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'We're still having fun': Brussels Short Film Festival celebrates 20 years

Apr 23, 2017
A staggering 4,000 films were submitted for this year's festival, which includes free outdoor screenings, workshops and parties

The Brussels Short Film Festival is pulling out all the stops to celebrate its 20th year, with more than 300 films to enjoy as well as parties, freebies, workshops, all night sessions and more.

As the years have gone by and the BSFF has gained respect - attracting 300,000 spectators in total - the number of submissions has risen to staggering heights. Of the 4,000 films submitted from 94 countries this year, 58 from 30 countries will be presented in the international competition. In the Next Generation competition, 1,000 were submitted and 18 international and 22 national films will be screened. In the national competition, 410 films were submitted and 36 will be screened.

"We organised the first edition of the festival when we were students," says festival co-founder Céline Masset. "Now, 20 years later, we're still having fun - which is very important - and we have the satisfaction of having helped the careers of many talented people and knowing that we will continue to give exposure to emerging talents.

"Viewing thousands of films to select the competing ones is hard work and takes a lot of people. The national submission this year is very impressive, with 410 films it is proportionally greater than French production, and these are very good films, they are not something you throw together with a friend and a cellphone on a lazy afternoon. I think that some of these filmmakers will become major talents in the coming years."

With the festival having rewarded the first efforts of people like Bouli Lanners, Abel and Gordon, Cécile de France, Omar Sy and Fabrice du Welz among others, this year's edition presents a Best of retrospective of 20 years of winners.

In total, 200 films out of competition will be screened including the above-mentioned retrospective and some very short shorts (all under three minutes long), a major focus on British films (humour and animation), a Trashy programme, Latino, Oscar nominees, European Film Awards winners and much more.

There will be four free screenings presented outdoors on the Mont des Arts, family-friendly screenings (aimed at four different age groups), workshops for children (narration, review writing, web reporting) and for adults (sound recording, script competition and pitching). Plus there is the ever-popular Night of Shorts which this year will involve concurrent parties so that participants can take a break from the all-night screening to dance or relax. Speaking of parties, there is the opening bash, the closing bash and the Festival's Party.

"Very importantly for our directors, producers and actors we have a Short Film Market," says Masset. "TV buyers are coming from all over Europe as well as agents from various festivals: Cannes Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, The Locarno Festival, the Angers Festival which is a very important festival for first films and the Clermont-Ferrand Festival, the biggest short film festival in the world."

27 April-7 May, various venues around Brussels

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