Search form

menu menu

Two free open-air film festivals aim to unite neighbourhoods in Brussels this summer

Bruxelles fait son cinema - Watermael-Boitsfort
17:24 15/05/2023

Not one but two free outdoor cinema festivals are getting ready to entertain film fans in the capital during the month of July.

Evoking the magic of the silver screen, they will both be serving up culture in characterful settings, while hoping for some suitably summer weather.

Bruxelles fait son cinema returns for its 23rd edition from 1 to 15 July, screening in 15 locations around the city.

The festival kicks off with the film Interdit aux chiens et aux Italiens in Parc de Wolvendael in Uccle on 1 July and closes with La petite bande in Koekelberg on 15 July.

Over the fortnight, it will screen a different film each evening in Schaerbeek, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Ganshoren, Woluwe-Saint -Lambert, Auderghem, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Forest, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Evere, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Anderlecht, Jette and Watermael-Boitsfort.

Launched in 2001, the itinerant open-air cinema programme was inspired by the tradition of showing alfresco films during balmy evenings in Mediterranean countries.

Organised by non-profit Libération Films Animation in collaboration with municipal cultural centres, the festival is designed to promote Brussels’ cultural diversity and celebrate neighbourhood communities. Films are predominantly in French or in other European languages, subtitled in French.

Venues open at 21.00 with the free screenings starting at nightfall, around 22.10. Mediterranean-themed drinks and snacks are available from a stand run by non-profit Carpe Diem Vis ta vie.


Meanwhile, biannual PleinOPENair makes a welcome appearance after four years’ absence due to pandemic interruption.

The Nova cinema festival is staged over two weekends from 7 to 15 July with a film programme focusing on urban and housing issues.

It’s hosted by two different venues, each undergoing redevelopment. ‘Wiels marsh’ in Forest is a green space adjacent to the contemporary art centre that’s threatened by real estate projects. The second location is the wasteland surrounding Gare de l’Ouest in Molenbeek that’s part of a Master Development Plan (PAD).

Each weekend will include free concerts, urban walks and other activities as well as Belgian and international film screenings. It aims to increase citizen participation in neighbourhood projects while raising questions about our relationship to housing and public spaces.

The full programme of the festival will be announced shortly.

Written by Sarah Crew