What’s on: Travel the world at Mooov film festival


The question this week is not if you will attend a festival, but which one. Or there’s a sing-along

Mooov Film Festival

Imagine you are a young unmarried woman seeking an abortion in Iran. Or you’re a Japanese defence lawyer who has no idea if his client is a heinous murderer or not. Or you’re a teenager in Norway sent to your parents Pakistani homeland after breaking an unspoken moral code.

These are the kinds of questions the annual Mooov Film Festival throws at you in its programme of movies with social relevance. Those three examples – Disappearance, The Third Murder (pictured) and What Will People Say – are all very good options, but there are many more on the extensive programme. Based in Turnhout and Bruges, the festival also has screenings in smaller cities across Flanders. Until 30 April, across Flanders

Festival van Vlaanderen: Mechelen & Kortrijk

The only festival organised by every Flemish province and Brussels, each with its own special flavour, is overlapping this month in Mechelen and Kortrijk. The scope and innovation of the months-long Festival of Flanders make it seem as though cities are trying to out-do each other. Forget whatever “classical and new music” means to you and just dive in to Mechelen’s Lunalia (“timeless music with the power of the full moon”) or Kortrijk’s Music in the Air (the second in a five year programming arc with an elements theme).

Highlights include Kortrijk’s Night Air, in which Patricia Vanneste of Flemish rock band Balthazar invites some of her favourite musicians for a night of “new classical”, and Mechelen’s Saturday opening celebration, with an eclectic programme of short concerts in multiple locations. Until 28 April, across Kortrijk; until 6 May across Mechelen

Gelukkig zijn sessions

It’s a sing-along! Gelukkig zijn (To Be Happy) was a massive hit musical that sold out cultural centres across Flanders and Brussels a couple of years ago. It was staged by Theater van A tot Z, which produces shows in easy-to-understand Dutch for those who haven’t quite mastered the language. Gelukkig zijn’s popularity among Flemings and newcomers alike surprised even the enthusiastic crowd of foreigners who starred in the show – a musical that had them singing Flemish traditionals like pros. Ancienne Belgique is now hosting the Gelukkig zijn Sessions, a series of sing-alongs featuring songs from the show. 25 April, 16 May & 13 June, Ancienne Belgique, Anspachlaan 110