Hosted over two consecutive weekends by the volunteers of the Nova independent cinema, the programme is as eclectic as the venues. Bring some sandwiches and a hip flask or grab an organic fruit juice or an artisanal beer at the drinks tent and start the evening at 20.00 with a concert and an enthusiastic crowd before taking your place for the main feature at 22.00. Catch the doublebass rhythms of French band Fantazio on the 30th, blending elements of psycho-punk, jazz, ska, electro and rap with sharp, poetic lyrics.
Since Europe has recently been dealing with an economic downturn and banking crisis that remain invisible to most of us, the films are themed around more palpable, natural and physical threats. The starting point of South Korean director Bong Joon- Ho's monster blockbuster The Host (Gwomul) on 30 July is based on a real life incident, when in 2000 an American military base emptied toxic chemicals into the Han river in Seoul, prompting a national scandal. In The Host, the chemicals create a mutant squid monster, which carries off a teenage girl six years later. Her family thinks she is dead, until one night they receive a phone call from her mobile. But standing in the way of their efforts to find her is a paranoid government, and the ending is both surprising and unconventional.
If you can't handle subtitles, there's paranoia in English on the 31st in The Conversation by Francis Ford Coppola, a 1974 thriller starring Gene Hackman, in which a secret surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered. The film is complemented on 1 and 7 August by workshops mapping the capital's surveillance cameras during a walk through the city. They're free, but reserve your place by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The festival's second weekend takes place on 6 and 7 August at Square Lainé, a large green oasis that connects Park Duden and Vorst Park in Brussels, creating a segue between the upper bourgeois areas of Brussels with the lower industrial quarters. The original wood in the domain of Vorst Abbey was called Kruysbosch (Wood of the Cross) after a large stone cross in the Park. The abbey was dismantled after the French revolution and the Park was sold to a Muslim merchant and became known as The Muslim Wood until it changed hands again in 1869, bought by a German lace merchant, Guillame Duden whose name part of it still bears today. After the speed-jazz and wild electronic melodies of avantgarde Antwerp band Capsule on 6 August, catch the French gem Wesh Wesh, Qu'est-ce qui se Passe? with English subtitles. It's a canny, touching exposé of a modern French ghetto, passing between fiction and documentary to tell the tale of Kamel, played by the director Rabah Ameur-Zaïmèche, who returns to the rough suburbs of Paris after two years in jail.
But that's not all. Pull on your head for French subtitling at the Gésu Klooster convent on Wednesday 4 and 11 August, where there'll be screenings and debates on asylum seeking and t-shirt printing workshop by Brussels NGO group No Border. And if you miss any of the bands at 20.00, don't worry, they'll also play at midnight after the main films.