The ‘Gentse Feesten’ (Ghent Festival), one of Europe’s biggest street festivals, hosts countless cultural events, such as concerts, (street) theater, debates and expositions. Until last year, however, a film event was lacking (although the past has seen some attempts to include open air and other film screenings). Il Cinema Repubblica now provides the Gentse Feesten with a film event to be proud of. This four day silent film festival (17-20 July) is an initiative of the audiovisual company Republic of Reinvention, in collaboration with Cinematek (the Royal Belgian Film Archive, taking care of the film programming together with Cinea) and the School of Arts Gent (providing the beautiful historical setting of the Miry concert hall in the heart of Ghent).
All films are accompanied by live music: the first two days by musicians from the conservatory, the last two days by Hilde Nash, Cinematek’s house pianist. The first day had slapstick films, the second day served some rare copies of the Cinematek, the third day (which I attended last night) focused on the films of Alfred Machin and the fourth day combines a Chaplin classic with an early Italian feminist film and an obscure porn film from 1920. Hopefully Il Cinema Repubblica has come to stay!