OBSKUUR Ghent Film Festival

Filmmaking is truly a process of creating art; it is a medium to communicate, to express what you want, to lay your feelings bare if you will. From black and white and silent movies to 3D, 8D, 12D, and what not, movies, along with the process of making it, have definitely evolved and adapted along the way. Be it an obscure, sophisticated story that tugs on all your heartstrings or a light-hearted story that will have you in stitches and giggling even after it's over, the process requires a lot of hard work and creative genius.

The film industry has come a long way, becoming a billion-dollar glamorous industry. However, with all the new technology helping cinemas make many alternative realities a possibility, the process of filmmaking itself has become more commercial as opposed to artistic. Often, movies these days are famous not because of the story they tell but because of the special effects used. Somewhere along the line, the essence of true cinematic art has gotten lost. In a world where people put emphasis on box office appeal and less on experimental works of great value comes Obskuur, the Ghent Experimental Film Festival, that acts as an island oasis for art amidst a sea of commercialism.

Obskuur Ghent Film Festival is dedicated to recognizing quality films and filmmakers and showcasing their work. This is a quarterly film festival with a unique screening operation. The festival showcases innovative, underground, experimental, and independent movies by aspiring local as well as international filmmakers. The festival will take place at the Alfred Sküll Art Gallery’s small and cozy 30 seat movie theatre.

During the opening event, all the selected films will be screened to a small audience and will include some Q&As as well as free drinks. After the opening session, the films will remain on display on the big screen and smaller screens as well at the Alfred Sküll Art Gallery. These gallery screenings will be open for walk-ins several times over the course of the following three months. All selected films will be screened approximately 36 times during the festival. It creates great exposure for the movies and their makers while introducing the audience to some obscure and experimental works they might have missed.

Obskuur Ghent Film Festival motivates aspiring filmmakers to submit their innovative work and showcase their movies. Local and international artists are encouraged to submit their work for the opportunity to be featured in a festival that celebrates art.

In good company

This screening series of contemporary cinema places its films where they belong – within the vibrant context of other art forms. The arena that will serve as the backdrop for the Obskuur Ghent Film Festival is the Alfred Sküll Art Gallery, a two story eclectic art space showcasing contemporary artworks by artists like Nobuyoshi Araki, Ed Templeton, Per Kirkeby, Curtiz, Shepard 'Obey' Fairey and Ravi Zupa. The gallery is located within in Alpaca.Gent, a creative hotspot which also houses a casting studio and a small production company.

Festival curator and director is Kris De Meester, a film director, producer, and entrepreneur known for his independent films. He started his career in 1990, taking on different roles with many of the film industry’s finest. Over the decades, he has teamed up with numerous award-winning directors. Such included big names like Lars von Trier, Terence Davies, Thomas Vinterberg, Timo Vuorensola, Wolfgang Becker, Philippe Grandrieux, and Koen Mortier.


At the same time, the director also took on roles as a casting director in a number of films. His repertoire includes titles such as "A Quiet Passion", "Ex Drummer", "Ich und Kaminski" and "Un Lac", as well as Lars Von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" Volumes I & II. Meanwhile, as a producer, Kris De Meester has worked on dozens of award-winning independent films to date. Such include "Little Wing", "Vessel", "Share with me Your Brightest Colors", "Menthol", and "All About the Feathers". In recent years, he joined Hal Hartley as an executive producer in the production of the feature film “Where to Land” that has yet to be released.

With time, the director and producer’s acclaimed reputation and deep understanding of cinema steered him to become a film curator in the vibrant film festival landscape. Since 2015, Kris De Meester has taken part as a global curator in many mainstay events such as the Brussels Independent Film Festival, the Venice Film Week, the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, Super Shorts London Film Festival, and the Sydney World Film Festival.




Sunday, July 12, 2020 (11.00 - 13.00), limited seats // opening event

Sunday, July 12, 2020 (14.00-18.00), no reservation needed // walk-in screening

Sunday, July 26, 2020 (14.00-18.00), no reservation needed // walk-in screening

Sunday, August 9, 2020 (14.00-18.00), no reservation needed // walk-in screening

Sunday, August 23, 2020 (14.00-18.00), no reservation needed // walk-in screening

Sunday, September 6, 2020 (14.00-18.00), no reservation needed // walk-in screening

Sunday, September 20, 2020 (14.00-18.00), no reservation needed // walk-in screening

Location: Alfred Sküll Gallery, Alpacastraat 29, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

An Apartment In New York (United States) by Chad Knuth


'An Apartment in New York' is an experimental short film about the discovery of a body, that delves into a bizarre behaviour study and the subsequent possibilities of murder.

