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Brussels International Film Festival returns from 23 June-2 July

Briff film festival Brussels
11:09 19/06/2022

After two years of pandemic disruption, the Brussels International Film Festival (Briff) returns to its original midsummer slot for a fifth edition boasting a rousing and eclectic programme.

Comedic zombies, living icons of European cinema, a new generation of French directors, recently-restored hidden gems from the golden age of Italian cinema, international and national competitions, riveting documentaries and much more.

Final Cut

Festival opener is Final Cut (pictured) by Michel Hazanvicius, world-renowned for his multi award-winning movie The Artist. “It’s a comedy with a bite” points out festival co-director Céline Masset.

“It takes place on the set of a B movie horror zombie film where things get complicated when real zombies show up. Michel Hazanavicius will be here in person and we are very pleased to welcome him back as he was the festival’s guest of honour in 2019,” she says.

In a completely different register, the guest of honour for this year’s edition is peerless French actress Fanny Ardant.

“We will be celebrating her career during the festival with screenings, and in collaboration with Bozar, an evening live on stage to talk about her career,” adds Masset.

Chipping in with the homage to the actress, Cinematek will be presenting a 17-part retrospective of her films all summer.

Giorni d'amore

With the Cineteca di Bologna boasting an active digital restoration project, the Briff has assembled a programme of five lesser-known but classic Italian movies from the 1950s and 60s all about amore (including Giorni d'amore pictured).

Says Masset: “We have the great pleasure of Italian movie icon Marina Vlady’s presence in the flesh as well as on the screen as she stars in three of the films and she will join us to reminisce about that era,”.

The Italian programme includes a documentary by Pier Paolo Pasolini in which he traveled from south to north of the country, asking questions about sexuality that were taboo in 1964.

It wouldn’t be a film festival without awards so a national, international and director’s competition is lined up as well as the FIPRESCI, a prestigious international press award being awarded for the first time in Belgium. Competing for the international prize are movies from all corners of the globe.

“The directors’ competition focuses on up-and-coming European directors from France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal with a very contemporary, unique and extraordinary view of filmmaking,” adds Masset.

The popular free open-air screenings on the steps of the Mont des Arts return with three classic movies, while food trucks will be providing snacks and refreshments.

On the documentary side, subjects range from truckers, revolutionary housing from the 1960s, Belgian filmmaking and a Jewish community in 1938 Poland to life and work in the Antarctic sea and women in high finance, to name just a few.

A Thousand Years of Longing

Don’t miss an opportunity to see current sensation Everything Everywhere All at Once before it goes on general release and closing the festival with a bang is George Miller’s fantasy comedy-drama Three Thousand Years of Longing. It stars Idris Elba as a three-wish genie and Tilda Swinton as the grantee.

The festival features special activities such as a coproduction market, pitching sessions, networking sessions and workshops for film professionals as well as activities for young people, including classes, workshops and jury participation.

Briff

“There are lots of guests expected both from the movies in competition and out of competition. It’s very important to us that the festival be a convivial place where everyone, actors, directors, and the public can meet and exchange views, and that’s why we turn the Place de Brouckère into the Briff Village where everyone can meet under the big top and on its terraces to share a drink and ideas,” concludes Masset.

Brussels International Film Festival (Briff)
23 June to 2 July
UGC De Brouckère, Palace Cinema, Galleries and Bozar. Sorry! Our prize giveaway has now closed and the winners have been notified.

Written by Richard Harris