Opening Night: Hande Kodja, Alan Parker et Fabrizio Rongione

The best of European cinema

Brussels Film Festival – Dedicated to European Cinema

The Brussels Film Festival is getting ready for a new edition, the 14th since its establishment at Flagey. From the 17th to 24th of June, as usual, the team is willing to demonstrate you the richness of European cinema, which is alive and kicking. « I’ve always wanted to be a European filmmaker » claimed Woody Allen who expressed his love for European film. That’s perfect because it’s exactly what we are doing : celebrating European films.      

From 17 to 24 june 2016 > a festive, competitive and addictive event

8 days of exploring more than 20 european countries, 100 feature and shortfilms selected out of more than 1000 movies, more than 50.000 euros in prizes to encourage the cinematographical creation and promotion in Europe, a Panorama Section, avant-premières, Belgian short films, and Movie Docs. Of course a diverse, but convinced European jury, a very expected guest of honor, actors and directors who come to defend their film. Also on the program : debates, conferences master classes, DJ sets and of course our famous open-air screenings, free and convivial.

European Cinema stands for cultural diversity. The Brussels Film Festival encourages this. And you?  

The Brussels Film festival was created in 1974 and has followed a logical evolution following cinematographic trends and the development of the European capital.

The creation

In 1974, Brussels witnesses the creation of its 1st Film Festival , which took place from the 7th to the 13th January in the Auditorium of the Passage 44 , on the initiative of the Chambre Syndicale Belge de la Cinématographie and Dimitri Balachoff. From the next year on it was renamed the Festival International du Film de Bruxelles , being acknowledged by the Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films (FIAPF). In 1983, the festival moved to the Palace of Congress. The film market evolved, and in 1990 the festival organisation was taken over by the communication agency K Com. A new, young team, led by Christian Thomas and supervised by Paul Sterck, gave the festival its true elan. The festival from Brussels is from that moment on the only film festival in Belgium that is being supported by the Flemish and French-speaking Community.

Europe’s power of attraction
From 1993 on, the Festival started a new section, dedicated to the cinema from a European country. The Festival would go on a discovery in France, Italy, Great Britain, the Nordic countries and Greece. Two years later the festival became an association with professionals from the film world. Jo Röpcke was chairman. In this new structure the festival established a European competition, which was recognized by the FIAPF to stimulate European films of highstanding quality. With a price tag of 4 million Belgian Francs (100.000 EUR) the competition wanted to stimulate the distribution of European films across Europe. In addition to this new element the festival also presented a wide range of world productions in the Kaleidoscope of the World Film . Belgian Focus offered a window on Belgian film, the whole of Belgian productions of the past year was shown.

How it evolved
In 1998, the Festival, to celebrate its 25 years, moved to UGC Acropole and Vendôme in Brussels. The host country was Ireland that not only celebrated twenty-five years of membership to the European Union, but also twenty-five years of new Irish film. The following year, the Festival was spread across Brussels and films were shown in the fully restored Kladaradatsch! Palac e, the Grand Eldorado of UGC Brouckère , Kinepolis and The Film Archive . In 1999 Poland was host of the Festival. In 2000, a new project was launched: 15x15. Fifteen European filmmakers chose their favorite movie from their own country. In 2001, Germany was host, with a focus on new German cinema and young filmmakers. But in 2002, the Kladaradatsch! Palace closed its doors due to bankruptcy. The Festival suddenly didn’t have a location anymore and had to cancel its 29th edition.

A new wind
In 2003 the Brussels International Film Festival was taken in charge by Dominique Janne , producer of the films of Gérard Corbiau (Le Maître de Musique, Farinelli, Le Roi danse), Benoît Mariage (Les Convoyeurs attendent, Cow-Boy), Dorothée van den Berghe (Girl) and Lieven Debrauwer (Pauline & Paulette, Confituur). Benefiting from its location in the heart of the capital to promote young European cinema, the new edition of the Brussels European Film Festival focused its programming on European first and second feature films. The festival found a place in Flagey, the newly renovated building with a unique architecture. At first a winter festival, it became a spring festival, and then, from 2005 on, it was programmed during the first month of summer in order to coincide with another summer event, L'Age d'Or /Cinédécouvertes , which focused on the whole world.

