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Enjoy two Brussels film festivals this September

21:53 24/08/2020

In a normal year, the Brussels Short Film Festival (BSFF) takes place in April/May and the Brussels International Film Festival (BRIFF) takes place in June.

But this is not a normal year. The festivals’ organisers have adapted both events to 2020’s special circumstances. Now the festivals are running concurrently, in the first half of September.

“Both festivals are together, but not exactly together,” says Céline Masset, one of the directors. The BSFF runs from 2-12 September and the BRIFF from 3-13 September.

“For the BSFF we’ve had to cut some programmes. We don’t have enough screening rooms to present all the films. Normally there are 300 films presented for the festival but unfortunately, this year it’s not possible.”

So for the BSFF, there will be a national and next-generation competition, but no international short film competition this year and no Night of the Shorts. A new event from last year will be back: the European Short Film Festival Audience Award, on the opening night. “We will be screening the five finalists for the Belgian audience which will be able to vote for the best film,” Masset says.

Returning this year are the Very Short Shorts, Short but Trash and open-air screenings. There will also be a special programme of films nominated for the Oscars. And as part of this year’s salute to Croatia, you will find two programmes of the best of Croatian animation.

For the BRIFF, the international competition is alive and well, with films from Mexico, Australia, Taiwan and Europe. Directors’ Week will be back with two competitions, seven films from established European directors and seven films from up-and-coming European directors.

Also on board is the national competition, with Flemish and French-language films, both documentaries and fiction.

The special guest of the BRIFF this year is famed Greek director Costa-Gavras who will be giving a masterclass as well as speaking about his career and work. There will be screenings of six of his films including Amen, Betrayed, Z and Adults in the Room.

Rounding out the programming there will be family fare, and special open-air screenings of Croatian and Czech films curated by Bozar as well as much-loved general-public international classics.

One of the main features of the BSFF and the BRIFF is the friendly atmosphere. Normally you would find a big top, where everyone meets everyone, where the public can meet the directors, the actors and the juries, have a drink and a bite to eat, play table football and just relax. Due to the pandemic this freewheeling atmosphere has been curtailed for this year - but there will be a smaller tent with a bar to carry on the tradition.

Sorry! Our prize giveaway has now closed and the winners have been informed.

Written by Richard Harris