The Festival

A celebration of nature through the power of film


The Madeira Film Festival is non competitive, as opposed to filmmakers vying for the ‘best’ film, each attending delegate will become the Ambassador of the Laurissilva Forest ( an endemic species of trees found on Madeira. We attempt to screen impinging films to both a local audience and island visitors, should the exhibiting filmmaker be present the audience may have the opportunity to journey further into the film via a Q and A session. The festival has now completed it’s 6th edition with many previous guests returning. We are a small, intimate festival but relationships both personal and industrial are forged easily by virtue of the location. MFF also presents  various events which compliment the week including fashion, plays, gala dinner and  excursions to the Laurissilva Forest.

The Madeira Film Festival is staged at  the Municipal Theatre plus other satellite venues within Funchal.  The Municipal Theatre  ( Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias ) is indeed a  most aesthetically pleasing venue, we consider ourselves very lucky to present the films here in the centre of Funchal, the theatre holds up to 300 persons. We hope to offer both the audience and exhibiting filmmakers a memorable  experience, virtue of location ought to sustain this remit and as MFF is indeed an intimate festival past editions indicate that both business and personal relationships are forged and maintained readily.

The Team

How do you do.

Aitken Pearson
Founding Director
Elsa Gouveia
Festival Manager
Pedro Pão
MFF Screenings & Distributor Liaison
Isabel Dantas
Festival Producer
Daniel Wallner
Technical Assistant.  
Duarte Nuno Ferreira
NOS / MFF Screenings

The Past

6 Editions.

6 years of Indie Film.

The Madeira Film Festival is rapidly approaching it's 7th edition. A milestone, no less, 7 editions for the 7th art.…

Previous Guests

Previous guests include Kyle Eastwood, Phamie Gow, Maria de Medeiras plus others. It is indeed a pleasure to welcome such…

Dance, ballet, awards.

The 'Laurissilva Award'' is presented to all delegates who attend the Madeira Film Festival in recognition of Madeira's endemic Laurel…

The Remit

What We Do

Screen impinging, powerful film.
Screen impinging, powerful film.
Create awareness on the Laurel Forest.
Create awareness on the Laurel Forest.
A platform for short filmmakers.
A platform for short filmmakers.
Monthly Screenings
Monthly Screenings
A cultural, community event.
A cultural, community event.
A true independent film festival.
A true independent film festival.

We want your film!

We want your film!


An organic venture


  The Madeira Film Festival is most honoured and humbled that HRH Don Duarte Duke Of Braganza has most kindly agreed to patron  the festival. Recently Don Duarte attended the 2016 edition of the festival, enjoying films and the annual Reid's Gala Dinner.  

NOS Screenings

Each month MFF in partnership with NOS Cinemas will screen one  film at Forum Madeira. Striving to eschew the mundane we hope to illicit the golden-hour sunsets, the murmuring voiceovers over fragmented moments, wide-angle compositions and disorientated off-centre closeups on thoughtful faces. Independent film once a month, a breath of fresh…

Madeira, Portugal: the most enviable island on earth?

“I should think the situation of Madeira the most enviable on the whole earth. It ensures every European comfort with almost every tropical luxury.”


Photos from festivals

Director's Talk

Director Brillante Mendoza talks to MFF.



MFF is brought to you by



From previous guests.

  Here in Madeira's capital city of Funchal, crammed into the back of a 1920's Chevrolet that resembles the sort of runabout that Mister Toad would rhapsodise over, about to go to the Madeira Film Festival's opening night and already slightly tipsy from the fortified wine that bears the island's name, it all clicks together like Duplo. in it's fourth year, the Madeira Film Festival marks itself out from its international competition via its extraordinarily beautiful location, commitment to conservation issues and small scale, easily negotiable programme.

The Quietus

Dedicated to the preservation of the Madeira’s indigenous Laurisilva forest, the festival highlighted 17 feature films and 39 shorts from across the globe — all accompanied by glass after glass of the island’s namesake Madeira wine. (Madeira wine actually has strong roots in America; the Founding Fathers had a particular affinity for it, even using it to toast the Declaration of Independence.) A non-competitive event, where each entrant receives an award dedicated to their role in preserving Madeira’s forest, the festival showcases a series of mostly independent films that focus on nature. As the festival founder Aitken Pearson said, “it’s not merely about the premier of the latest film — it’s a celebration of nature.”

Huffington Post

As befits a place with a subtropical climate and Latino culture, the festival is not packed with a hectic schedule of multiple screenings. The films are shown at the stunning Teatro Municipal, with screenings beginning at the very civilised hour of two in the afternoon, with the last screening at nine o’clock in the evening. All films shown at the festival had a nature/environmental theme, but are far from being a series of scaremongering documentaries of an impending apocalypse.

Hungry Eye

There’s something special about islands, isn’t there?  A unique feeling of solitude, a deeply ingrained sense of security and an exotic charm that only comes from being surrounded on all sides by the ocean. The island of Madeira is situated in the Atlantic, north-west of the Canary Islands and close enough to Africa to ensure great weather all year round. My trip to the island’s capital, Funchal was timed to coincide with the 5th annual Madeira Film Festival. An eclectic mix of independent films alongside Hollywood’s finest were among the treats in store at the Municipal Theatre, a gorgeous historic building in the capital’s old town.

Scottish Field

Promo 2017

Shot in the Laurel Forest at Fanal

Contact Us

Get in touch

Madeira Film Festival

00351 91 374 7592 / 91 0809203

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