Santarém International Film Festival (FICS) was founded in 1971, the result of the will of several cinema lovers to bring the best national and international films to the city, giving an important and necessary impulse to the cultural life of the region. Throughout the various editions, the festival presented a programme of great artistic quality that explored the agricultural, rural, and environmental themes.

From 1971 to 1989, films from all over the world were screened in Santarém and FICS became a landmark in the national cultural panorama, being one of the first film festivals of an international dimension in Portugal.

After a pause of three decades, the Cineclube de Santarém decided to give the Festival a new life and to resume the course traced out in these decades. With a new breath, FICS will return in 2023 for its 16th edition.


The relationship between human beings and their environment, in their interaction with the natural world, is one of the great themes of our time. How is this relationship represented in cinema? What images are created and what questions arise? What pasts exist and what futures do we imagine? FICS intends to create a space where the complexity of the world is explored through cinema. Labour, nature, industry, environmental preservation, climate change, traditions, rurality, what remains and what changes, the gestures of the earth on the big screen.

FICS has a free approach to these representations, embracing the most diverse artistic and formal approaches such as fiction, documentary, animation or experimental cinema.

A film festival is a plural body, made of dialogues and encounters between the films and the audience. This transformative energy will spread throughout the city of Santarém, in a work dedicated to decentralizing access to culture, to participatory citizenship, to education through art and in community, to sustainable action and to valuing the territory.

- Cacho de Ouro (awarded to the best film in the competition);

- Cacho de Ouro (awarded to the best film in the Portuguese Competition);

- City of Santarém Award for Best Regional Film (to the best film produced within the region or directed by a filmmaker born within the region);

- Award for Best Short Film (to the best film up to 49 minutes of duration).



Santarém International Film Festival (FICS), organized by the Cineclube de Santarém, based in Santarém, Portugal, will be held from May 24th to 28th 2023. Its main objective is the dissemination and promotion of moving image works that explore the representation of agricultural, rural and environmental questions in cinema.

Animated, documentary, fiction, and experimental films, of any duration, produced in 2022 or 2023, are eligible for the various competitions.

Portuguese and International Competition Juries
Both the juries for the Portuguese and International competitions will be comprised of up to 3 renowned professionals, designated by the festival board, who will award the following prizes:

- Cacho de Ouro (awarded to the best film in competition);

- Cacho de Ouro (to the best film in the Portuguese Competition);

- City of Santarém Award for Best Regional Film (to the best film produced within the region or directed by a filmmaker born within the region);
- Award for Best Short Film (to the best film up to 49 minutes of duration).

The outstanding cash and/or monetary prizes of each award will be disclosed prior to the announcement of the 16th FICS final program.

The deadline for film submissions at the festival is April 1st, 2023, for all competitive sections.

Open to films of international production, of every length.
Submission fees:
- Submissions completed and paid by March 1st, 2023 - 3 EUR;
- Submissions completed and paid from March 1st to April 1st, 2023 - 7 EUR.

Open to films of every length, directed by Portuguese filmmakers or with production country Portugal.
- Free submission.

The festival does not guarantee the viewing and assessment of films submitted after the dates set out above.

Film submission at the festival shall be made through one of the following platform:


Users shall abide by all steps and procedures specified in each platform. The costs associated with the use of the aforementioned platforms are at the user’s expense, as are their responsibility to comply with and provide all data required to complete the submission process.

Any queries shall be sent to the team of the festival, via the email geral@ficsantarem.pt

The festival board will notify the directors of the selected films and any related and/or interested part by May 1st, 2023.

Following the selection notification, upon request, a mandatory form will be provided and shall be filled in, along with the following materials:

- 3 film stills (minimum resolution: 300 dpi – 10x10cm) in a digital format;
- Trailer (or excerpt of up to 3 minutes) of the film;
- Photo of film director(s), in digital format;
- Director(s)’ short biography and filmography;
- The film’s dialog list (either in Portuguese and/or English), with the respective timecodes whenever possible, for subtitling purposes;
- A written permit from the director/producer/distributor for screening the film at the festival;
- EPK’s (Electronic Press-Kit) and other marketing materials for the film are optional, but equally important.

