1. General Information

1.1 Doclisboa seeks to imagine reality through new cinematic forms of perception, reflection and action, placing filmmaking into dialogue with its history to question the present of cinema.

Doclisboa is interested in films that are rigorous about their conceptual and formal implications; films that experiment with cinema’s artistic and political possibilities and refuse to be categorized; films that engage with and mirror the complexity of the world.

Doclisboa offers a ground where cinema and the contemporary are investigated as acts of being together in, and with, time.

1.2 Doclisboa’23 – 21st International Film Festival – will take place from 19th to 29th October 2023.

1.3 All entries of films made to Doclisboa presuppose knowledge of and acceptance of these regulations.

1.4 For information regarding participation in Arché please check its own regulations at its webpage.


2. Eligibility

2.1 The Selection Committee is looking for films with cinematographic qualities bringing forth, as a whole, the point of view of their authors.

2.2 Only films concluded after 1st September 2022 are eligible.

2.3 Only films never before screened in Portugal – in cinemas or other theatrical venues, TV channels or through streaming – are eligible for the competitive sections. World Premieres (films never before screened), International Premieres (films which have only been screened in their production countries) and European Premieres (films which have never been screened in Europe) are preferred.

2.4 The following conditions apply in case of online festival screenings prior to Doclisboa:

If the film has been screened with geo-block, and unavailable in Portuguese territory, our regular premiere status rules apply.
If the film has been screened without geo-block, therefore available in Portuguese territory, it is not eligible to the competitive sections.
2.5 Films submitted to previous editions of the festival, which were not selected, won’t be considered for the 2023 edition of Doclisboa.


3. Competitive Sections, Juries and Awards

3.1 Competitive Sections

International Competition – open to films of every length.
Portuguese Competition – open to films of every length, directed by Portuguese filmmakers or with production country Portugal.
Green Years – open to European-produced films of every length. Section dedicated especially to students or authors who are taking the first steps on film direction. World, International or European premiere required.

3.2 Jury

The competition juries will comprise nationally and internationally renowned Portuguese and international personalities from the cultural world, selected by the festival.

3.3 Awards

The Doclisboa awards consist of a trophy and a monetary sum and/or technical services. The following awards are attributed to the film director(s):

3.3.1 International Competition

City of Lisbon Award for Best International Competition Film (10.000€)
Special International Competition Jury Award (value to be confirmed)
3.3.2 Portuguese Competition

Award for Best Portuguese Competition Film (6.000€)
Special Portuguese Competition Jury Award (value to be confirmed)
School Award – ETIC Award for Best Film (1.500€ in technical services)

3.3.3 Green Years Competition

Award for Best Green Years Competition Film (value to be confirmed)
Pedro Fortes Award – Doc’s Kingdom Award for Best Green Years Portuguese Film (Participation grant for the Seminar)

3.3.4 Cross-Sectional Awards

New Talent Award for Best First Feature-Length Film (over 60’) from a selection comprising all sections with the exception of the retrospectives and Cinema of Urgency (3.500€)
Award for Best Short Film (up to 40’) from a selection comprising all sections with the exception of the retrospectives and Cinema of Urgency (the winner is automatically pre-selected to the Oscar© for Best Short Documentary)
Healthy Workplaces Film Award – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work Award for Best Feature-Length Film Dealing with Work from a selection comprising all sections with the exception of the retrospectives and Cinema of Urgency (5000€)
Practice, Tradition and Heritage Award – INATEL Foundation Award for Best Film Dealing with Cultural and Traditional Practices as well as Intangible Cultural Heritage from a selection comprising all sections with the exception of the retrospectives and Cinema of Urgency (1500€)
Fernando Lopes Award – Midas Filmes and Doclisboa Award for Best Portuguese First Film (2.000€)
Audience Award for Best Portuguese Film comprising competitions, New Visions, Heart Beat and From the Earth to the Moon (1.000€)

3.3.5 Until the announcement of the final programme of the 21st edition of Doclisboa, the amounts in cash or in kind attributable to each award that are still to be confirmed, will be defined.

