The first edition of the Brussels Independent Film Festival closed on Sunday evening with the presentation of the 'Atomium Film Awards'. The filmmakers were crowned with chocolate and thus edible figurines of the Atomium, made by chocolatier Wim Vyverman.
The prize for the best narrative feature film went to 'Bad poetry Tokyo' (Japan) by Anshul Chauhan. The debut film had it's world premiere at the festival and tells the story of a 30 year old aspiring actress who makes a living as a hostess at a shady club in Tokyo. Betrayed by her lover and her dreams crushed,broken woman leaves Tokyo for her hometown in the countryside after five years of no contact with her family. There she reconnects with an old flame but is also forced to confront some unpleasant truths about her past.
'How camels become lions' (Belgium) by Lydia Rigaux received the award for best Belgian film. "In four episodes, four members of a family tell how exhausted they are to work as a work animal. They realize that their work has no meaning and experience a spiritual emptiness ".
The prize for the best documentary feature was for 'Harm' from Hungary by director Dénes Nagy. 'Mum, I'm back' (Greece) by Dimitris Katsimiris received the prize for best narrative short film. The best documentary short film went to 'Sherry' (USA) by Eliane Lima. The best experimental film was for Alireza Keymanesh and Amir Pousti for 'Flatland' (Iran). 'SOG' by German Jonatan Schwenk finally won the prize for best animated film.
Out of more than 2,000 entries, 67 films were selected to be screened. The 39th edition of the festival started on 11 February in the Atomium with a selection of experimental films. Films were also screened in Cinema Galeries in the city center.
The Brussels Independent Film Festival found its inspiration with the Brussels International Independent Film Festival, which started in 1974 but ended in 2012. The festival focused on experimental, provocative films. Among others Pedro Almodóvar, François Ozon and Nanni Moretti were invited. "We do not have a red carpet, we do not organize fancy parties. We just want to show films and all screenings are free, with popcorn ", says organizer Kris De Meester. "That's how we want to present the more difficult films and make it accessible to a large audience."