7e Internationaal Filmgebeuren Gent 1980
One big novelty in the 1980 Ghent Film Festival was the introduction of a competition, with the following 13 films: Black Jack, Between Heaven and Hell, The Mirror, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, David, Butterfly Murders, Raining in the Mountain, The Chess Players, Los Ojos Vendados, Five Evenings, Wise Blood, The Europeans and the first surprise film. This surprise film is 'Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald' and is presented in person by one of the first international film guests that attended Ghent: the Austrian-Swiss actor and director Maximilian Schell.
The opening film of the festival is Movie Movie by Stanley Donen. The opening performance is played by l'Orchestre du Musée des Anomalies, the closing performance by the Ethereal String Ensemble Parisiana.
The festival is operating entirely as a non-profit organisation for the first time that year. "The spectators will not notice much of this because this film event can proudly rely on the experience of its pioneers - Ben Ter Elst and Dirk De Meyer," says secretary-general Jacques Dubrulle in his preface of the 1980 programme guide. Financial support comes from the Ministry of Nederlandse Kultuur of the City of Ghent as well as from a number of commercial players, such as hotel chain Holiday Inn and the Generale Bank. In that year, the Filmgebeuren also launches a 'Membership' formula, for "anyone with any interest in cinema". The membership fee is 500 Belgian francs (about 12 euros). For that, the film audience gets, among other things, a membership card, the programme brochure delivered to their homes, a ticket for the opening screening at Cinema Capitole and reductions on film tickets.