3.3.6 The decisions of the juries are final.

3.3.7 The producer of a film that is awarded a prize at Doclisboa will undertake to mention the Doclisboa award in all promotional materials for the film, as well as in the film credits of all copies that are produced after the festival dates, guaranteeing the inclusion of the festival’s official award laurels.


4. Submission

The call for entries for all categories will open on January 15th 2023. Regardless of the submission date, the film screeners can be sent to the festival until the 31st May 2023, with the exception of the Green Years – films with portuguese production category, for which the films can be submitted and sent until 30th June 2023.

4.1 Deadlines and submission costs

International Films

Submission deadline: 31st May 2023 at 23h59 GMT+1

Submission Fees:

completed and paid entries until 31st March 2023 – 10,00 euros;
completed and paid entries from 1st till 30th April 2023 – 20,00 euros;
completed and paid entries from 1st till 31st May 2023 – 30,00 euros.
Portuguese Films – films with portuguese production and/or direction

Submission deadline: 31st May 2023 at 23h59 GMT+1

Submission Fees:

complete and paid entries until 31st March 2023 – Free;
complete and paid entries from 1st till 30th April 2023 – 5,00 euros;
completed and paid entries from 1st till 31st May 2023 – 10,00 euros.
Green Years – films with portuguese production

Submission deadline: 30th June 2023 at 23h59 GMT+1

Free submission.

Green Years – films with international production

Submission deadline: 31st May 2023 at 23h59 GMT+1

Submission Fees:

complete and paid entries until 31st March 2023 – 5,00 euros;
complete and paid entries from 1st till 30th April 2023 – 10,00 euros;
completed and paid entries from 1st till 31st May 2023 – 15,00 euros.
The festival does not guarantee viewing and appreciation of films received after the 31st May 2023, with the exception of films submitted to the Green Years – films with Portuguese production category.

The festival reserves the right not to consider any film that does not comply with the eligibility criteria listed in item 2 of these Regulations, while not guaranteeing the refund of its submission fees.

4.2 Submission Methods and Materials

The submission of films for the festival must be done through the FilmFreeway platform (accessible at:, choosing the appropriate form for the film to be entered, according to the desired category, and proceeding with the payment of the registration fee (when applicable).

Please note that the submission will only be complete once the submitter receives an email confirmation of the registration fee payment (when applicable).

When submitting, Doclisboa should receive:

a) submission form duly completed through the official submission platform.

b) screener with English subtitles, with the exception of films spoken in Portuguese or English.

c) the screener for consideration may be sent using one of the following methods:

through the registration form, in the field specifically dedicated to it, include a private viewing link for the film that does not require immediate download (Vimeo, YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.).
after completion of the submission, a private viewing or download link can be sent via direct email to .
If needed, other options for the sending of the screener can be discussed with the Programme Coordination team.

4.3 The applicant is responsible for informing the festival, should the premiere status mentioned upon the submission of the film changes within the selection process (in case screenings are booked), as well as should the film version submitted changes.

4.4 In case you have got any question about the submission process, please contact:

Rodrigo Pedro
+351 213 470 816


5. Selection

5.1 Selection Announcement

Doclisboa is responsible to inform the applicants of the Selection Committee’s final decision up to one month prior to the opening of the festival.

The absence of notification of film selection from the festival by the above-mentioned dates, will mean that the respective film was not selected for the 21st edition of Doclisboa. However, efforts will be made so that all candidates are informed via e-mail of the status of their films.

The festival is responsible for the selection of the films that compose the entire program. The Selection Committee will decide the section for which a film is invited and this information will be shared with the applicant via email. The Selection Committee decision is final.

After confirming the selection, the festival must be informed of any change on the film’s premiere status.

5.2 Screenings

Any selected film can have up to three (3) public screenings over the duration of the festival. Films in competition may also be exhibited in closed-off private screenings, aimed specifically at jury duties.

The dates, times and venues of the screenings will be determined by Doclisboa and shared with the rights holder upon completion of the scheduling process.

Any selected film may take part in the festival’s Education Project programme, if so decided by the Selection Committee and Apordoc’s Education Project team.

