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Programme for the 46th Edition of Film Fest Gent

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A focus on high-quality Spanish cinema, greater emphasis on short films, and a new programme of films about radicalisation are just three of the many themes of the exciting and adventurous programme of the 46th edition of Film Fest Gent, which runs from 8 to 18 October 2019. The festival's full programme is being unveiled today.

 

For 2019, the Film Fest Gent team has put together a varied and high-quality programme that keeps a finger on the pulse of both the international film world, and the Flemish and Belgian film world in particular. From the opening film ‘Les Misérables’, via ‘Sorry We Missed You’ by Ken Loach, to Patrice Toye's sleek film ‘Muidhond’ (about paedophilia). In 2019 we will once again be welcoming a wide range of international guests: from actress Géraldine Chaplin, to Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, and the Belgian composer Frédéric Devreese.

In recent months, around 1,068 film titles landed in the mailboxes of Film Fest Gent. Not to mention the 320 festival films that we viewed. From this list, programme director Wim De Witte and his team have put together a discerning programme consisting of 123 long films, two TV series and 35 short films.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

Patrice Toye opens the international competition at Film Fest Gent with her delicate and incisive ‘Muidhond’, in which she descends into the mind of a paedophile and outlines the man’s internal struggles. The film is a battle between good and evil, transcending the problems of the main character. ‘Muidhond’ gains a universal dimension as a result.

Bas Devos accompanies Patrice Toye in the competition section with his ‘Ghost Tropic’, intended to provide a positive answer to his remarkable ‘Hellhole’.
More contenders include: ‘Atlantique’ by Mati Diop with a beautiful and surprising African story about emigration. Jayro Bustamante, who won the grand prize for the best film at Film Fest Gent in 2015 with ‘Ixcanul’, is back with his ‘La Llorona’. We also welcome Jessica Hausner to Ghent once again with ‘Little Joe’.

For the first time, a high-profile animated film – ‘J'ai perdu mon corps’ by Jérémy Clapin – is one of the thirteen contestants for the Grand Prix for Best Film or the George Delerue Award for Best Soundtrack/Sound Design in this 46th edition.

The prizes will be awarded by the INTERNATIONAL JURY led by the Belgian Joachim Lafosse (‘A perdre la raison’, ‘L'économie du couple’). His jury members all excel at their profession: Midge Costin, sound editor, Guy Lodge, Variety film critic, Radu Jude, Romanian director of ‘I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History As Barbarians’ that was shown in Ghent, Fiorella Moretti and Dora Bouchoucha Fourati, producers from Peru and Tunisia respectively.

SHORT FILM COMPETITION

From Belgian to European to international short films on the programme of Film Fest Gent: this is the latest evolution of the Ghent short film competition. We are breaking through borders and seeking out the best short films from countries such as Greece, China, Spain, France, Lithuania and Brazil. And we’re betting that the Belgian short films will certainly be able to hold their ground. Short films serve as fertile soil and a breeding ground for film talent, that's how Film Fest Gent sees it.

The animated film ‘#21XOXO’ by Imge and Sine Özbilge is already going to the London Film Festival, and Jacinta Agten made her debut here five years ago with ‘Olav’. Will an international breakthrough follow with ‘Melanie’? There’s no need for short film makers to worry that Yorgos Lanthimos will run off with all the prizes, as his short film ‘Nimic’ will be shown outside of the competition.

The Belgian student short competition remains a fixture of the festival. Here too, we have a repeat contender in the form of Anthony Nti who, after his victory with 'Boi’ in 2016, is now happily returning with ‘Da Yie’. And after Noemi Osselaer’s ‘Erpe-Mere’, the municipality of Erpe-Mere will never be quite the same.

To judge all these short films, for the first time Film Fest Gent has invited a separate INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM JURY to discover the new Nathalie Teirlinck, Kato De Boeck or Lukas Dhont. It consists of film critic and programmer Neil Young, graphic designer Amira Daoudi and director Jayro Bustamante.

FOCUS ON SPAIN

Besides its tapas, flamenco, sherry and Sagrada Familia, Spain also has its films. Works by Luis Buñuel, Pedro Almodóvar, Carlos Saura and Victor Erice belong to the canon of film history. But what about the youngest generation? There’s still plenty of quality left, it turns out, and this is a unique opportunity to discover it.

In search of its identity, every country struggles with its past. Spain is no exception to this rule. The spectre of the civil war from 1936 to 1939 and the associated phenomenon of Francoism still haunts the Spanish population, and therefore also the artists. As a result, anyone who loves history shouldn’t miss ‘While at War’ by no less than Alejandro Amenábar, in which the writer and rector of the University of Salamanca, Miguel de Unanumo, comes into conflict with Franco.
De Unanumo is regarded by many as the biggest Spanish writer since Cervantes. If you would like a more contemporary look at that past, book your cinema seats now for ‘Les Perseides’ by Alberto Dexeus and Ànnia Gabarró. The main character Mar ends up in a place that is still haunted by the ghosts of the past. As a teenager, how does she look at this past?

Alongside this broad historical picture, there are naturally still intimate films such as ‘Meseta’ and ‘Júlia Ist’. And in ‘Liberté’, as the title suggests, Albert Serra certainly doesn’t hold back. The film caused a minor scandal in Cannes. Whether it is as taboo-breaking as the eponymous part of our Spanish Focus will soon become clear. Here, you can discover films such as ‘Viridiana’ by Luis Buñuel, ‘Ana y lobos’ by Carlos Saura, ‘Tesis’ by Alejandro Amenábar and ‘Matador’ by Pedro Almodóvar.

