Founded in 1995 as an excuse to showcase the founders’ own student shorts, the now EFA-, BAFTA- & Oscar-qualifying festival hasn’t lost its initial goal, always putting young, emerging film talent front and center. Taking place around the first weekend of December, the usually cold Belgian weather is easily countered by the many opportunities for filmmakers—both local and European—and their audiences to meet and mingle.
The Leuven Short Film Festival team is housed by Fonk vzw, an association also helming the year-round programme at Cinema Zed (Leuven’s prime arthouse cinema venue), the documentary festival Docville and the short film and documentary distribution company Dalton Distribution—among many other initiatives, actually. Fonk’s love for cinema knows no boundaries: the festival features large Flemish and European competitions, showcasing the best fiction shorts of said regions. Other highlights include animation and experimental filmmaking from all over the globe presented in side programmes, alongside an artist and European country focus.
With its HQ at the Art Center STUK, all festival venues are gathered within a radius of 500 metres, providing a cosy and homely atmosphere for visitors. STUK’s central square has proven to be an excellent site for many different occasions: in recent years, you could find a Finnish sauna and extra large gaming arcade there—reflecting the Country In Focus or festival theme, respectively.
The festival also hosts the distribution of the Flemish Audiovisual Fund Wildcards, considered the biggest monetary film prizes for student films in the Flemish region, making Leuven’s award ceremony a much anticipated (and often quite emotional) event for Flemish film students.
Text by Niels Putman
The Birthday Party by Francesco Sossai
Daydreaming So Vividly About Our Spanish Holidays by Christian Avilés
Cul-de-Sac by Mário Macedo Vanja Vascarac
Loading Love by Viktor Granö
Land der Berge by Olga Kosanović
All Gucci My Broski by Harry Plowden
Je veux déguster by Léo-Antonin Lutinier
Square the Circle by Hanna Hovitie
All Inclusive by Corina Schwingruber Ilić
Provence by Kato De Boeck
Tungrus by Rishi Chandna
Operation Jane Walk by Robin Klengel Leonard Müllner
Elvis: Strung Out by Mark Oliver
Perpetual Night by Pedro Peralta