The Leuven International Short Film Festival is one of the most exciting film festivals in Europe.
It has competitions for live action and animated short films, as well as stunning music videos, and brings together directors from all over the world. The categories are all judged by expert European directors, some of whom are Oscar nominated.
It’s the 15th anniversary of the festival so expect even more of a party atmosphere, especially on the final night of 5th December. Over the years it has been responsible for really encouraging the growth of Flemish film, but also features a wide array of English short films and others from all over Europe.
It’s not all existentialism on offer as well, check out the US short Terry Tate: Office Linebacker, where “retired NFL Linebacker, ‘Terrible’ Terry Tate enforces the office rules at the Felcher and Sons’ headquarters the only way he knows how: with bone-crushing tackles and hard-core trash-talk.”
It’s strange, but definitely hilarious.
There’s lot for kids to see as well with dedicated Shorts for Kids sections with contributions from as far away as Israel and Paraguay, telling enchanting stories in all forms of animation and stop motion.
Adults and kids alike will love the UK entry of Simon’s Cat, the series about the always hungry cat, and his efforts this time to catch a housefly no matter how much damage he causes.
The quirky 2D black and white animations by Simon Tofield have become a YouTube sensation, with some of the clips racking up over 12 million views.
Due to the length of the entries many are available to watch Youtube, and the festival offers a compilation of the best highlights.
It’s held in the town of Leuven, 30km east of Brussels easily accessible by rail or car from the Zeebrugge P&O ferry port, in the beautiful arts centre STUK, Naamsestraat 96, 3000 Leuven.
A ticket only costs you €6, if you have a STUK-card it’s only €4.50 or you can get a festival pass for €27, which gets you six tickets.
Image Credit: Tomàs Fano