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Young Critics Workshop 2019

9 > 18 OCTOBER 2019
Film Fest Gent

Cinea and Film Fest Gent proudly present the sixth Young Critics Workshop (October 9 – 18, 2019) by photogénie, heralded by The Criterion Collection’s The Daily as the critics workshop that holds out the most hope for the future of film criticism. Open to aspiring film critics (aged 18-26) from Belgium and abroad, the Workshop offers participants the opportunity to cover the 46th edition of this major international event, ranked among the top European film festivals.

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Scroll down to find all the reviews and essays written by the Young Critics during the 2019 Workshop.

Curious about how the Young Critics felt about the whole experience? Check out the interviews we did with them at the end of the workshop:


The selected participants will be invited to cover the festival by writing both reviews and one in-depth piece. The participants will be guided by film critic Nick Pinkerton (Film CommentSight & SoundReverse Shot, …) and the photogénie team.

The reviews and articles of the participants may be published on photogénie and on the Festival’s website.

The working language is English. At photogénie, we particularly value attention to style, film historical awareness and lucid argumentation.

Applicants must be fluent in English, both spoken and written. The Workshop is open to writers between the ages of 18 and 26, who haven’t made criticism their (main) profession (yet).

Previous participants in the Young Critics Workshop have gone on to participate in similar workshops at Locarno and Pordenone, and are currently building a career in criticism and/or curating.

The Young Critics Workshop offers participants:

  • accommodation and breakfast in the historic city of Ghent, October 8 – 19
  • lunch catered by the festival
  • a full accreditation for the festival
  • daily meetings with Nick Pinkerton and the photogénie team

Participants will be responsible for their own travel arrangements, most evening meals and all other expenses. Participants will also be required to provide their own laptop computer.

Applications must be submitted by September 8, containing the following:

  • A motivation letter (500 words or less)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 3 writing samples of articles or film reviews in English (If the original texts are not in English, provide translations as a proof of your English writing skills)
  • A recent passport style photograph

The selected young critics will be informed by e-mail on September 9.

Send your applications and inquiries to:
Bart Versteirt & Ruben Demasure (editors)

The Young Critics

Alonso Aguilar

(Costa Rica)

I’m a critic, audiovisual producer and cultural journalist born in San José, Costa Rica. In high school I began writing about film and music on the Internet and have not stopped ever since. I’m the web editor for Krinégrafo: Cine y Crítica in Costa Rica, and have published work in La Nación (Costa Rica), Costa Rica Festival Internacional de Cine’s webpage, Revista Correspondencias (Mexico) and Mediapart (France). I was part of the Critic’s Lab of Costa Rica’s Festival Internacional de Cine in 2016 and 2017 and part of the Berlinale Talent Press at Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara 2018.

Katrijn Bekers


I’m 19 years old and a passionate student at the University of Antwerp. I’ve just started my third bachelor year in theatre, film, literature and English. My love for film has exponentially grown over the last two years. Cinematic experiences at university, Cinea’s Zomerfilmcollege and a London & Film summer school at King’s College London have moulded me into a true cinephile. Honest, pure, touching and visually poetical films make me fall head over heels in love. More than once I find myself admiring a film’s photography without paying attention to its plot line.

Ben Flanagan

(United Kingdom)

I am a London-based freelance critic and programmer specialising in Classic Hollywood and online cinema culture. I regularly contribute to Seventh Row, and have appeared in Little White Lies and Mubi Notebook.

Ioanna Micha


My name is Ioanna Micha and I am a literature graduate from Greece. Other than my love of animals, I discovered my love of films around the age of 12, and have been using people’s taste in film to see if they’re cool ever since. Seeing that my fascination with cinema wasn’t just a phase, I’ve written for online publications, (mostly) rambling about binary thought, and have penned academic essays on Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), George Cukor’s Gaslight (1944), Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca (1997) etc. Overall, I aim to expand my understanding of cinema as art to improve my writing as a critic.

Satya Hariharan

(United States)

I’m a writer and filmmaker currently based in Brooklyn, NY. I’m particularly interested in non-fiction and hybrid works, especially those that eschew traditional narrative forms. My writing and short essayistic works seek to engage with the impacts of capitalism and colonialism on image production and consumption, the proliferation of images in contemporary media culture, and the representation of the poetic across forms of media. I completed my A.A. at Clark College in 2018, and will complete my B.A. in Media and Documentary Forms at The New School in May 2020. My work can be found at