24e Internationaal Filmfestival van Vlaanderen-Gent 1997
The focus during this edition is on three former socialist regions: the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. In this way, the festival wants to highlight the new generation of filmmakers who want to bring the film industry from these countries back to fruition after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The retrospective section 'The Memory of Film' focuses on film and repression and therefore shows a series of films that provoked controversy during their release and gave rise to heated debates about the need for censorship.
In 1997 and 1998, the Museum of Fine Arts of Ghent celebrates a double anniversary: the 'Vrienden van het Museum' celebrate one hundred years and the museum itself celebrates two hundred years. Therefore, the museum organises an exhibition 'Brussels-Paris' in which they confront French and Belgian art. The International Film Festival is planning a special programme dedicated to this theme. Classic feature films that touch on this theme as well as art films and documentaries produced especially for the exhibition are shown.
There are once again many foreign guests at the festival: Italian actress Gina Lollobrigada sits on the jury for the competition 'The Impact of Music on Film' and also wins the Joseph Plateau Honorary Award together with American director Sydney Pollack and British producer David Puttnam. This year is also the first time the FIPRESCI press prize is awarded. The winner is chosen by a jury of professional film critics and journalists at international film festivals or film festivals of particular significance. The aim is to promote film art and encourage new films. Funny Games by Michael Haneke wins and the director is there to accept the award.