US author and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis has been named president of the international jury of the 41st Film Fest Gent (14 to 25 October).
In 1985, at the age of twenty-one, Ellis conquered the world with his first novel Less Than Zero. He consistently retained his cult status with The Rules of Attraction, the controversial and acclaimed American Psycho and The Informers. The novels all received film adaptations after being released.
Since finishing his last novel Imperial Bedrooms, which was a sequel of sorts to Less Than Zero, he has been focusing on screenplays. He wrote and coproduced The Canyons by Paul Schrader, starring Lindsey Lohan. The film was screened at the last edition of Film Fest Gent, which then had its focus on American Independent Cinema.
Patrick Duynslaegher, artistic director of Film Fest Gent, on choosing Ellis as president of the jury: "Bret Easton Ellis is not only one of the most important and influential contemporary American writers, he’s also a real film buff who apparently devours movies daily and is open to all kinds of cinema from European art house to Hollywood blockbusters. He has a substantiated opinion on everything he sees and doesn’t hesitate to take contrarian and provocative point of views. This is what makes him an ideal president of the festival jury."
The official competition is an important segment of the festival. The international jury will honour features with the award for Best Film and the Georges Delrue award for Best Soundtrack. In the past, international guests in the jury of the festival have been: Jeanne Moreau, Mike Figgis, Christoper Lee, Michael Haneke and Jessica Woodworth. Previously the following films have been awarded for Best Film: The Selfish Giant, Tabu, Elena and Die Fremde.
Film Fest Gent is looking forward to host the established European film event for the 41st time with international guests and premieres, film music concerts and the 14th edition of the World Soundtrack Awards. More news and additional names of jurors will be announced soon.
Photo © Michael Crook