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33rd Flanders Film Festival - Ghent focuses on Stanley Kubrick

With 169 feature-length films and 65 short films, collectively good for 19,468 minutes of cinema and 596 screenings spread over 14 days, Ghent will once again be transformed into the City of Film during the period of October 11 through October 21. The 33rd edition of the Flanders Film Festival - Ghent focuses on film legend Stanley Kubrick, pays homage to Belgian-French director Agnès Varda, and draws more than 150 talented guests from the world of film to the Flemish city.

The Festival actually starts a week earlier this year with the opening of the Stanley Kubrick Exhibition in the Caermersklooster on October 4. The Flanders Film Festival - Ghent takes pride in bringing this world-famous exhibition, which has earlier been presented in Berlin, Frankfurt and Melbourne, to Ghent for an exclusive presentation in the Benelux. The exhibition is also the perfect reason to organise a retrospective screening of all available films of Stanley Kubrick. This is a unique opportunity to see these masterpieces again on the large screen. During "An Evening With Stanley Kubrick" on October 12 at Arts Centre Vooruit, the Festival will focus even more closely on the director, with contributions by eminent Stanley Kubrick experts Jan Harlan and Michel Ciment. The Festival also focuses attention on another film luminary: Agnès Varda, the leading lady of the French Nouvelle Vague or New Wave movement. She will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Festival, and a retrospective of her work has also been organised. Agnès Varda will introduce several of her films personally.

Naturally, the focus of the Flanders Film Festival - Ghent will also and above all be on contemporary cinema. The Festival Previews will open with a screening of the new Flemish big-budget production Windkracht 10 (Gale Force 10) on October 6. The competition, which is dedicated to the theme of the "Impact of music on film", has a strong opening number on October 11 with the new film by Tom Tykwer, Perfume, the Story of a Murderer, which is the long-awaited filming of the best-selling novel of the same name by Patrick Süskind. Other films in the competition include the Chinese film Bliss by Sheng Zhimin, The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky, the Finnish film Frozen City by Aku Louhimies, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints by Dito Montiel, Heaven’s Doors by the Moroccan brothers Swel and Imad Noury, Lights in the Dusk by Aki Kaurismäki, the French film Nocturnes by Henri Colomer, the Hungarian film Relatives by István Szabó, and Salvador by Manuel Huerga.

The six-member jury, consisting of jury chairman Jan Harlan (the British producer of Kubrick’s last films), the Irish director Ken Wardrop, the French author Michel Ciment, Belgian musician Jan Leyers, the French composer Cyril Morin, and Miguel Pereira, the chairman of the Mar de Plata International Film Festival, will award four prizes: the Grand Prize for Best Film, the Georges Delerue Prize for Best Music, the Sabam prize for Best Scenario, and the Robert Wise Award for Best Director. In addition, the Mine Xplore! Award will be presented by the Youth Jury. The total amount of prize money is just under 100,000 €.

Besides the competition, visitors can also look forward to the Festival Previews with major national and international premieres. The attention-getters this year include The Black Dahlia by Brian De Palma, A Prairie Home Companion by Robert Altman, and The Queen by Stephen Frears. The World Cinema section devotes attention to films from all corners of the world, most of which do not have a distributor in Belgium. There are a remarkably large number of German films in the selection: Der Freie Wille by Matthias Glasner, Komm Näher by Vanessa Jopp, Sommer Vorm Balkon by Andreas Dresen, Lucy by Henner Winckler, Montag Kommen die Fenster by Ulrich Köhler, and Sehnsucht by Valeska Grisebach. Knallhart by Detlev Buck and Requiem by Hans-Christian Schmid will also be screened in the Festival Previews. And there is of course also the German opening film Perfume, the Story of a Murderer.

Curator Cis Bierinckx, Director of the Beursschouwburg in Brussels, has once again selected several films for "A Look Apart" that cast a critical glance on film as a medium. The central figure is the American photographer and filmmaker William E. Jones, who was recently honoured with a retrospective in the leading London museum Tate Modern.

Most of the film makers represented in the competition and a considerable amount of film talent from the World Cinema section will be present at the Festival. With more than 150 confirmed guests, the Festival is heading toward a record edition. Never before will such a wealth of film talent have been present in Ghent.

This edition will also clearly show that the Flanders Film Festival - Ghent attaches considerable importance to film music. The World Soundtrack Awards, which grow in international esteem year after year, will be presented for the sixth time during the Festival. The music of John Powell, Peer Raben and Michael Giacchino will be featured during the film music concert accompanying the ceremony. As usual, there will also be a Belgian on the podium. This year it is Piet Goddaer, who will perform his film music for Crusade in Jeans. On October 19, Craig will take over the podium for a live performance of his music for Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, Ray, and Love Actually in collaboration with the symphony orchestra and choir of the Flanders Opera.

For the third time in a row, the Flanders Film Festival - Ghent is cooperating with Arts Centre Vooruit. For a ten-day period, the boundary region between film, media art and music will be explored under the title "Almost Cinema". The expected events include an installation show, performances, music documentaries, and a grand closing party. The opening film at Arts Centre Vooruit is loudQUIETloud, a documentary about the reunion of the Pixies. Several Belgian bands will perform their versions of Pixies songs immediately after the screening.

Ticket sales will start on September 30 at the Fnac in Ghent and Link Textwww.filmfestival.be.

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