Our history

Our team has successfully run a film school in Portugal for the past 4 years and we have now transplanted our formula to the Netherlands.

Testimonials, films and pictures

Don’t take our word for it – here’s what our clients say and what they made:

My experience during this course was eye-opening: I learned a lot not only about the whole process of documentary filmmaking, but also myself and the role I would like to pursue in the film world. It was challenging but at the same time incredibly fun. Ton and Ian were fantastic instructors and made the whole learning process interesting and encouraging. Additionally, the location – the tiny village of Monte de Estrada was fantastic and all of its people very welcoming.

Nata-Triin Eisel

class of 2023

I had an amazing experience participating in the portrait documentary course at Portugal Film School in Alentejo. The teachers, Ton and Ian were highly experienced and peaceful, making the learning environment warm and inspiring. The course was well-structured, and the food was delicious. Overall, we had an excellent team and an inspiring course in a beautiful location.

Ramin Pourmand

Class of 2023

I had a very pleasant experience in Portugal Film School. I took part in the Directing part of the course and found it very usefully packed with the  theory, the structure and preparation of making a documentary, the analysis, as we were watching a few documentaries and practice when we made one ourselves. I would like to say a big thanks to Ton and Ian as thanks to them I feel like I have a much better overview of how improve my skills and put together a documentary.

Agnes Saaren

Class of 2023

Portugal film school provided me with an amazing hands-on experience and opportunity to work side by side with industry professionals. It was a short but very intensive program during which not only did I learn how to interview, compose a story and align it with the footage, but I also ended the course with my very own first documentary. This was an incredible and unique time to connect with likeminded people and share ideas.

Lia Vinogradov (USA)

class of 2022

What a wonderful, inspiring two weeks! We worked hard, learnt a lot from motivating professionals and had immense fun throughout. I came away with enough skills to start experimenting on my own. For me this was a key first step towards a film making career. Thank you for the best and most productive two weeks I’ve had in a long time.

Giovanna Vaccaro (Italy)

Class of 2022

Thanks to Ton’s dedication and the professionalism and kindness of all teachers, we learned in a small group the fundamentals of making a documentary with the aim of having a short portrait film by the end of the course and each student had the chance to discuss with the teachers what they individually need for their future project. It was indeed an eye-opening experience on many levels to meet people from different backgrounds and age groups in a magical place like Alentejo.

Sarah Ehab (Egypt)

Class of 2022

A wonderful learning experience in the beautiful and peaceful landscapes of Alentejo. Together in a small and cozy group you learn how to create a story based on emotions, techniques for interview and camera work. All this made very accessible for beginner filmmakers as you are under the watchful guidance of the teachers helping you along every step of the way to ensuring you leave with fundamentals to create a meaningful documentary. A documentary that could be the first step towards your career of becoming a documentary filmmaker. 
Thanks to the organisers for their passion and patience. And for making this whole experience feel like an unforgettable holiday retreat!

Amir Hossein Zadeh

class of 2021

I had a very nice time in a great ambience in the beautiful landscape of Alentejo.
Ton is a very good teacher who really cares about his students’ progress. So I learned a lot about planning a documentary portrait, working with a camera and other film equipment but also using the language of pictures to express the story I want to tell.

Michael Morsch (DE)

Class of 2021

As an Anthropologist and film lover I always dreamed about making my own documentary. High expenses of classes and lack of time kept me away from following my dream for a long time. Accidentally reading about the Portugal summer school on the internet, I thought this might be the first step in following my dream.

Now at the end of the course, I believe taking part in this course was a good decision. It was a great opportunity to meet amazing teachers and learn from their experiences. Besides that I met nice people and enjoyed two weeks of living with them in the camp. I would love to add that meeting Ton as a teacher with his long term experience in my field of interest was an amazing opportunity because talking to him made me more precise about what I want to do in future and the way to do that.  

Maryam Abassi (Iran)

Class of 2021

Light out of Darkness
When i started loving myself
The extra mile

The Portugal film school helped me to find the answer to my long burning question, do I like the idea of making a  documentary or do I really like the whole process. 

And after 2 weeks of classes by the amazing directors an editor I have learned so much. I now know how to handle a camera, and the basics of doing research and directing a documentary. The fellow students where all super motivated and the vibes in class where super chill. The class was very diverse in age and experience. 

I walked out the school with my first short documentary, and the answer to my question. Now I know I love making documentaries.

Caya Acosta O’Farrill (NL)

class of 2020

Portugal Film School has given me a great Skill Boost, I’ve learned so much.

I came in with no experience, not knowing what direction I wanted to go to and came out with so many creative ideas for my future films and my first documentary.From the moment that we started, till the end, I have bonded so much with the students and teachers. Everyone was so open minded and helpful. The class was very diverse, in age and experiences, which made us all a good team and later on friends too.

I, myself have difficulties with learning in general. But that didn’t seem to be a big problem, because all the information taught we needed to know, so every little bit was useful and interesting for my brain to save.We learned how to Research, Interview, Direct and Edit. And through the breaks we all sat down at the restaurant with great food and drinks.

Thanks to all, I had a wonderful time!

Asia Shay Koldijk (NL)

Class of 2020

Aangezien ik al enige ervaring had binnen het filmvak twijfelde ik van te voren of ik veel zou gaan leren tijdens de cursus. Die twijfel werd binnen de kortste keren weggenomen.
Ik heb een ontzettend leerzame en leuke tijd gehad. De verschillende docenten beheersten allemaal eigen expertises op het filmgebied en er was veel ruimte om een op een gecoacht te worden. Vandaar ook dat ik grote sprongen heb kunnen maken op de gebieden waar ik beter in wilde worden, zoals editten en interviewen.

Vooral De variatie tussen theorie en praktijk bevielen mij ontzettend goed. Het werkt enorm stimulerend om afwisselend onder begeleiding te werken aan je eigen project en klassikaal theoriekennis op te doen. Ik heb ook veel geleerd van het gezamenlijk kijken en analyseren van verschillende bekende documentaires.

En wat een fijne locatie; een schooltje in een piepklein dorpje op het Portugese platteland. Zo idyllische en erg filmisch. Voor degene die van oude Europese cinema houden: je krijgt daar al snel een soort van Felini’s Amacord gevoel. Erg inspirerend vooral.

Kort gezegd, ik heb een toptijd gehad en ben dankzij de cursus veel beter in staat om een verhaal in film te vertellen en raad het iedereen aan die interesse heeft in het filmvak.

Max Lange (NL)

Class of 2020