A goldmine of talent
The Official Competition exclusively selected first and second feature films, presenting the top of emerging young talent. During the previous editions the Festival discovered talented filmmakers such as Joachim Lafosse (Folie privée, Ca rend heureux), Dagur Kari (Noi Albinoi, Dark Horse), Anne Feinsilber (Requiem for Billy the Kid), Srdjan Vuletic (Summer in the Golden Valley), Cristian Nemescu (California Dreamin '), Gyorgy Pálfi (Taxidermia), Barthelemy Grossmann (13m Ç), Agnes Kocsis (Fresh Air) and Kornel Mundruczó (Pleasant Days, Johanna), filmmakers that are now internationally renowned. Since 2009, the festival has associated iself with the ‘Prix LUX’, celebrating passional and quali tative cinema.

Promising future
In December 2009, Ivan Corbisier takes the lead of the Brussels Film Festival , thus following Dominique Janne as producer. Starting out as event manager in France, later journalist in Belgium, Ivan Corbisier was the director of a cultural centre and vice-manager of the cinema forum in Namur. Very involved in Belgian cinema, he collaborated with the festivals in Brussels and Namur, and has equally been a member of the Film Selection Committee. In 2005 and 2006, he assures the coordination of the Brussels Film Festival. Following this impetus, he starts a yearly tour of summer open air screenings (Une toile sous les étoiles) in 2007, followed by the successful Brussels Movie Days in September. 

The meeting of young talents and famous filmmakers
Today, the Brussels Film Festival has established its place as discoverer of young talents in the heart of the European capital. A real springboard for all filmmakers, the festival shows a vast program, reflecting the diversity and richness of European cinema.

Since his arrival at the lead of the festival from the 2010 edition, Ivan Corbisier has made important changes before allowing its real take-off. Breaking loose from the limitation of first and second features, the program opens to the entire European cinema. While staying a discoverer of talents, the Brussels Film Festival can henceforth keep track of the career of the already discovered filmmakers and invite prestigious guests, in order to give the Festival a genuine dimension on the media scene. The young talents are still in the spotlights, next to famous filmmakers.

12 national, European or world premieres. 12 long features from Europe that reflect the diversity, the richness and quality of European cinema. We try to find the most recent and most original author films, as well as new talent that needs to be discovered urgently.

The objective of this section is an overview of contemporary European cinema. You're invited to cross the continent from North to South, from East to West, 51 possible countries including the 28 of the European Union. You'll discover the treasures of the 7th Art through all its styles and genres. The creators share with you their original and pertinent view on society, let you laugh and cry or make you shiver from excitement. To make your choice easier, we divided this section into four parts.

In this section you will find the latest work of established filmmakers, European directors whose work is eagerly awaited.

Probably the names of the directors don't ring a bell, but their work is proof of talent that deserves to be followed. Perhaps they might become your favourites !

Some directors explore the language of film more than others. They experiment freely and refuse to be locked up into genres. With their unique vision they confront themes that move us or inspire us to reflect. The pure cinephiles' section.

Happy Hour
Fans of comedies, thrillers, fantasy, crime... in search for a relaxing film experience will certainly find their cup of tea in this section. We selected the latest interesting genre movies from Europe.

The most anticipated films of summer and autumn before their release.

Every evening a Belgian film or coproduction at the Place Sainte-Croix. For free.

A long varied evening in which 18 shorts of Belgian talents are screened.

Every year we pay tribute to a guest of honour showing a retrospective of his films, thanks to our collaboration with CINEMATEK, the Belgian royal film archive. Peter Greenway, Bertrand Tavernier, Alan Parker and Jacques Doillon have already been our guests.