Antwerp film festival sues rival Antwerp film festival


The organisers of an Antwerp film festival have filed a complaint against the organisers of a rival film festival also taking place in Antwerp next year

What’s in a name

The two organisers of the International Film Festival Antwerpen have filed a complaint against the Antwerp International Film Festival, a rival event to be organised in the city a couple of months later.

The first edition of the Antwerp International Film Festival is to take place in Antwerp in October 2020 and will celebrate “the best and most popular independent and studio films from the global film industry”, according to a statement posted to the festival’s website.

But according to a news report from Knack, there will be no Antwerp International Film Festival. The hotel where the event will supposedly take place denied that they would host a large film event in October 2020.

“As soon as we found out about the existence of a film festival with a name that suspiciously resembled ours, we looked into this and concluded [the festival] was fake,” said Ben Geysen (pictured left), one of the two International Film Festival Antwerpen organisers.

Vzw Calicot, the non-profit behind the International Film Festival Antwerpen, have now decided to file a complaint against the organisers of the Antwerp International Film Festival.

The Antwerp International Film Festival was advertised on the film festival submission platform until a couple of days ago. Filmmakers who wanted to submit a film were asked to pay fees ranging between $45 and $75, depending on the length of the entry.

The International Film Festival Antwerpen, for its part, will focus on top films, made locally or abroad, and will pay special attention to diversity in the world of cinema.

Christian De Schutter from the Flemish Audiovisual Fund told Knack that the people behind the Antwerp International Film Festival were likely looking to make a quick, fraudulent buck.

“This isn’t a new phenomenon,” De Schutter said. “These kinds of festivals are often organised in cities that already have a leading film festival in the hopes that they’ll be able to trap young filmmakers who were rejected by the established organisations.”

Photo courtesy of International Film Festival Antwerpen

Flemish cinema

Thanks to a federal tax shelter system, support from the Flemish Audiovisueel Fund and the rise of a new generation of talented filmmakers, Flemish cinema has been riding the crest of a wave since the mid-2000s with distinctly locally flavoured features that have appealed to both crowds and critics.
Loft - With more than one million viewers, Erik Van Looy’s Loft was the most successful movie ever made in Flanders.
Bullhead - In 2012, Michaël R Roskam’s directorial debut Rundskop (Bullhead) was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film.
Names - Well-known current Flemish directors include Erik Van Looy, Jan Verheyen, Michaël R Roskam, Fien Troch and Felix Van Groeningen.

in 5 movie tickets sold in Flanders is to see a Flemish movie


international festival nominations or prizes in 2012

1 462 160

people went to see a Flemish (co)production in Belgium in 2012