Feb 14, 2023 - This past weekend marked the closing of yet another successful edition of the Brussels Independent Film Festival. Over the course of 8 days, the festival screened more than 60 feature and short films from 25 countries in the heart of Brussels, at Cinema Galeries and Cinema RITCS. In an added effort to celebrate and connect the Brussels film scene, the festival also partnered up with two of the capital's cultural fixtures this year. The Brussels Independent Film Festival is an official partner for the exhibition 'Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Oriana' (which is running at Argos until 7 May), and supported several screenings at Cinematek as part of a 'tribute to the masters of independent cinema'. Festival director Kris De Meester looks back at this year's run with satisfaction: “Every year the Brussels Independent Film Festival proves to be truly a fest for cinema lovers. I've met so many talented people who presented challenging gems of all sorts. And the audience loved it, what an amazing turnout.”
“I was also very happy to see a representative of the Eurogroup for Animals turn up to collect the award for best animated film," De Meester continues, "taking the opportunity to share their message with our audience. In fact, we were pleased to welcome a number of special guests this year, filmmakers, actors and crew members of the official selection. A warm thank you to Tomas Smulkis, Paul Pirritano, Kate Voet, Jannes Callens, Stefan Gota, Isidor Ilic, Luna Brusselaers, Louise Bailly, Yohan Guignard, Michael Abay, Michael William West and his crew, Agnese Marcon, Fiona Chen, and Misha Van der Werf.”
To crown the 2023 edition, the Atomium Film Awards took place at Cinema Galeries on Saturday 11 February. Eight films were awarded with edible medallion awards, made out of Belgian chocolate by 'Gault & Millau Finest Chocolatier' Wim Vyverman. The jury panel chose the following films as this year's winners:
Best Narrative Feature Film:
A Perfect Day For Caribou (USA) by Jeff Rutherford
Best Narrative Short Film:
The Tears Of Things (Belgium) by Kate Voet
Best Documentary Feature Film:
Chaylla (France) by Clara Teper and Paul Pirritano
Best Documentary Short Film:
The Mechanics Of Fluids (France) by Gala Hernández López
Best Animated Film:
World's Best Animal Welfare (Sweden) by Robin Jonsson
Best Experimental Film:
The Dream Machine (France) by Michael William West
Best Music Video:
Secant (USA) by Timothy David Orme
Best Belgian Film:
Dor (Longing) (Belgium) by Jannes Callens
Congratulations to all!
Last but not least, the Brussels Independent Film Festival wishes to say a special thank you to Cinema Galeries, Cinema RITCS, Cinematek, Argos centre for audiovisual arts, Wim Vyverman, The Bigger Screen, Tree Plan, and Whush, for their contributions in creating this wonderful event.
ABOUT THE BRUSSELS INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
The Brussels Independent Film Festival found its inspiration with the Brussels International Independent Film Festival, which started in 1974 but ended in 2012. The festival focused on experimental, provocative films and hosted many noteworthy filmmakers, such as Pedro Almodóvar, François Ozon, and Nanni Moretti amongst others. Inspired by that original movement, the revived Brussels Independent Film Festival continues to emphasize lesser known, vanguard cinematic works and further its tradition of galvanizing budding talent. Most importantly, the Brussels Independent Film Festival creates a space for unique visionaries and voices. True to its history, the festival screens films of both novices and veterans —with medium and low budgets— from all over the globe. The festival’s goal is to create a warm, open atmosphere in which filmmakers, fans, critics, and producers can watch the films of emerging talents, explore new cinematic techniques and styles, and award cinematic excellence.