Flanders Film Fest ups distribution cash
In view of the current crisis in (art house) distribution the Flanders International Film Festival-Ghent has drastically reviewed its awards policy. While upping total prize money by 10% to just over €81,000, the major change is that the money attached to the festival's top competition winners will entirely go to the distributors that acquire the titles and release them theatrically in the Benelux. Up until last year, competition money was split between the winning film's distributor and the director, composer or scriptwriter.
The Flanders Film fest is recognized by the IFFPA (FIAPF) as a competitive festival, focusing on 'The Impact of Music on Film', at which some 15 films compete for four prizes. The top award, the Grand Prize for Best Film, will have €25,000 attached, while the other awards will consist of €15,000 (Best Music), €12,500 (Best Script) and €5,000 (Best Director). The remaining money goes to the winners of the festival's shorts competitions (for European, Belgian and Flemish shorts) and to the winner of the FNAC-audience Award (another distribution grant of €5,000).
Also new is that the competition will be open exclusively to Benelux premieres, 70% of which have no local distributor attached at the start of the festival.
'This move is aimed at encouraging the distribution of quality film product in Belgium and the Benelux. We believe that, in the long term, having a distributor pick up and release a film is far more rewarding for a director than getting cash' says CEO Jacques Dubrulle.
Last year, prizes went to: Aki Kaurismäki for his film The Man Without A Past, Howard Shore for his score for David Cronenberg's film Spider and to Rolf de Heer for his script for The Tracker and Andreas Dresen for his film Halbe Treppe.
This year's 30th (anniversary) edition is scheduled October 7th to 18th, 2003 and will once again include the widest possible selection of films from all over the world, mainly focusing on fiction films (feature-length and short) and, to a lesser extent, to documentary (feature-length and short). Animation is also included. The festival presents films in 16, 35, 70mm and Betacam PAL SP or Digital. Betacam NTSC-tapes are not accepted. The festival presents a limited amount of (feature) video productions.
Submissions are welcome until 10 August 2003. All that is needed is a viewing tape (VHS Pal/NTSC) or a multi-region DVD before 10 August accompanied by publicity material (press book, some B/W stills, reviews, if any and a director's biography). An entry form is only needed once the festival officially invites the film. A letter stating the programme committee's decision on the film's entry for the festival programme will be sent within approximately four weeks after receipt of your tape.