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Film Fest Gent opens Tuesday night

Despite the public health emergency, tonight is the opening night of Film Fest Gent, the Ghent film festival that is marking its 47th edition. Putting on a festival that you could attend in person is quite an organisational feat and rising corona figures are keeping up the pressure at an event that runs until 24 October, but film fans and some stars are present.

Marijke Vandebuerie, general director of the Fest, says the thought of cancelling never crossed her mind: “We changed the scenarios to make it corona-secure, but the film industry and film fans are counting on us.”

Only half the number of tickets are being sold. Screenings are limited to 200 people: “They are free to choose their own seat and must keep a seat free between bubbles.  Wearing a face covering is obligatory” says Marijke.

So far around 80% of tickets have been snapped up.

Thomas Vinterberg’s ‘Drunk’ is the opening movie, but the Danish film director won’t be present. One star who will be present is America’s Viggo Mortensen, who will introduce the movie “Falling”. 

For a first time the festival is also allowing you to watch around half the programming, some 60 movies, online. Some films are only available on the day of their screening in Ghent.  For more information as well as interviews with filmmakers log onto

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