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First Edition Of The Ghent International Short Film Festival, An Instant Hit

Ghent, 28 March 2023 - Past week marked the inaugural edition of the Ghent International Short Film Festival, a new annual event that showcases independent cinema from Belgium and around the globe. The festival welcomes all genres, and even hosted a special “kids at the cinema” screening which included childproof films from the official selection as well as a few animated shorts by young students of Ghent's Fine Arts Academy.

Festival director and curator Kris De Meester comments: “What initially seemed like a modest, but creditable first edition eventually turned into a series of extremely well-attended events where the audience and the filmmakers found each other. Almost full houses the whole week, even some sessions where people had to sit on the floor, I honestly didn't expect this. Apart from a few posts via social media, there was no advertising and we were still able to achieve such a result. It shows that there is a need for more short film programs in Ghent.” He adds: “I am also glad that we were able to set this up without a penny of government funding. No fancy parties, no red carpet, no artistic concessions. A minimal carbon footprint which we also compensated by planting 300 trees via Can't wait for the second edition.”

Cherrypicked out of almost a thousand submissions, this year's eclectic selection consisted of 53 Belgian and international independent shorts. The jury panel chose to award the following films as winners of the 2023 edition:

Best Film

Domar (France) by Alcibiade Cohen

Best Narrative Film

Inherent (Denmark) by Nicolai G.H. Johansen

Best Documentary Film

Before Pandemic and War, There Were Bed Bugs and Love! (Lithuania) by Nuruzzaman Khan

Best Experimental Film

Artifacts Of You, Artifacts Of Me (Belgium) by Brecht De Cock

Best Essay Film

Skin Pleasure (Belgium) by TRIPOT (Marius Packbier & Aïlien Reyns)

Best Underground Film

Desert Prostitute (USA) by Olivia Jean Allbritton

Best Animated Film

The Awakening of the Insects (France) by Stephanie Lansaque, Francois Leroy

Best ‘Kids’ Film

Elevator Alone (Greece) by Anastasia Papadopoulou

Best Music Video

For All We Know (Germany) by Yann les Jours

Best Connecting Cultures Film

Für Lilith / ლილიტს (Georgia) by Mariam Elene Gomelauri

Best Super Short Film

The Veil (Belgium) by Maxime Coton

Best Dance Film

Bounds (Israel) by Mor J Mizrachi

Best Belgian Film

The Path of a Memory (Belgium) by Katerina Indesteege

Best Ghent Film

King of the World (Belgium) by Ron Chiers

Ghent International Short Film Festival congratulates all participating filmmakers, and would like to thank Studio Skoop and Alfred Sküll Art Gallery for their amazing support in creating this first edition.


Ghent International Short Film Festival recognizes the important role short films have in cinema, storytelling, and culture. The festival discovers, supports and develops new talent in filmmaking, providing a platform for emerging and established filmmakers from around the world. The Ghent International Short Film Festival is a new annual event that aims to screen up to 100 short films. Connecting industry and audiences, the festival celebrates the creativity, diversity and impact of short film.


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