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Previous Young Critics Workshop

Young Critics Workshop 2022

11 > 22 October 2022
Film Fest Gent

Young Critics 2022 (left to right: Angelo Elia, Arta Barzanji, Sofie Delrue, Dora Leu, Kenny Nixon) © Jeroen Willems

From October 11 until 22, 2022, photogénie and Film Fest Gent organized the ninth Young Critics Workshop, welcoming five aspiring film critics (aged 18-26) to Belgium and and guiding them in covering the 49th edition of this major international event.

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The selected participants covered the festival by writing three reviews and one in-depth piece, guided by film critic Nick Pinkerton (Film CommentSight & SoundReverse Shot, …) and the photogénie team.

Their reviews and essays can be found below.

The film critics

Arta Barzanji


I’m an Iranian cinephile, writer, filmmaker, and a current MFA candidate in Film and Media Arts at Temple University. My work, encompassing experimental, narrative, and documentary modes, deals directly with the cinema itself, exploring the relationship between the viewer and the screen while engaging with the works of filmmakers as diverse as Stan Brakhage, Orson Welles, Kamran Shirdel, and Malcolm Le Grice. My critical writings and translations have appeared both in Farsi and English in publications like photogénieFilmkhaneh, and Film Matters, focusing on filmmakers such as Sohrab Shahid Saless and Straub-Huillet among others.

Dora Leu


I’m a Romanian film critic and filmmaker, currently finishing my MA in film studies at UNATC in Bucharest. I have previously graduated with a degree in film direction and have also studied art history. I write for Romanian film magazines Acoperisul de sticla and Films in Frame and, at present, I am also working on an experimental documentary about a Romanian radio station in the 90s. My greatest passions are Japanese New Wave cinema, music videos and Irish post-punk bands.

Angelo Elia


I am an Italian cinephile currently living in Turin and have recently completed an MA in film and media studies. I occasionally write about movies, particularly American movies and even more particularly westerns (I wrote a thesis on the cinematic representations of Wyatt Earp).

Sofie Delrue


I’m a Belgian student currently finishing my Master’s degree in Theatre, Film and Literature at the University of Antwerp. After secondary school I first attended film school in Brussels, but soon realized that I was not ready (yet) to make my own films, so I decided to pursue a more academic course. Even though I love film, I also love the outdoors. And if you can’t find me in the woods or in the cinema, you can probably find me behind the bar of the café where I work in my hometown.

Kenny Nixon


I’m a New York born, Chicago based studio cameraperson for Bally Sports/Stadium, who turns to criticism and film writing as a respite from work’s drudgery. I graduated from Northwestern University in 2021 with a degree in Film Production, with notable accomplishments including a B- for a paper on In a Lonely Place for being “too enthusiastic about Nicholas Ray”. I find strength in the films of John Ford and Maurice Pialat, as well as in his fandom of the New York Knicks.