MOOOV came into existence in 2013 as the result of a merger between Cinema Novo in Bruges and Open Doek in Turnhout.
The Cinema Novo film festival in Bruges was founded in 1984 and showed films from third world countries, mainly from Africa, Asia and Latin-America. The aim of the film event was to acquaint the Western audience with expressions of Southern and Eastern cultures. In addition, the festival aimed to present film makers from those three continents as fully fledged artists and to provide a platform where they could exhibit their work.
Halfway through the nineties, the festival in Bruges gained momentum: an increase in their funding (thanks to amongst others the Flemish Community, the Province of West-Flanders and the City of Bruges) made possible more staff and more screenings. There came additional activities, such as lectures, debates, workshops, exhibitions and concerts. Some sixty films are screened in 180 showings, which attract around 18 500 visitors from home and abroad.
In 1992 a group of volunteers in Turnhout founded ‘Focus op het Zuiden’ (‘Focus on the South’). Ten years later the festival had expanded significantly and the name was changed to ‘Filmfestival Open Doek’ because the name ‘Focus op het Zuiden’ was felt to be too limiting. Open Doek aimed to put the entire, globalising world in the spotlight and showed films from all the corners of that world. Diversity and interculturality were important topics.
Throughout the years the festival has managed to reach an ever expanding audience and it has come to occupy an important role in Turnhout and the surrounding area. From 1996 onwards a constantly growing artistic and musical programme was developed around the festival, and includes exhibitions and concerts. In 1998, the first competition was established which immediately started to play a key role in the festival. A few years later, at the request of the audience, Open Doek started presenting films the whole year round. That is how Open Doek slowly grew to be a local, weekly arthouse exhibitor in addition to being the organiser of a yearly film festival. Right from the first edition of ‘Focus op het Zuiden’ Film Festival, educational activities have always had an important place at and around the event.
In 2013 Cinema Novo and Open Doek joined forces, thus creating MOOOV. MOOOV Film Festival has been expanded by adding 5 extra locations across Flanders and although the festival is the main part of MOOOV’s activities, these can be broken down into five clear units. They are inextricably connected and often overlap with each other. This creates a sustainable and homogenous base which is undeniably growing year upon year. Since the very beginning, MOOOV has used the tag line ‘Films Facing the World’. That tag line is the meaning behind all MOOOV’s activities. For years now, MOOOV has been whole heartedly committed to raise awareness, to confront and to inform an audience through film. That commitment is tangible in all the aspects of its activities. Whereas the emphasis of Zebra Cinema lies slightly more on poignancy and cultural dissemination and whereas Education focuses attention on raising awareness and developing a critical mind, during the festival it is all about community building and coming together. Sembène Cinema and Distribution on the other hand are dedicated to creating exhibition opportunities for films from less well-known countries that had been buried under the blockbusters and big titles.
In all of the activities, the focus lies on collaborations with partners from inside and outside the industry.