Duration: 00:03:24

Mongol (United States)

by Hao Zheng


A man spent years seeking redemption after abandoning his mother when he was a child.

Duration: 00:10:00

Decorum (Australia)

by Lorenzo Monti


Fashion model Hinata wants to get at the bottom of her uneasiness but something is hindering her. A designer gives her advice, a doctor tries to get her attention and all claim to know what she needs. The result of an old trauma seems only to be the tip of the iceberg.

Duration: 00:10:18

Reading wild lands (dispersal 6-18-048-02 W5) (Canada)

by Alana Bartol


Iron filings and magnets become tools of divination as a dowser conducts a site reading of a drill cuttings sample from an abandoned oil well in Alberta, Canada.

Duration: 00:06:57

Shelly (United States)

by Katie Vida


Video work developed entirely on Snapchat, the app known for its face altering features. The piece includes filtered selfie video "diaries" by Shelly, who has exhausted her savings on an Airbnb rental to explore New York. Her meanderings are meaningful for their short-lived revelations. 'Shelly' sheds light on smartphone technology as a form of embodiment, elucidation, connection, and at times, detachment.


Duration: 00:44:45

Meltdown (United Kingdom)

by Guli Silberstein

A stream of audio-visual material interweaving environmental, cultural and social crises, addressing exploitation of both natural and human resources, in an astonished look at power, beauty and destruction and and the overall meltdown of our balancing systems. The work overflows the viewer with images and sounds collected from online media and personal filming, echoing superfluous information, waste, unrest and natural disasters of todays.

Duration: 00:06:12

MHD (United States)

by Alejandro Watson


A mental health diary made during June and July of 2019.​

Duration: 00:59:13

Invitation (Netherlands)

by Sjoerd Martens

Martens’ sees his work as a sculpture of our legacy. The areas he creates are characterized by past human presence, current abandonedness and future uncertainty. The human traces as still life are brought to a new breathing environment through multi-disciplinarity and atypical narrative techniques. The mise-en-scène forms a post-apocalyptic, semi-surreal microcosm that includes physical and non-physical signs of our mortality. This haven is solely palpable and is comparable to past childhood dreams, or dissociation from one’s environment or self. 


Duration: 00:05:08

Light Matter (Austria)

by Virgil Widrich

A black-and-white film that lets you see colors.


Attention! This film contains flashing lights which may not be suitable for light-sensitive epilepsy.


Duration: 00:05:00

A Comfortable Hole (United States)

by Fulla Abdul-Jabbar


A PowerPoint poem leans against its edge and falls asleep there. 


Duration: 00:07:33

Additional titles to be confirmed

by various artists


Selection of experimental films, underground cinema, slow cinema, visual poetry, etc.

Submit your work for the Fall edition (October-December 2020)


We're looking for experimental films, underground cinema, slow cinema, visual poetry, etc.

Check out our submission page.




The Obskuur Ghent Film Festival accepts all forms and genres: short films, medium length films, feature films, drama, experimental, comedy, horror, slow cinema, sci fi, fantasy, animation, documentary,... Go to our Filmfreeway listing to enter your film.

The Obskuur Ghent Film Festival accept all forms and genres. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. We also accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere and that may have distribution agreements already in place. Rough cuts and incomplete projects are not accepted. Multiple entries are allowed, however a separate entry form must be submitted for each. The festival has the capability to screen MP4.

Screenings are scheduled during the festival at the discretion of the Obskuur Ghent Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Obskuur Ghent Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Obskuur Ghent Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection. If chosen as an official selection, Obskuur Ghent Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the Obskuur Ghent Film Festival and all associated screenings. Location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Obskuur Film Week. Filmmakers will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.

Although every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage to materials while in the possession of the festival, The Obskuur Ghent Film Festival is not responsible should any materials be damaged while in transit to or from, or while in the possession of the festival.

The filmmaker holds the Obskuur Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.

The Festival does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the Festival, should your film get selected for the program.

Since the Festival only requires a nominal entry fee, we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.





Screenings at Alfred Sküll Art Gallery:

Alpacastraat 29,

9000 Gent,


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© 2020 by Obskuur Ghent Film Festival. A Tarkovski Project.