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 is 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 SMAK it also hosted Harmony Korine 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: 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, now in it’s 17th edition, will continue to emphasize lesser known, vanguard documentary works and further its tradition of galvanizing budding talent.

Most importantly, the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival will create 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.

The Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival will take place at Studio Skoop, the leading arthouse cinema in Ghent, Belgium in April 2025.

‘OFF ON’ SELECTION
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 documentary genre 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.

Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival Ghent is
- A Cannes Film Week© qualifying film festival
- An IMDB qualifying film festival
- Named as one of the Top 50 Film Festivals worldwide by Final Cut Magazine.
- A 'Climate Neutral Film Event', powered by TreePlan.org.

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. A short overview of their projects:

- 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 at least 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. Check out https://www.connectingculturesprogram.com to see if your country is included in this year’s program and submit your work for free.

- 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 $500. 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.

Each edition, the festival will also give out awards in the following categories:
Best Documentary Feature Film
Best Documentary Short Films
Best Experimental Documentary Film
Best Underground Documentary Film
Best Cinéma Verité Film
Best Connecting Cultures Film
Best Essay Film
Best Super Short Documentary Film
Best Hybrid Film
Best Belgian Documentary Film
Best Environment Documentary Film
Best Society Documentary Film
Best LGBT Documentary Film
Best Health Documentary Film
Best Artist Documentary Film

THE TARKOVSKI GRANT
All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $500. 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. The Tarkovski Grant is supported by film festivals from all over the world. Find out more here: www.thetarkovskigrant.org

FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO VIDEOMAKER
In an added effort to support new and emerging filmmakers, our festival will offer a free year of access to Videomaker's digital magazine to all filmmakers submitting their work. More information: www.videomaker.com

FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO WHUSH.COM
All selected filmmakers will receive a free subscription to Whush.com for 3 months. Whush.com is a streaming service that has teamed up with over 20 film festivals worldwide, exclusively streaming official selections during the festival period. More information: https://www.whush.com

EXPOSURE
One of the biggest hurdles in an independent filmmaker's journey, is getting noticed. With thousands of filmmakers out there trying to get exposure it's hard to stand out. Share your story with Final Cut Magazine, whether it be a press release on a new selection, project, winning an award, a one-on-one interview, ...

We accept short and feature films up to 120 minutes.

SUBMISSIONS
The Ghent Viewpoint Documentary 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 Digital and DCP

EXHIBITION & SCREENING
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Ghent Viewmpoint Documentary 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, Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary 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 Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival. 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 organizers 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.

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

ENTRY LIABILITY
The filmmaker holds the Ghent Viewpoint Documentary 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 organizers 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.

SCREENING FEE
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.

WAIVER REQUESTS
Since the festival only requires a nominal entry fee and grants free submissions to local filmmakers and filmmakers who're eligible for the The Connecting Cultures Program (https://www.connectingculturesprogram.com) , we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • it was our honor to have our film in Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival! Great festival with great people.

    April 2023
  • Amina Maher

    A wonderful festival that I highly recommend.

    April 2022
  • Prisoner Film

    We participated with The Prisoner this great event for doc film maniacs ;) Great heart from the organisers, and we won an award which is also great :) A great place to meet with people who just love watching and discussing cinema!

    April 2022
  • Delighted to be part of this very supportive and generous festival.

    May 2021
  • Parachute Films

    Thank you for highlighting DEAD SOULS' VACATION as the Best Artist Documentary of 2021, It was a pleasure to be part of the festival!

    May 2021