We also offer a unique opportunity to discover the oeuvre of auteur maudit Agusti Villaronga. The work of Villaronga, to whom we will pay tribute at Film Fest Gent 2019, is full of conflicts and traumas, primordially Spanish in terms of palette and bursting with challenging visual force. His work has never been shown on the regular cinema circuit in our country before.

RADICALISATION PROGRAMME

Isn’t it remarkable how movies respond to particular eras? Currently, the word and the concept of radicalisation are coming at us from all sides, and films on the subject just keep popping up like magic. For example, earlier this year Film Fest Gent On Tour (part of the annual work of Film Fest Gent, ed.) scheduled ‘L’adieu à la nuit’ by André Téchiné.

With films such as ‘Let There Be Light’ by Marko Skop and ‘Les Misérables’ by Ladj Ly, we will continue the trend during the upcoming festival edition. In ‘The Barefoot Emperor’ by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, Peter Van den Begin becomes the emperor of a Nova Europe. In ‘Luce’ by Julius Onah, it is unclear whether or not the main character has been radicalised after a bomb was discovered in his locker at school. Did it come from Luce himself or was it placed there by someone else?
There are a range of ‘Parcours’ – different angles from which to explore the programme – at Film Fest Gent: Explore Zone, Plus Parcours, LGBTQ+, and Galas & Specials. The names of the ‘Parcours’ will already sound familiar to many visitors.
Meet The Mob also gives the mafia a place at the festival. Film lovers will have the chance to see both a feature film and a documentary on a single topic, the penitent Tomasso Buscetta. Marco Bellocchio portrays the mafia boss in his amazing ‘Il Traditore’ and documentary makers Andrew Meier and Mark Franchetti spoke with Buscetta's widow who gave them a whole set of family videos that they incorporated into ‘Our Godfather’. You really couldn’t get any closer to the wheelings and dealings of the mafia. And it's fascinating to see how Belocchio wraps up the reality in a cinematic way. An excellent opportunity!

GUESTS

Top of the bill this year is Géraldine Chaplin, daughter of Charlie Chaplin but also a star actress in her own right. In ‘The Barefoot Emperor’ by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, she plays a double role.Géraldine Chaplin also ties in perfectly with our Spanish focus. With her former partner Carlos Saura, her contribution to Spanish film history is both essential and invaluable.

In addition to Chaplin many other directors and actors will be joining to present their films in person, amongst whom the director of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', Rian Johnson, who'll be introducing his latest project: 'Knives Out'

Sometimes you can even meet special guests during the Daily Talkies in the De Krook library. Or who knows, on the red carpet or at our festival café Cafellini.

WORLD SOUNDTRACK AWARDS and HOLLYWOOD NIGHTMARES: SCARY SYMPHONIC SCORES

In response to the revival of intelligent horror films and the search for the artistic role of composers in the often-misunderstood genre, Film Fest Gent is organising the thematic concert ‘Hollywood Nightmares: Scary Symphonic Scores’. Nobody better embodies the renewed musical contribution to the genre than Marco Beltrami, but he is also skilled and creative in many different genres. He is therefore the main guest at the 19th World Soundtrack Awards Concert. He also features in the preceding Scary Symphonic Scores concert, but here he will share the stage with the classic film composers who, sometimes surprisingly, also made the horror even more tangible through their music. Just listen to Bernard Herrmann, Ennio Morricone, Howard Shore, Jerry Goldsmith and John Williamsen.
On the WSA stage, world-renowned Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki will collect a Lifetime Achievement Award: not only for his entire oeuvre, but above all for the indirect influence of his music on the work of Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese and William Friedkin, among others. Frédéric Devreese, the father of Belgian film music, will be honoured with a musical portrait on the occasion of his 90th birthday. At the annual film music seminar, Marco Beltrami and Michaël R. Roskam will reveal all the secrets of their collaboration for ‘The Drop’.

FILM FEST GENT & VOORUIT

With the second edition of VIDEODROOM, where artists and audiences enter a new world on the cutting edge between music, film and visuals, VOORUIT is the meeting place for the music events at Film Fest Gent. Artists such as Le Motel, Jozef Van Wissem, Moon Duo, CURL, Moor Mother & The London Contemporary Orchestra will offer unique cross-over productions.

EDUCATION, TALKS & INDUSTRY

Film Fest Gent appeals to the widest possible audience and also focuses on numerous different target audiences. Screenings for pupils in preschool, primary and secondary education are becoming increasingly popular. At the first KIDSPROOF FAMILY DAY, Belgian premieres of family films will be shown and there will be a media lab for the whole family.
Among other things, the film profession will be featured at the SERIAL DAY on 11 October with a special screening of the VRT series ‘The Twelve’.

On 16 October, the creators of the Flemish drama series ‘De Dag’ will analyse their work in detail during the ‘De Dag’ Case Study.

PLUS as a LATE ENTRY: Episodes 1 & 2 of the WAR OF THE WORLDS by Gilles Coulier will be shown at Kinepolis on 14 October. The Flemish contribution is not insignificant, as David Williamson and Antoon Mertens worked alongside director Coulier as DOPs on the series. Bert Jacobs was responsible for the montage.

Finally, the Union of Film Critics will celebrate its 65th anniversary with the screening of ‘What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael’. Critics will need no further introduction. Rarely has there been a better opportunity to reflect on and discuss the profession.

And this is just a selection from the rich pickings on offer at the 46th edition of Film Fest Gent. You will find all additional information here: www.filmfestival.be

The 46th edition of Film Fest Gent runs from 8 to 18 October in Kinepolis Gent, Studio Skoop, Sphinx Cinema, Vooruit, KASKcinema and Capitole.

 

 

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