44th Film Fest Gent

Yes, it’s October again…


Wednesday 11 October


“An intriguingly structured, multilayered road movie in which an ordinary working-class dude looks back over a nation-wandering decade of his life, this second collaboration by the writer-directors is a cumulatively engrossing and ultimately very moving work of clear-eyed political intent.” (The Hollywood Reporter)

Thursday 12 October

You Were Never Really Here

“Ramsay’s portrait of a damaged private contractor is both daring and sickening, bringing to mind ‘Taxi Driver’ and its notorious antihero.” (The Guardian). “The cuts are so sharp and subliminal that the audience races to keep up with the mystery unfurling inside the head of a killer played by Joaquin Phoenix.” (The Times)

Friday 13 October

Beach Rats

“Hittman’s follow-up to ‘It Felt Like Love’ shows evidence of a true artistic vision coming together. Two movies into a promising career, she has already developed a significant vision of restless urban youth troubled by their emerging sexuality and a society that hinders their development.” (IndieWire)

Saturday 14 October

Italian Shorts

In order to offer visitors to the festival a broad view of current Italian cinema, Film Fest Gent has selected six non-competing short films. Films by upcoming talent as well as by veteran Marco Bellocchio (‘I pugni in tasca’, ‘Nel nome del padre’).


A loving couple spends a century together, while trends, objects and films slowly drift into horror. They will be obsessed with octagonal knobs of coffee pots and anonymous design all of their life. They will age and slowly lose their strength, but they will never lose clarity of thought excluding the outer world, darkening and shuttering their house and withdrawing into themselves, leafing through old encyclopedias about extinct animals.


‘Framed’ is a noir animated short film, which investigates the role of the individual in society. In an anonymous police station, F.K. asks the law for help in an attempt to report the abuses he has been through: his birth, his formation, his forced work. He will end up stuck in an endless nightmare.

Il silenzio

Fatma and her mother are Kurdish refugees in Italy. During their visit to the doctor, Fatma has to translate what the doctor tells her mother, but the girl keeps silent about one thing.

Mon amour mon ami

Daniela and Fouad live in Gubbio, on the Umbria hills, but they both come from the sea. She is from Bari and he is from Casablanca. Their bodies bare the signs of a tough life and a severe dependence from alcohol. They met by chance and started to take care of each other, growing a profound and healing bond. Fouad moved to Daniela’s place and they shared the same roof for two years. Now that Fouad needs a residency permit, in order to get access to the health assistance he needs, he proposes to Daniela. She seems fine with the idea but just a few days before the wedding, the ambiguity of Fouad’s feelings starts worrying her. Is it possible to stage a wedding with someone who really loves you?

Per una rosa

Elena, a young girl just turned eighteen, is on her first day at work in a bar in the small Apennine town of Bobbio. It’s summer and the bar is very busy. Elena has to do with various local people, all of whom have something to tell, either in words or just through their gestures and behavior. Personalities, some bizarre, who represent the thousand different facets of the human soul.


Rocio is twenty years old and has been detained in an identification and expulsion center in Rome, pending deportation to her country of origin. During her detention Rocio has become pregnant, but she is unwilling to reveal how or with whom this has happened, preferring to remain silent. By law, pregnant women cannot be detained. So Rocio is released, four months into her pregnancy and with a temporary permit of stay on maternity grounds. Now she is free, but must also go ahead with an unwanted pregnancy.

Sicilian Ghost Story

“Thanks to its sophisticated and visionary direction – which nods to Tim Burton, David Lynch and Peter Weir – and the compactness of the photography by Luca Bigazzi, ‘Sicilian Ghost Story’ is a fascinating and staggering film, giving us an original visual angle on one of the many atrocious crimes of the Sicilian mafia.” (Cineuropa)

Sunday 15 October


A tender study of two children yearning to find their place. “‘Wonderstruck’ is nothing if not a Todd Haynes movie. And it’s an exquisite one. After ‘Carol’, Haynes returns with an immaculately crafted fable about the ways in which people of all ages learn to break out of their bodies and connect with the world.” (IndieWire)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