Films which win an award or special mention in any of the competitive categories can be selected for one (1) extra public screening, taking place after the festival dates. These screenings are programmed by the Selection Committee alongside the festival’s Direction. If selected, the film’s participation in these screenings is mandatory.

5.3 Screening Fees

The festival won’t cover any screening rights or technical fees of films in competition.


6. Communication and Press Materials

6.1 Immediately after being confirmed the selection, it should be sent by email:

A script of the dialogue continuity of the films in English for translation and subtitling purposes (if applicable);
Screener of the film – identical version to the exhibition copy – for subtitling and press promotion purposes;
Film’s synopsis and credits;
A minimum of 4 film stills (minimum resolution: 300 dpi – 10x10cm) in a digital format;
Trailer (or excerpt of up to 3 minutes) of the film;
Film’s poster (if available), for online promotion;
Film’s press kit and/or clipping (if available);
Photo of film director(s) (HD), in JPG or PNG format;
Director(s)’ short biography and filmography;
Film’s premiere status, as well as previous festivals and awards (if applicable).

6.2 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 Doclisboa, and based on the selected films’ details shared by the rights holders.

6.3 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.

6.4 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.

6.5 The remaining materials (press kit, clipping, digital posters, etc.) can also be included in the festival promotion.

6.6 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.

6.7 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.


7. Hospitality

7.1 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.

7.2 Doclisboa guests are not covered by the insurance of the festival.

7.3 Presentation/Debate of Screenings and Premiere Protocol

Doclisboa values and promotes the communication between the film’s team and its audience. Directors and other film representatives that are in Lisbon 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 films holding their World, International or European Premiere at Doclisboa will also receive a Premiere Protocol.


8. Screening Copies, Shipping and Other Important Arrangements

8.1 All the selected films must have English-subtitled screening copies, except for the ones that are spoken in English.

8.2 The screening copies of the selected films must be provided in one of the following formats: 35mm, 16mm, DCP. Compliance with these screening formats is important to ensure the screening of the film in the best conditions. If a film needs to be exhibited in formats different from the previously listed, the festival must be timely informed in order to access a solution.

The festival is not responsible for the possible need to convert files whose characteristics differ from those above.

8.3 Until September 15th 2023, the copy of the selected film (in the right screening format) should be delivered to the festival. The following delivery options are available:

digital delivery of the DCP, through an upload to the official MyAirBridge platform:;
digital delivery of the DCP, by providing download options from other online safe delivery platforms;
physical delivery of exhibition format (16mm, 35mm or DCP), duly arranged with the festival’s Print Traffic team.
For this last option, the costs related to sending the copy to Portugal will be borne by the participant. The costs of clearing the film through customs in Portugal, as well as the costs associated with returning the films to their country of origin, will be borne by the festival. In the latter situation, any customs duties in the country of origin will be borne by the participants.

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 reels.

8.4 When the festival is responsible for the transportation of a film, transportation insurance will be granted. After receiving the copies of the films, the festival is responsible for them until they are sent back.

8.5 All films screened on competitive sections during the festival must remain there until its ending, and will be returned only after the closing ceremony of the festival.


9. Video Library

9.1 All of the selected films produced in 2022 and 2023 have the opportunity to join Doclisboa’s Online Video Library, with no additional costs. This is a secured platform that offers festival accredited Industry Professionals and Press a private access to the films included.

The Online Video Library will be available between the 19th of October and 30th of November 2023.

9.2 To this end, all participants will be asked to provide a Quicktime H.264 or DVD of the selected movie for inclusion in the digital Video Library.

9.3 If this option is available, the festival will ensure that Press access is given through private secured links from the Online Video Library. These will have a restricted time-limit and number of possible views.

9.4 The films sent for festival consideration will not be deleted. They will become part of the archive at Apordoc – Portuguese Documentary Association (the festival organiser), where the associates may consult them. For any kind of public projection, permission from the rights owners will be required.


10. Nonspecific Cases and Exceptions

The festival board will decide upon all matters that are not covered by these regulations in accordance with the international rules of film festivals.

Doclisboa 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.