The texts used for the promotion of films, sections and programmes in the festival’s communication materials (catalogue, programme, website, media platforms) are entirely at the discretion of FICS, and based on the selected films’ details shared by the rights holders.

The festival is responsible for the affixation/divulgation of posters, postcards or any other physical promotional materials of the selected films. These can be delivered by post-office/courier services (costs borne by the rights holders) or brought by any representative of the film who attends the festival.

In the event that excerpts are not available and/or are not sent over, the festival is permitted to copy an excerpt from the film, of up to three (3) minutes, for promotional use via TV, radio and internet. For short films, the total duration of the excerpts is not to exceed more than 10% of the film running time.

The absence of a selection notification from the festival board, by the dates set out above, means that the respective film has not been selected for competition at the 16th FICS. However, all efforts will be made so that all applicants are notified via email on the status of their film.

After the selection, the rights holders are responsible for informing the festival of any change in the films’ montage from the submitted/selected version of the film. This is crucial information, as the translation process will begin as soon as the film is confirmed, taking reference in the last received screener of the film.

The festival is permitted to share an authorized private viewing access to the programmed films with selected journalists and critics, for press and promotion purposes.

The selection committees will consider all films submitted to the festival, provided they meet the eligibility requirements set out in section 2 of these Regulations, and have been completely and correctly submitted, especially with regard to sections 4 and 5.

The deadline for the delivery of the copies of selected films for screening at the festival is May 15th, 2023.

Screening copies of the selected films shall be made available in the following formats:
- DCP 2K;
- ProRes or H.264.

In case there are no available copies in any of the required screening formats, please contact us right after the selection notification.

In case of a password protected DCP copy, it is mandatory that a valid KDM key shall be timely provided for the period of May 24th to 28th 2023.

Compliance with these digital media components is important in order to ensure the best possible screening conditions for every film. The festival will not be held responsible for the conversion of files whose features are different from the ones provided above.

For the Portuguese Competition, the screening copies shall be subtitled in English. In case of films with dialogues in English, they shall include Portuguese subtitles. For specific cases involving other languages, please contact the festival.

Applicants must cover the transportation costs for the screening copies of the selected films to the festival. The inscription " SEM VALOR COMERCIAL / NO COMMERCIAL VALUE" shall be clearly displayed on the respective packages. No films sent at the festival’s expense will be accepted. They will be denied delivery, being automatically returned to their sender.

In the case of physical delivery of films from non-EU countries, the print must be accompanied by a pro-forma invoice with the sender’s name, the film title, weight, measurements and number of film materials.

FICS will bear exclusively the transportation costs for the return of the provided copies after their festival screening.

All screening copies are fully insured from their delivery to the festival until they are returned.

The festival won’t cover any screening rights or technical fees of films in competition for which it is already covering for travel of the filmmaker or any other film’s representative.

Upon invitation, the festival will inform the director and/or film representative of the hospitality conditions offered. These conditions will vary depending on the premiere status of the invited film, the programme it has been selected for, Portuguese distribution rights or the participation of guests in other festival events.

FICS guests are not covered by the insurance of the festival.

FICS values and promotes the communication between the film’s team and its audience. Directors and other film representatives that are in Santarém for the scheduled screenings of their films are expected to present and debate them.

The complete calendar for participation in screenings and events, as well as other relevant details, will be sent via email close to the festival dates.

The festival board reserves the right to deliberate and decide on any issue omitted in these rules and regulations.

FICS places absolute priority on health and safety and strictly follows the governmental regulations related to COVID-19. Any changes in plans and/or protocols due to altered regulations will be communicated with rights holders accordingly.

Overall Rating
  • Santarém is a beautiful location, full of wonderful filmmakers and filmgoers. The community here is amazing and I felt like home. I also had the opportunity to set up an additional screening in a festival from here and start developing some important connections! I hope to participate again next year!

    October 2023
  • Marx Braga

    Fazer parte da seleção do Festival Internacional de Cinema de Santarém foi uma experiência incrível. Muito profissionalismo e respeito. Sensacional. Abraços do Rio de Janeiro.

    June 2023