/1994 - 2003/history
De Filmplaneet in Ghent founded the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival in 1994, to focus explicitly on documentary films. The festival was the joint effort of Walter Vander Cruysse (owner of Studio Skoop) and curator Cis Bierinckx, who worked together to screen cutting-edge selections of documentaries each year for almost a decade.
Bierinckx has been active in the arts and culture field since 1967, often working on film and audiovisual projects, and still works as an independent multidisciplinary art curator today. His impressive resume features innovational arts organizations, festivals and theaters in Belgium and around the globe, such as Beursschouwburg (Brussels), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Salzburger Festspiele (Salzburg) and many more.
During its original nine year run, the festival has become a respected international festival and was renowned for its strong, qualitative and independent film selection. Highlights were Frederic Wiseman's 'Domestic Violence', which had it’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, and the focus dedicated to the work of American documentary filmmaker Alan Berliner, who presented his latest film personally.
The festival has hosted many noteworthy filmmakers, such as Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter), the father of Direct Cinema; Peter Entell, who introduced his film Rolling and won Viewpoint's Canvas prize in 1998; or Steve James with Hoop Dreams (1994). Other notable guests included Sergeï Dvortsevoy, Heddy Honigman, Kim Longinotto, Michael Glawogger, Hans Van Den Broeck, Monteith McCollum, Gabriel Noble, Deborah Hoffmann, Frances Reid and Thom Vander Beken.
In association with S.M.A.K. it also hosted Harmony Korine's photo series ‘Milk Chicken Review’ and ‘Coke Head Swingers’ and the video installation ‘The Diary of Anna Frank. Part II’.
Unfortunately, in its original incarnation, the festival came to an end in 2003.