense among participants, making the whole experience more intense and inspirational.

Participation fee

The event pack costs only 59€ giving a pass granting access to all the activities and sessions in FEST – Training Ground and FEST –  New Directors | New Films Festival, during the whole 6 days of the event. This pack does not include accommodation. If you wish you can choose one of our many accommodation alternatives at affordable prices, that starts at 89€ (accommodation plus Festival and Training Ground pass).

FEST – Training Ground brings together young creators from all over the world and offers a unique opportunity for direct contact with some of the biggest film professionals in the industry. The event allows a significant development of knowledge for each participant while it’s also opening doors to social and cultural experience unique in Portugal. No doubt this will be a week to remember.