After a full week of evening screenings, last Saturday marked the closing night of the 2022 edition of the Obskuur Ghent Film Festival. The eclectic official selection was screened at the cosy theatre of the Alfred's Sküll Art Gallery, and consisted of more than fifty films from all over the globe, in a wide variety of genres. The festival would like to thank everyone for coming out to enjoy these obscure gems. A big thank you also to special guests Tom Bessoir, Michael William West, Daniel Schüßler, Lara Pietjou, Tuur Oosterlinck and Nils Agdler!
Curator Kris De Meester looks back: "I feel privileged with the big turnout every night. Unfortunately we had to say no to a couple of people as the theatre was already cramped. It was also nice to welcome and meet so many talented filmmakers. It felt like a genuine exchange of ideas and creativity, very inspiring. Tom Bessoir spent the whole week with us, giving us an in-depth look on years of experience as a unique filmmaker. Also loved hearing Michael William West explain the fabrication of his own ‘dreamachine’. On the downside, the festival was the victim of an attack. The festival is open to any topic, but not everyone shares that opinion. At least that's what we've concluded from the physical attack during the 2022 edition when an anonymous person or group poured paint all over the pavement."
Obskuur Ghent Film Festival is happy to share with you today this year's award winners, as chosen by the jury members:
Best Experimental Film: The Dream Machine (France) by Michael William West
Best Narrative Film: Mamma (Norway) by Aslak Danbolt
Best Documentary Film: Trixie (Switzerland) by Bastien Genoux
Best Underground Film: The Prisoner (Poland) by Łukasz Gierańczyk, Filip Drzewiecki
Best Minimalist Film: 2020 (USA) by Tom Bessoir
Best Essay Film: Upsodown (Australia) by Nathan Ceddia
Best Installation Film: Shivering Wall (Taiwan) by Tseng Yu Chin
Best Animated Film: Scars (Canada) by Alex Anna
Best Special Effects: A Howling Dog (Netherlands) by Stijn van Gorkum
Best Music Video: Atlas (France) By Jim Vieille
Best Dance Film: Once There Was III (USA) by Nina Mcneely
Best Hybrid Film: Camping Paraíso** – About dying (Germany) by Daniel Schüßler
Best New Voice: Rebirth (Sweden) by Nils Agdler
Best Connecting Cultures Film: Beloved (Iran) by Yaser Talebi
Best Belgian Film: Under The Reefs Orchestra - Sakurajima (Belgium) by Yoann Stehr, David Delruelle
The Obskuur Ghent Film Festival is often referred to as Europe's most obscure film festival. An island oasis for art amidst a sea of commercialism. Sure, it's modest in form, as the festival mainly focuses on screening films and less on the glitter and glamour. The festival screens innovative, underground, experimental, and independent movies by aspiring local as well as international filmmakers. It places contemporary cinema and video art where they belong – within the vibrant context of other art forms. The arena that serves as the backdrop for the Obskuur Ghent Film Festival is the cozy 30 seat movie theatre of the Alfred Sküll Art Gallery, a two story eclectic art space showcasing contemporary artworks by artists like Nobuyoshi Araki, Larry Clark, Ed Templeton, Per Kirkeby, Curtiz, Shepard 'Obey' Fairey and Ravi Zupa.
Founded in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Obskuur Ghent Film Festival was originally created as a safe answer to lockdown restrictions. The festival launched as a quarterly film and video art exhibition, screening dozens of films on multiple screens at the Alfred Sküll Art Gallery. With its unique multiple walk-in screenings it was able to reach the art loving Ghent audience. From 2022 onwards, the festival continues to showcase quality films and filmmakers in the form of an annual weeklong event.