Spotlight on Portugal Film Commission

Portugal has positioned itself on the world map for international filming thanks to its diversity of sceneries at a short distance, almost 300 days of sunshine a year, co-production agreements with more than 60 countries, and the fundamental work of the Portugal Film Commission.

Over the last few years Portugal has been the location of choice for numerous major productions.

Bad Living, recipient of this year’s Silver Bear – Prize of the Jury at the Berlinale, and Portugal’s submission for Best International Film at the Oscars, was shot in the early months of 2021. João Canijo’s feature film was filmed entirely in the Hotel Parque do Rio, in Ofir Beach, in the north coast of the country. The building’s modernist architecture was the perfect setting to explore the intricate relationships in a family of five women.

TV series Codex 632  was shot in the Cemitério dos Prazeres, one of the largest cemeteries in Lisbon, in the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara and in the Ajuda Botanical Garden. Other recent productions include feature film Légua, shot in Várzea, Aliviada and Folhada, and in Marco de Canaveses, and Turn of the Tide, TV drama filmed in several locations on the island of São Miguel (Azores), including Rabo de Peixe and Porto Formoso.

“Turn of the Tide” shot in the Azores ©Paulo Goulart

Fast & Furious 10  shot from the breathtaking A24 Highway, also known as Auto-estrada do Interior Norte, to the charming streets of Viseu and Vila Real. American action thriller Heart of Stone  had several scenes filmed in the Lapa neighborhood in Lisbon, at the Janelas Verdes fountain in front of the National Museum of Ancient Art, and in the Praça do Comércio.

In 2021, the mountains, steep paths and rugged hills of Monsanto provided the perfect setting for House Targaryen’s ancestral home, Dragonstone, in the HBO series House of the Dragon. The village of Monsanto is popularly known as “the most Portuguese village of Portugal”.

Monsanto, setting of HBO’s “House of the Dragon”

Portugal offers diversity of sceneries within close range, from beaches, castles, palaces, monuments, impressive old buildings, modern architecture, cathedrals, monasteries, parks,  historic villages and walled cities. Portugal’s landscape variety is enormous and includes mountain scenery, forests, rocky slopes, caves, rivers, lakes, lagoons, jungles and more.

With experienced professionals, qualified talent is available at competitive prices. Portuguese teams are used to working in international productions and have extensive experience in film, TV and comercial production. The teams are mostly fluent in English. Spanish and French are also widely spoken.

Portugal is famous for the long hours of sunshine and clear skies – almost 300 days of sunshine a year and low levels of precipitation, allowing production throughout the year, with great natural light. It also has affordable cost of living, great hotel offer and high-quality cuisine.

On top this, Portugal has co-production agreements with more than 60 countries around the world, including all countries with Portuguese as the official language, which represent +250 million Portuguese speakers (such as Brazil, Mozambique and Angola). Portugal also has agreements with countries in Latin America, and others financial instruments.

Scene from Fast & Furious X

Since 2019, Portugal has positioned itself on the world map for international filming. Since its creation, the Portugal Film Commission, even with a pandemic in the middle of its activity, has developed a strategy of international and national promotion of the country’s advantages as a destination of large film and audiovisual projects.

The result is evident and the film commission has been the stage for major international and national projects, recognized and awarded across borders. This trend has been maintained due to various factors that are intrinsic to Portugal as a country: short distances, sunny days, good technical training for professionals in the sector and, of course, the financial incentives available.

The Portugal Film Commission maintains close contact with national producers, who are often the bridge to major productions, and networking with international peers and agents in the sector will always be an asset for the Portugal Film Commission’s brand and Portugal.

Are you interested in filming in Portugal?

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 99 European film commissions and film institutions from 31 different countries.