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Young Critics Workshop 2020

13 > 24 OCTOBER 2020
Film Fest Gent

Young Critics 2020 (left to right, top to bottom: Stefan Goncharov, Wiebe Copman, Kathy Vanhout, Camilla Peeters and Joseph Owen) © Jeroen Willems.

Cinea and Film Fest Gent proudly present the seventh Young Critics Workshop (October 13 – 24, 2020) by photogénie, open to aspiring film critics (aged 18-26) from Belgium and abroad, offering them the opportunity to cover the 47th edition of this major international event, ranked among the top European film festivals.

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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 Rotterdam, Locarno and Berlin, 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 13 – 25
  • lunch catered by the festival
  • a full accreditation for the festival
  • daily meetings with Nick Pinkerton and the photogénie team
  • a chance to join the photogénie editorial board in 2021

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.

The workshop will be organized in accordance with the measures in force at that time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Applications must be submitted by September 1, 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 email on September 8.

Send your applications and inquiries to:

Bart Versteirt & Ruben Demasure

The Young Critics

Wiebe Copman


I am a Belgian graduate student at Columbia University. I write about documentary, experimental film, poetry, and food.

Stefan Goncharov


I am from Sofia, Bulgaria. My academic background is in Scandinavian studies and at the moment I am doing my MA in Cultural studies and Contemporary art. As a film critic I have written articles for several Bulgarian outlets throughout the years and have had the pleasure to cover several big festivals like Berlinale and Festival de Cannes. I am also a poet with two published poetry collections under his belt.

Joseph Owen

(United Kingdom)

I am currently writing up my doctoral thesis on Carl Schmitt, literary modernism and sovereignty at University of Southampton while teaching undergraduates about power and ethics before Machiavelli. I’m UK-based and have worked as a journalist at international film festivals since 2016. The first film I saw at a festival was Woody Allen’s Café Society (2016) in Cannes; the most recent was Lav Diaz’s Lahi, Hayop (2020) in my living room. I have written several hundred first-look reviews in the interim.

Camilla Peeters


I am an MA student in theatre and film at the University of Antwerp. This is the second time I am participating in a Young Critics workshop, which I am very excited about, because the first one (at the MOOOV film festival, Bruges, 2018) was the singular event that made me start writing critically—on film—in the first place. Since then I have written at a range of different workshops in different places. Since last year, a very precious year that I spent in Berlin, I have started writing pieces on music as well. I like fringe film, cult/horror film, charged film. And the things in between, if the feeling is right.

Kathy Vanhout


I just finished my Masters in theater and film studies at the University of Antwerp and am currently studying philosophy whilst preparing a PhD-proposal around the notions of tragedy and figura in the cinema of Werner Schroeter (wish me luck). I am a sucker for beautiful shot compositions, lyrical dialogue and films that show a visible understanding of textures and materiality. My heart also goes out to les beaux arts and music, which—when all is well—are also readily available in good cinema.