Fantasporto International Film Festival 2024 – Dates, Tickets, and More!

Written By Mihaela Gutu

Are you planning to visit Portugal at the beginning of March? If so, you are probably looking for local events to add to your to-do list, right?! We’re here to recommend the Fantasporto International Film Festival in Porto from March 1 to 10.

Keep reading to discover more about the festival’s history and its schedule for the 2024 edition. You’ll also learn about tickets, the festival’s location, and a few tips on what to pack to avoid any unpleasant weather-related surprises in Porto!

Fantasporto International Film Festival – History

The first Fantasporto International Film Festival took place in 1981. It was founded by Mário Dorminsky and Beatriz Pacheco Pereira.

It focuses on promoting experimental, auteur, and commercial films within the fantasy, science-fiction, and horror genres. The submissions are collected from all over the world. Therefore, makes both local and foreign productions known to people residing in Portugal or visiting the country.

The Fantasporto International Film Festival is organized annually, welcoming more than 100,000 attendees every year. This film festival has more than 20 awards, the highest prize being Grande Premio Fantasporto. It was first awarded in 1982 to The Redeemer, a movie created by Krsto Papić, a director from Yugoslavia.

The Redeemer is a 1976 horror film that focuses on a newly discovered intelligent rat species that can take the form of humans. Before winning the Fantasporto award, The Redeemer was awarded as the best film at two other festivals in Trieste and Paris.

Since then, Grande Premio Fantasporto has been offered to movies from various countries, including Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Hong Kong, the United States, Belgium, Sweden, Australia, South Korea, Poland, and others.

Porto Film Festival – Dates

This year, the Fantasporto International Film Festival will take place between the 1st and the 9th of March at Batalha Centro de Cinema on Praça da Batalha 47, 4000-101 Porto, Portugal. It is located close to Igreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso.

On the 1st of March, at 9 pm, there will be an Opening Session displaying Testament (Parece que Estou a Mais) – a film directed by a prominent Canadian director, Denys Arcand, that focuses on the changing nature of the world viewed through the eyes of Monsieur Bouchard. That same night, you can watch Post Mortem.

It is directed by Péter Bergendy and tells the story of a former WWI soldier. He is now a photographer who captures family photos with the dead – which was, in fact, a real “tradition” in Victorian England. His story is intertwined with that of the Spanish Flu.

Later that night, at 23:15, you can watch Baby Assassins 2: Babies, a Japanese movie directed by Yugo Sakamoto. Baby Assassins (the first part) was also shown at the Fantasporto International Film and widely recognized for its plot.

In short, we’re trying to highlight that if you’re a fantasy/horror enthusiast, a cinematic connoisseur, or simply enjoy watching any kind of movie, your schedule will be quite busy from the 1st to the 9th of March! The festival has more than 50 productions scheduled for this year’s journey, and we’re sure your new favorite is among them! You can check the film descriptions, the schedule, and the ticket information here.

Cinema. Photo by Geoffrey Moffett (Unsplash)

Fantasporto International Film Festival – Tickets

An individual ticket for each movie costs 5 EUR. People with reduced mobility have to pay only 3.75 EUR. There are also discounts for those who have a Cartão Porto, as well as for students, unemployed cinema fans, and people aged 65 or more.

If you know you’ll attend multiple movies, you can choose an unlimited ticket, which costs 60 EUR. You’ll have to go to the Batalha on the day a particular movie is scheduled for and take your ticket.

To obtain this free pass, you’ll have to complete a form with your name, postal code, profession, e-mail, phone number, tax identification number, date, and signature. You’ll also have to include a bank transfer confirmation of 60 EUR. Once you have the documents ready, send them to [email protected].

You’ll be able to obtain your physical free pass card from the 29th of February onward, on the second floor of the Batalha Centro de Cinema. For more details, please visit the official Fantasporto website.

Fantasporto International Film Festival – Categories

The movies displayed at the Fantasporto International Film Festival are so diverse that we’re sure you’ll find at least one that suits your cinematic preferences (if you enjoy the genre, of course).

The festival will show both short and long films. They are categorized as follows (some movies are part of several categories, but these can still help you find a movie that interests you the most):

  • Fantastic Film Official Section – Shorts. It will include shorts by Tony Morales, Jerôme Pierrat, Lucas Paulino, and others. (Tip: If you’re a Casa de Papel fan and liked Manila’s character, make sure to check out Ahora vuelvo with Belen Cuesta).
  • Official Section Fantastic Film Features. It includes movies directed by Yugo Sakamoto, Isti Madarász, Fabián Forte, and others. 
  • Secção Oficial Semana do Realizadores. It includes movies directed by Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Jin-Ho Hur, David Duchovny, Ate de Jong, and others.
  • Orient Express Official Section. It includes movies directed by Kazuaki I Kiriya, King Palisoc, Takeo Kikuchi, and others.
  • Official Section Portuguese Film. It includes movies directed by Nuno Manuel Pereira, Vasco Viana, João Bruno, Luís Miranda, and others.
  • Portuguese Film School. It includes movies directed by Silvana Torricella, Luís Miguel Rocha, Diogo Bento, and others.
  • Retrospective – Focus Kazakhstan. It includes movies directed by Rustem Abdrashev, Aka Satayev, and Adilkhan Yezhanov.
  • Retrospective – Karim Ouelhaj. It is dedicated fully to Karim Ouelhaj, a Belgian author, director, and producer whose films won multiple awards.  
  • Retrospective – Manga to Live Image. It includes movies directed by Hiroaki Matsuyama, Shunsaku Kawake, Tsutomu Hanabusa, and Hideki Takeuchi.
  • Retrospective – Visions of Hungarian Cinema. It includes movies directed by Lajos Koltai, Lili Horvát, Károly Mészáros, and others.
  • Fantas Classic. It includes the movie Cockfighter directed by Monte Hellman and released in 1974. 
  • Filmes Fora de Competição. It includes movies directed by Rui Neto, Jorge Albuquerque, Pedro Gil Vasconcelos, and Tiago Pimentel.

In short, you’ll have the opportunity to (re)discover the work of dozens of directors, producers, and actors!

Cinema. Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi (Unsplash)

Fantasporto International Film Festival – Languages

This is probably the most important detail about this festival – will people who don’t speak Portuguese be able to attend it? Yes and no. The thing is – it depends on the original movie language.

The festival’s official website says that the movies displayed in Hall 1 will be subtitled in Portuguese. This means that you can watch them as long as you understand the original language. Most of the movies displayed in Hall 2 will have Portuguese subtitles as well, although some will have English subtitles.

Considering that the festival has selected movies from all over the world, there will be a remarkable linguistic diversity. As such, you’ll have to skim through the schedule and select the movies that suit your linguistic knowledge/preferences.

Porto Weather in March

If you’re planning to visit Porto in March (and have your best cinematic experience of the year!), you’re probably wondering if the weather is nice. After all, you’ll have a whole day to explore the city or its surroundings before heading to Batalha Centro de Cinema for the Fantasporto International Film Festival.

Well, we’ve got good news! Porto is quite warm in March! The mean daily temperature is 12.6 degrees Celsius (54.7 degrees Fahrenheit), although it can get as high as 18–20 degrees Celsius (64.4–68 degrees Fahrenheit).

Nonetheless, we strongly recommend packing some warm clothes, particularly a scarf and a hat, as well as an umbrella or a raincoat. Although it’s not the rainiest month of the year, March still has a lot of precipitation. It may be sunny now and start raining the next minute. In short, visiting Portugal in March equals taking measures to avoid any weather-related risks!

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