Ghent Film Festival opening night in Vooruit features Exit Through The Gift Shop

15 Sep 2010
The opening night of the Ghent Film Festival in Vooruit Arts Centre features the film debut of Banksy, the infamous (and anonymous) British street artist. Works by his hand have been sold at auctions for incredibly high prices (some over £100,000). Stars such as Christina Aguilera are known to be enthusiastic buyers of his work. But his most well known works are out on the streets, for everyone to see: satirical street art and subversive epigrams that combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. That's why he takes great effort to remain anonymous to the public at large. This film is the closest we seem to have gotten to "unmasking Banksy". But would he really want to reveal his identity?
"A film about a man who tried to make a film about me" is how the British graffiti artist Banksy himself describes his first feature. Exit Through the Gift Shop tells the incredible true story of how Thierry Guetta, an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker, attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. The film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the world's most infamous graffiti artists at work, on walls and in interviews. As Banksy describes it, it's basically the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed... Some quotes from reviews in the US, where Exit Through The Gift Shop has been launched last Summer: 'Banksy has clearly found a new canvas for his provocations. Scrutinizing the commodification of street art and the lemminglike behavior of many enthusiasts (including those who pay millions for his own work), Banksy mischievously exfoliates the next-big-thing hunger and the posers who pursue it.' (The New York Times) 'Exit Through The Gift Shop and enter the mind of Banksy' - Banksy's quixotic debut film is not only a triumph of guerrilla marketing; it's the closest the anonymous graffiti artist has come to unmasking himself.' (The Guardian) 'To tell you straight off, you're not going to see Banksy in the film. You're going to see a hooded figure, face blurred and voice disguised, that may or may not be Banksy(.) But trying to peg the identity of Banksy is of course not the point of the film. What you are going to see is a giant art world hoax surrounding amateur filmmaker, Thierry Guetta, turned amateur artist, Mister Brainwash.' (The Huffington Post) Read more on Banksy and Exit Through The Gift Shop on or Watch Banksy's Exit Through The Gift Shop Exclusive 5 min Extended Sneak Peek on YouTube (amongst a load of other videos on Banksy's work). The Vooruit Arts Centre & the Ghent Film Festival will organise a talk after the screening. Names of guests yet to be confirmed. The screening and talk are the kick-off of their 5th collaboration under the title 'Almost Cinema'. Check the full programme of performances, concerts, an exhibition on The release of 'Exit through the gift shop' in Belgium is December 2010 Distributor is BFD / A-Film.