VAF Wildcards 2023

The VAF Wildcards have been awarded annually since 2005. Winners get the chance to make a first extracurricular project, under the guidance of an individual coach and with financial support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).

Still from Orange Flavored Love (2023) © Angela Alsouliman

VAF Wildcard Fiction 2023

Orange Flavored Love by Angela Alsouliman (30'), a master film by KASK & Conservatorium wins the VAF Wildcard Fiction 2023. 

Orange Flavoured Love is a sensory fiction drama full of smiles, colours and smells. In Mosul, Nawal cares for her ailing mother Samia. The mother's condition worsens as medicine is no longer available in the city. In the few days she has left, Nawal, her mother and their neighbour share small moments of joy. The ladies sing and dance, they use make-up and make fragrances, they tell jokes and laugh too loudly. Amid illness, poverty and war, they manage to turn something terrible into something joyous and create beauty where ugliness strikes. 

In addition to the winner, the jury in the Fiction category also gave an honourable mention to Burn by Cato Catteeuw, which, like the winning film, is a final project of KASK & Conservatorium. 

The jury for the VAF Wildcard Fiction consisted of Tomas Leyers, Hyun De Grande, Aimé Claeys, Tinne Bral and Charlotte Lybaert.

Still from Baldilocks (2023) © Marthe Peters

VAF Wildcard Documentary 2023

The VAF Wildcard Documentary 2023 goes to Baldilocks by Marthe Peters (25'), a KASK & Conservatorium master film.

In Baldilocks, twenty years after surviving childhood cancer, the filmmaker looks back through the lens of her father's handycam at a period she can no longer remember. In diary-like fragments, she resists the idea of illness as a metaphor and looks for things that make her happy to be alive.

Besides the winning film, the jury gave an honourable mention in the Documentary category to Ergens tussenin by Liza De Maeyer (14'), an undergraduate film from RITCS School of Arts.

The jury for the VAF Wildcard Documentary included Jaan Stevens, Barbara Dyck and Ilona Vanouplines.

The maker reveals herself completely in an intimate way. The result is a vulnerable, controlled and moving short documentary. The film strikes a nice formal balance between digital and archival footage, full of clearly thought-out choices. — Jury report VAF Wildcard for Documentary

Still from Le tarantole dormono sotto le pietre (2023) © Giada Cicchetti

VAF Wildcard Filmlab 2023

The VAF Wildcard Filmlab 2023 goes to Le tarantole dormono sotto le pietreby Giada Cicchetti (27'), a master's film from the photography (fine arts) programme at KASK & Conservatorium.

The film is inspired by a ritual that originated in southern Italy in the Middle Ages: tarantismo, a traditional magical-religious practice for curing people, especially women, who suffered from convulsive movements attributed to the bite of a tarantula. The maker films her mother, weaving a dialogue between generations about motherhood, daughterhood and womanhood. At the same time, she tracks down traces of this ancient ritual in southern Italy and its evolution to the present day.

The jury for the VAF Wildcard Filmlab consisted of Lázara Rosell Albear, Ruben Demasure and Sofie Verdoodt.

This year's entries for the VAF Wildcard Filmlab were of exceptionally high quality. The winning film tackles a subject that focuses on tradition and an intimate intergenerational dialogue. The maker shows great visual power and daring. This ambitious project has a formal and technically refined execution that the jury cannot but describe as poetic. — Jury report VAF Wildcard for Filmlab