While we are getting ready for the 48th edition of Film Fest Ghent, we look back with pride on our rich history. From 1974 until 2020: 47 editions of Film Fest Gent history in a nutshell.
Film Fest Gent was founded in 1974 by Ben Ter Elst (Studio Skoop) and Dirk De Meyer (Universitaire Filmclub), joined by Jacques Dubrulle, and has since developed into one of Europe's most prominent film events. Every year in October, the festival presents some 80 features and 50 shorts from all over the world. A range of different film programmes are showcased, attracting over 130,000 viewers each year. With its focus on film music, the festival has its own unique place among international festivals.
Every year, the festival organises film music concerts, giving composers of film scores the platform they deserve. Trade paper Variety placed the festival in its top 50 must attend festivals of the world because of this focus on (film) music.
More than just film
Every year, the festival organises film music concerts, giving composers of film scores the platform they deserve. Previous guests include:
- Ennio Morricone ('Once Upon a Time in the West', 'Django Unchained')
- Gabriel Yared ('The Talented Mr. Ripley', 'Cold Mountain')
- Elmer Bernstein ('To Kill a Mockingbird', 'Cape Fear')
- Michael Kamen ('Band of Brothers', 'Die Hard')
- Hans Zimmer ('Inception', 'The Dark Knight')
- Harry Gregson-Williams ('Shrek' , 'Kingdom of Heaven')
- Gustavo Santaolalla ('Into the Wild', 'Brokeback Mountain')
Since 2001, Film Fest Gent has been organising he World Soundtrack Awards, which are the most prestigious soundtrack awards in the world. Each year, the best composers of film music are honoured and receive international recognition for their work.
This pioneering role has certainly had an impact. Ghent has grown into a meeting point for established and up-and-coming musical talent. Since 2004, even the European Film Academy – encouraged by Film Fest Gent – has been honouring the best European film music composers. Trade paper Variety placed the festival in its top 50 must attend festivals in the world because of this focus on (film) music. Additionally, American financial news paper The Wall Street Journal called the festival one of the five European Film Festivals with character.
Film Fest Gent will continue to keep a close watch on international film developments in order to keep organising a festival that remains as captivating as ever. A fresh, young team works hard, day after day, to accomplish this.
Yet, there is even more to Film Fest Gent! Every year, numerous international guests from all over the world travel to Ghent to present their films. Over the past few years, the festival has had the privilege to welcome world-renowned film-makers and stars such as
- Robert Altman
- Juliette Binoche
- Andy Garcia
- Aki Kaurismäki
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Melanie Griffith
- Rachid Bouchareb
- Charlotte Rampling
- Colin Farrell
- Sandra Bullock
- Viggo Mortensen