What’s on: Jef film festival caters to kids


The festival dedicated to movies for children and young people takes over Flanders’ cinemas this week, while a concert in which the percussion is water and Brussels’ chocolate salon are also at the top of our agenda this week

Jef Festival

Flanders’ big film festival for kids is back. Films are programmed for all ages, from the tiny tykes up to 16+. There are competitions with juries made up of children and teens, and many workshops teach kids all kinds of movie-making techniques, from creating animation to video mapping to a visit to a production studio.

In terms of movies, many good options await, and there are many languages to choose from, as well as some without dialogue. A couple of our tops choices: Skate Kitchen, about a clique of skateboarding girls in New York (pictured), and the animated Terra Willy, in which a boy and his robot accidentally land on a deserted planet, and when the robot’s battery runs out, Willy must figure out how to get them both home. The Jef Festival hub is in Antwerp, but there are festival sites in Ghent, Bruges, Leuven, Kortrijk and Roeselare. 15 February to 1 March, across Flanders

Water Concerto

The sounds of water – from babbling brooks to roaring oceans – has always been a source of inspiration for composers. But Tan Dun takes it one step further: The percussion is water. Drums are filled with water, which becomes an instrument in and of itself as well as gives a unique sound to submerged objects. The Chinese composer’s music is playful, and he conducts the concert himself. It’s a feast for both eyes and ears. Tickets are flying out the door. 15 February 20.00, Queen Elisabeth Hall, Koningin Astridplein 26, Antwerp

Any Solution is Good for an Answer

Flemish artist Tim Volckaert does not place figures in landscapes, he creates landscapes from figures. The pieces in this exhibition look at humans beings’ love-hate relationship with their environments. The work could be described as soft and poetic, but it belies a sharp vision in which everyday realities are exposed as being fraught with dualities. 16 February to 26 April, CC Mechelen, Minderbroedersgang 5, Mechelen


Even serious chocoholics will get their fill at the Chocoladesalon, a massive fair dedicated to one of the things Belgium does best (the other is beer). You will see demonstrations by the country’s top chocolatiers and pastry chefs, you will ogle dresses make of chocolate during a fashion show, you will learn how to pair beer and chocolate (because beer is the other one) and you will taste and buy endless – and we do mean endless – varieties. If you like chocolate, like at all, go. 14-16 February, Tour & Taxis, Havenlaan 86, Brussels