“The rich vein of unsettling darkness and psychological unease that ripples like a treacherous underground stream beneath the absurdist humour of Yorgos Lanthimos’ work becomes a brooding requiem of domestic horror in his masterfully realised fifth feature, ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’. Reaching back to classical Greek tragedy, this hypnotic tale of guilt and retribution provides an even more riveting role for Colin Farrell after his collaboration on ‘The Lobster’. He’s flanked by a never-better Nicole Kidman and a performance of chilling effectiveness from emerging Irish talent Barry Keoghan in a thriller that frequently invites comparison to vintage Polanski.” (The Hollywood Reporter)

Monday 16 October


“Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet returns with a drama that throws together disparate aspiring writers in a film that suggests debate can be as exciting as action. Deft handheld camerawork by Pierre Milon (‘Entre les murs’) captures the jostling tensions between a group of antsy teenagers, and the teacher who guides them.” (The Guardian)

Tuesday 17 October

A Man of Integrity

Reza leads a simple life with his wife and son in northern Iran. He puts all his energy into the family business: a goldfish farm. But he begins to feel the growing power of a rapacious private enterprise that forces him to give up his land. “An uncompromising drama from one of Iran’s most outspoken directors.” (The Hollywood Reporter) “A satisfyingly gritty addition to Iran’s tradition of humanist cinema.” (Screen International) “‘A Man of Integrity’ is a tense, enraging drama about corruption and injustice, set in a small village. Rasoulof’s fine screenplay resembles a classic tragedy as he examines what defines a human being in a society that has lost its moral centre.” (Variety)

Wednesday 18 October

Call Me By Your Name

The new feature film from ‘A Bigger Splash’ filmmaker Luca Guadagnino chronicles a summer romance between a young boy and a visitor in Northern Italy. “A beguiling tale of first love.” (Variety) “Guadagnino likes to show off his homeland as a place of sensual self-discovery. But he’s never mounted the total swirl of sultry weather, budding libidos and teenage confusion that marks his new drama, ‘Call Me by Your Name’, a triumphant, heartbreaking tale of coming out based on André Aciman’s acclaimed 2007 novel. Sweet and salty, his movie burns like a sun tan.” (Time Out NY) “Reminiscent of the best of Éric Rohmer, Bernardo Bertolucci and André Téchiné, this is a masterful work.” (The Guardian)

The Fixer

“Radu, an aspiring Romanian journalist working as a go-between for a foreign outlet finds himself on ethically questionable turf as he pursues access to a local girl rescued from an international sex-trafficking ring. Claudia and Adrian Silisteanu’s astute screenplay unfolds with few predictable notes, providing some striking sequences. Adrian Sitaru’s fourth theatrical feature is finely judged in its naturalistic portrayal of a fast-moving narrative that feels almost random as it proceeds, yet inevitable at its close. The packaging is first-rate, with the docudrama feel underlined by both fine widescreen imagery by DOP Adrian Silisteanu and a lack of musical scoring.” (Variety)

Thursday 19 October

La nuit où j’ai nagé

Snow covered mountains in Japan. Every night, a fisherman makes his way to the market in town. His 6 year old son is awoken by his departure and finds it impossible to fall back to sleep. In the sleeping household, the young boy draws a picture he then slips into his satchel. On his way to school, still drowsy, he strays off the path and wanders into the snow…

“For his third feature, young French filmmaker Damien Manivel (‘Le parc’) has chosen to team up with Japan’s Kohei Igarashi on directing duties. Written by the pair of directors, the story is set in the snow-covered mountains in Japan. Every night, a fisherman makes his way to the market in town. His six-year-old son is awoken by his departure and finds it impossible to go back to sleep. In the sleeping household, the young boy draws a picture that he then slips into his satchel. On his way to school, still drowsy, he strays off the path and wanders into the snow. Manivel & Igarashi: ‘We have attempted to narrate this complex feeling of love and distance through Takara’s footsteps.'” (Cineuropa)

Friday 20 October

Follow V

FollowGent, a collaborative feature film project that allows new talent to emerge, presents ‘Eyüp’. The film, taking place in the city of Ghent, is driven by the Turkish community in Ghent.

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