The BIFFF turns 35 – and looks “bloody” good for it
by Aurore Engelen
- The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival will be celebrating its 35th edition loud and proud, boasting a plethora of prestigious guests and ever more horrible films
The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) has carved out a niche for itself as the unmissable rendezvous for any self-respecting genre film buff in Belgium. The list of leading figures who have attended the last 35 editions is enough to make any film fan howl with desire, whatever his or her preferred genre may be: Dario Argento, Wes Craven, Peter Jackson, Luc Besson, William Friedkin, Terry Gilliam, John Landis, Shynia Tsukamoto... The list is endless. This year, the BIFFF has allowed itself the luxury of inviting a top-drawer guest in the guise of Korean director Park Chan-Wook, who will be officially admitted into the Order of the Knights of the Raven (something of a local tradition).
As every year, the gathering will offer myriad films and competitions, including the one for the Silver Méliès, the winner of which gets the chance to take part in the competition for the Golden Méliès, an accolade that serves to reward the year’s best European fantastic film. The programme of this selection will whisk us away on a grand tour of European fantastic film, with movies hailing from Albania, the UK, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Germany and Denmark, as well as Russia and Turkey.
While the International Competition is once again largely dominated by Asian titles, we can nevertheless unearth a handful of European films, such as A Dark Song [+see also:
film profile] by Liam Gavin (Ireland), The Limehouse Golem by Juan Carlos Medina (UK) and the Russian film Attraction by Fedor Bondarchouk.
The fantastic brand of cinema may not be the most popular style in Belgian cinema, but this year we nevertheless find a sheer masterpiece of the genre at the festival, in the form of Mon Ange [+see also:
film profile] by Harry Cleven, co-written with Thomas Gunzig (who also co-penned The Brand New Testament [+see also:
interview: Jaco van Dormael
film profile]), and co-produced by Jaco Van Dormael, which will be unveiled in the Panorama section. We should also point out that the gathering will organise a master class with Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz (The Ordeal [+see also:
film profile], Vinyan [+see also:
film profile], Alleluia [+see also:
interview: Fabrice Du Welz
film profile]...), who will come to discuss his art and his love of genre film.
(Translated from French)