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Films from six continents compete at Brussels Short Film Festival
The Grand Départ of the Tour de France will be in Brussels this July, the first time since 1958. Starting this month, the 22nd Brussels Short Film Festival (BSFF) will get us in the mood with two programmes of short films on bikes and racing.
The films from Belgium, Canada, Croatia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US come in a trio of genres - animation, documentary and fiction - and cover a myriad of subjects including how sex affects a bicycle race, stolen bikes and unicorns, the temptation to hit and run, lost love, how to get even with unpleasant tourists, talking about Eddy Merckx and talking about girls.
New at this year's festival is a programme of five short films that were followed by feature-length versions such as Neill Blomkamp’s Alive in Joburg (2005) that became District 9 (2009), giving you a new perspective on the feature film.
Also new is the European Short Film Audience Award. Ten films which won the audience award at different short film festivals in 10 different countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the UK and Ukraine) are now competing against each other. Starting in Brussels, the films will compete in each of the festivals during 2019 and the winner will be announced at the opening of the 23rd edition of the BSFF in 2020.
The ironically named Tout Va Bien! programme brings us shorts on the current ecological and social situation that are sometimes humorous and sometimes realistic.
In the international competition, out of 4,500 entries, 62 have been selected and they are from 32 countries on six continents. They are vying for six awards. In the national competition, 32 films out of 400 entries are competing for nine awards. For the Next Generation categories (student films), the competition received 1,000 entries of which 22 are in international competition, from 13 countries on three continents - and 18 are in national competition for a total of seven awards.
In the non-competitive programmes all the usual favourites are back, the Very Short Shorts (all under three minutes), the Short but Trash programme with its truly independent, funny and quirky movies to which children will not be admitted; the Night of the Shorts with its best of the crazy shorts, its battle of the programmers (decided by the applause meter), its X-rated selection, the free open air screenings at the Mont des Arts, the European Film Awards which is a round-up of all the awarded films across the continent, and the Latino program that presents awarded movies from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Chile.
There are school events, family programmes, professional networking events such as the Short Film Market and new this year is the Brussels Co-Production Forum.
And of course, there's a festive opening night that will feature the best of the best, as well as all the convivial moments for which the festival is famous, during which you can meet and converse with directors, actors and others who have come from the far corners of the world to celebrate the short film in Brussels.
Brussels Short Film Festival, 25 April-5 May
Flagey, Cinéma Vendôme, the big top on Place Sainte-Croix, Lumen, Mont des Arts and Palace
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