SHHH 2023

The fifth edition of SHHH, the festival that celebrates the power and poetry of silent film hosted by Monokino, will take place in Ostend from September 15 to 16. This year they’re going for the living room feeling by focusing on 8mm, intimate musical accompaniment and good food.

Artist Jasper Rigole will show a selection of home movies from the IICADOM archive (The International Institute for the Conservation, Archiving and Distribution of Other people’s Memories), which he founded and of which he is the sole archivist. The images selected by Rigole are provided with a soundtrack by Thomas Smetryns in collaboration with Marieke Berendsen and Jacob Vanneste.

Besides being a medium used to make countless holiday films, 8mm is an artistic medium. Artist Helga Fanderl shot more than a thousand films on 8mm since the 1980s, which she uses for screenings and exhibitions. For SHHH, she selected work that has a link to the sea. Silently, her images will be shown in De Klas of De Grote Post.

Besides Fanderl, artist Isabelle Cornaro is this edition’s artist in focus. Cornaro shows a selection of her work and brings it together with films from the historical avant-garde and experimental film, alongside work by contemporary makers.

Next, Steven Jacobs dives into Ostend’s art and film history. Filmmaker Henri Storck was friends with French surrealist and autodidact Felix Labisse. Labisse had settled in Ostend because of his fascination with Ensor. Together, Labisse and Storck made Pour vos beaux yeux (1929), a surrealist film centered on eyes. Starting from this work, Jacobs takes us through a film lesson on eyes and Labisse. Jacobs’ lesson will be backed musically by Casper Jacobs.

For the first time, Seanemaximiliaan will be organized by the founders of Cinemaximiliaan, who swapped Brussels for Ostend a few years ago and decided to focus on their own artistic work. They invite the many friends they made over these years to a warm family day by the sea, a joint dinner and a program of silent films and videos. Curated by Gawan Fagard with works by Agata Jastrzabek, Gwendolyn Lootens, Saodat Ismailova, Nicolas Kozakis & Raoul Vaneigem, Angela Al-Souliman and Jacqueline Mesmaeker.

The festival ends with Ballade aux sources, Med Hondo’s first film that was only recently recovered. Unlike all the other films shown this year, this one was not originally silent, but only lost its voice many years later. Brussels-based slam poetry collective Carte Noire takes up the gauntlet and gives Ballade aux sources its voice back.

More information here.

Front Image: Pour vos beaux yeux (Henri Storck, 1929)

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