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Ghent International Film Festival Announces Line-up

The Ghent International Film Festival has announced the complete program for its 36th edition October 6th-17th when it will screen more than 140 films from 35 different countries and is expected to host over 120,000 visitors. Festival highlights include an elaborate Anime! exhibition and tribute to Asian cinema (a co-venture with Europalia) as well as 4 live concerts including one by Kevin Costner and his band Modern West, the 9th annual World Soundtrack Awards and presentations of the Joseph Plateau Lifetime Achievement Award to Oscar nominee Andy Garcia and French director Claude Miller.

The festival will kick off its 12-day run with a screening of the Belgian Oscar entry for best foreign film, The Misfortunates, directed by Felix van Groeningen on October 6th and will host the world premieres of three movies as well as the European and Benelux premieres of 32 others including: There, from Turkey, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Micmacs à Tire-Larigot, the documentaries Portrait of a Young Man as an Artist (about musician Tom Barman) by Manu Riche and Renaat Lambeets, Not Waving But Drowning by Elias Grootaers, Still Bill, the story of superstar musician Bill Withers directed by Damani Baker & Alex Vlack and Of Heart and Courage: Ballet Bejart Lausanne, by Arantxa Aguirre about the dance company's trials and tribulations following the departure of its acclaimed founder Maurice Béjart.

Benelux premieres of English language films will include Adam Resurrected, Creation, Food Inc., Petropolis, Five Minutes of Heaven, John Rabe, City Island, Cold Souls, The Countess, The Cove, Within the Whirlwind, and It Might Get Loud among others.

Twelve films will be competing for the Grand Prize in the international competition : Altiplano by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth (Belgium), Applause by Martin Pieter Zandvliet (Denmark), Eyes Wide Open by Haim Tabakman (Israël), John Rabe by Florian Gallenberger (Germany), The Children of Diyarbakir by Miraz Bezar (Turkey), The Stoning of Soraya M. by Cyrus Nowrasteh (USA), There by Hakki Kurtulus and Melik Saracoglu (Turkey), Troubled Water by Erik Poppe (Norway), Whiskey with Vodka by Andreas Dresen (Germany), Kan door Huid Heen (The Netherlands) and Zion and his Brother by Eran Merav (Israël).

The Asian tribute will feature an elaborate exhibition Anime! High Art - Pop Culture, compiled by the Deutsches Film Museum. With hundreds of original drawings, 3D objects and film clips on display, showcasing Japanese anime as an art form, with a complete overview of the genre. The festival will also include a sampling of contemporary Chinese cinema , all spotlighting China's burgeoning movie business with a retrospective of the films of jury members Wang Quan'an and Yu Nan, as well as a sampling of contemporary Chinese films by the so-called Sixth Generation of Chinese filmmakers which Peng Tao, Xiaolu Guo and Zhou Peng will be in Ghent to introduce films.

As always music is a highlight and integral part of the festival, with a variety of live film concerts staged at different venues: Oscar winner Kevin Costner and his band Modern West will be performing on October 11th; Acclaimed French composer and 2-time Oscar nominee Alexandre Desplat and the Traffic Quintet, will be performing a tribute to many of cinema's greatest actresses at a concert entitled Divine Féminin on October 14th and Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi will be performing Wong Kar-Wai and Zhang Yimou film music at two concerts on October 15th. The festival will conclude on October 17th with the 9th annual World Soundtrack Awards which will feature musical performances by three time Oscar winner Marvin Hamlisch, and second Desplat concert and a performance by last year's WSA Discovery Of The Year honoree Mark Streitenfeld, all backed by the 80 member Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Dirk Brossé.

An impressive list of VIPS from the film music world who will attend the WSA's include: Double Oscar winner A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) nominated for 3 awards, Reinhold Heil & Johhny Klimek (The International) nominated for best original score, Carter Burwell (Burn After Reading, Twilight) nominated for film composer of the year and best original score of the year, as well as Anna Chalon (Je l'aimais') nominated for best original song. Discovery Of The Year award nominees also attending include Jérôme Lemonnier (Demain dès L'aube), Andrew Lockington (Journey to the Center of the Earth), and Atli Örvarsson (Babylon AD).

This year's international jury will include Chinese director Wang Quan'An, Chinese actress Yu Nan, Belgian actor Filip Peeters, Swiss composer Niki Reiser and Hungarian filmmaker Laszlo Nemes.

The final festival screening will be on October 16th with Fatih Akin's Soul Kitchen, complete with a pre-screening introduction by the German-Turkish director.  

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