Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival is an annual, weeklong event that has highlighted documentary talent for over a decade.
The Filmplaneet in Ghent founded the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival in 1994, to focus explicitly on documentary films.
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.
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’. The festival has hosted many noteworthy filmmakers: Peter Entell, Albert Maysles, Sergeï Dvortsevoy, Steve James, Heddy Honigman, Kim Longinotto, Michael Glawogger, Hans Van Den Broeck, Monteith McCollum, Gabriel Noble, Deborah Hoffmann, Frances Reid, Thom Vander Beken. Unfortunately, in its original incarnation, the festival came to an end in 2003.
Inspired by that original movement, the revived Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival, continues to emphasize lesser known, vanguard documentary works and further its tradition of galvanizing budding talent.
Most importantly, the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival creates a space for unique visionaries and voices. True to its history, the festival will screen films of both novices and veterans—with medium and low budgets—from all over the globe. The festival’s goal is to create a warm, open atmosphere in which filmmakers, fans, critics, and producers can watch the films of emerging talents, explore new cinematic techniques and styles, and award cinematic excellence.
The Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival will create an intimate atmosphere in which to revel in the beauty and wonder of the cinema with like-minded cineastes from all over the globe.
Since 2020, the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival has partnered with Doc.World, a new global network of Documentary Film Festivals, with festivals in London, Berlin, Sydney, Ghent and Boston. As a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts, these documentary festivals will bring diverse international films to our community and showcase the best regional and international filmmakers. Take a look at Doc.Berlin, Doc.London, Doc.Sydney, and Doc.Boston.
‘Off On’ Selection
As of 2023 our festival will enter an exciting new phase in its existence. Next to our physical screenings we’ll also be screening online with the special OFF ON SELECTION. The OFF ON Selection will go online one week prior to the opening of the physical part of the festival and will stay online until the last day of the festival. Viewers will be able to watch, but not download your film. If needed we can geo-block your film to our region.
We’re open to any genre (narrative, web series, made for tv, documentary, experimental …) and especially any duration (which is always an issue for the physical part of the festival). Selected filmmakers will receive all official selection perks (The Tarkovski Grant …) and are in the running for any of the award titles. When you submit your film for consideration to both a physical section and the Off On Selection it is possible to be selected for both, but this is of course not guaranteed. Filmmakers that submit their film only to any of the other sections (so any other than the Off On Selection) will not be selected for an online screening.
Find out all about the previous editions of the Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival:
/proud partner of The Bigger Screen
Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival is supported by The Bigger Screen, an organization that aims to make film as an art form more accessible and more inclusive.
Supporting Film Festivals: Film festivals are not only a place to share films, but they are a safe haven for film makers to connect, share, and learn. The Bigger Screens supports and engages with over 25 respected international film festivals from mainstays like the 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Brussels Independent Film Festival to emerging events such as the Venice Film Week and The Producer’s Night Los Angeles. These events bring filmmakers and filmgoers together, providing that place to connect and engage in a comfortable setting, away from Hollywood glitz and glamour.
Connecting Cultures Program: Each year, The Bigger Screen selects ten countries and grants filmmakers from those areas the ability to submit their work free of charge to partner festivals all over the world. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. As we support inclusivity and shareable films, this program exemplifies our mission.
Local Filmmakers Program: We understand that the cost of making a film can be taxing, so to encourage rising talent, we waive the festival submission fee to local talent. With numerous worldwide locations for festivals, this provides great opportunity for filmmakers around the world to enter the international film scene. This opportunity opens the world of film. Think global, act local, right?
Inclusive Audience Program: Our screenings are always low or even free of charge to provide opportunity for interested film goers to view up and coming, challenging, and inspiring pieces of art, encouraging students, seniors, and those in underprivileged environments to share the experience of film and cinema. We welcome film goers, regardless of income and financial status.
The Tarkovski Grant: All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $250. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length.