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  • Writer's pictureKris Meester

Obskuur Ghent Film Festival 2023 Awards Its Standout Films

The Obskuur Ghent Film Festival 2023, Europe's premier celebration of obscure cinema, concluded its week-long extravaganza last Saturday at the intimate Velvet Room theater. With an eclectic official selection comprising over fifty films from around the world spanning various genres, this year's festival was a resounding success. The organizers extend their heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated audience and special guests who made the event extraordinary, including Babak Parham, Talia Jawitz, Tobias Staab, Lino Kafidas, Mieke Daneels, and Hiroshi Wakamatsu.

Curator Kris De Meester reflected on the festival: "This year, just like the last, we witnessed an impressive turnout every night. We were truly honored to host so many talented filmmakers. The exchange of ideas and creativity was inspiring and heartwarming."


Obskuur Ghent Film Festival proudly presents the award winners of 2023, as determined by the jury members:


**Best Experimental Film:** "Motus" (Portugal) by Nelson Fernandes


**Best Narrative Film:** "Our Males and Females" (Jordan) by Ahmad Alyaseer


**Best Documentary Film:** "On Mothers and Daughters in Times of Injustice" (South Africa) by Talia Jawitz


**Best Underground Film:** "Bedroom People" (France) by Vivien Forsans


**Best Minimalistic Film:** "European Man...American Beach" (United States) by Rex Shannon


**Best Installation Film:** "Here Are Some Images" (Switzerland) by Yannick Mosimann


**Best Animated Film:** "Kiss/Crash" (United Kingdom) by Adam Cole


**Best Special Effects:** "Black Dragon" (United States) by Alexander Thompson


**Best Music Video:** "Suplex Machine - Pro-Procrastinating" (United Kingdom) by John Paul Bratt


**Best Dance Film:** "Bardo" (Germany) by Tobias Staab, Gustavo Gomes


**Best Hybrid Film:** "After a Room" (Netherlands) by Naomi Pacifique


**Best New Voice:** "Nature Attack" (Ukraine) by Erik Sémashkin


**Best Connecting Cultures Film:** "Fragments" (Iran) by Babak Parham


**Audience Award:** “Rouge” (Belgium) by Mieke Daneels


**Best Belgian Film:** "The Strait Between Us" (Belgium) by Yun Tien Chu



About Obskuur Ghent Film Festival The Obskuur Ghent Film Festival, often touted as Europe's most enigmatic film festival, serves as an island of artistic purity in the ocean of commercialism. Despite its unassuming form, the festival prioritizes screening innovative, underground, experimental, and independent movies created by both local and international emerging talents. This event seeks to position contemporary cinema and video art within the vibrant tapestry of other art forms. The festival unfolds within the cozy movie theater of the Velvet Room, a two-story eclectic art space adorned with contemporary works by acclaimed artists like Nobuyoshi Araki, Larry Clark, Ed Templeton, Per Kirkeby, Curtiz, Shepard 'Obey' Fairey, and Ravi Zupa.

Founded in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Obskuur Ghent Film Festival initially emerged as a creative response to lockdown restrictions. Initially conceived as a quarterly film and video art exhibition, the festival screened numerous films on multiple screens at the Velvet Room, offering a unique and immersive experience for the art-loving community in Ghent. Starting in 2022, the festival transitioned into an annual weeklong celebration of quality films and filmmakers.

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