Lonely Planet Writer

Get your fantasy, sci-fi and horror films fill at Porto’s Fantasporto

From 20 February to 4 March, the Rivoli Theatre in Porto welcomes the 38th edition of Fantasporto – Porto International Film Festival. Usually known by locals and fans as just ‘Fantas’.

The long-running Fantasporto festival gets underway in Oporto
Fantastporto 2018 kicks off on 20 February. Image by: Oporto Film Festival Fantasporto

What began as an idea amongst a group of friends at artists’ favourite Café Luso in the early 1980s, went on to become one of the oldest and the longest-running independent film festivals in Portugal. The festival has since launched the European careers of some (now) great names like Guillermo del Toro (Oscar-nominated for 2018), Peter Jackson (Academy Award Winner), David Lynch, and others.

This year’s festival will exhibit over 100 films from 59 countries in its four main competition sections – Fantasy, Directors’ Week, Orient Express, and Portuguese Cinema – and six films as part of a special Taiwan B-Movies retrospect.

The festival’s theme is ‘Ethics – The boundaries of Science, Arts, and the Cinema’, with parallel events, including lectures and debates, happening throughout the two weeks.

Poster for The Unwilling by Jonathan Heap
The Unwilling by Oscar nominee Jonathan Heap will be screened at the festival. Image by: Oporto Film Festival Fantasporto

Fantasporto has been the only horror, sci-fi, and fantasy film festival in the country to attract a crowd of loyal fans and welcome European and World premieres of films by future well-known directors like Peter Jackson (won the Fantasporto award in 1993 for Braindead) and Guillermo del Toro (won the Fantasporto award in 1994 for Cronos).

Tickets are available from €5-8 at the Rivoli Theatre’s ticket office and all-access passes are available for €100.