During its first year of existence, Nova forged a high-paced full screening program based on a series of varied themes: work, consumerism, travel, dance, the politically incorrect, childhood, the "camera’s gender", ... a continuous flux of international documentaries, fictional works, experimental or auteur films in short, middle or full length feature formats.

Little by little, the monthly thematic programs were channeled into more precise and focused thematic fortnights, weeks, days, and even two or three theme evenings. The result so far has been dozens of program themes, such as: the diary, cinema in Lithuania, Morocco, the Netherlands and South America, the Beat Generation, psychedelic culture, psychiatric alternatives, the Berlin Wall, contemporary cinema from former Soviet states... and, when possible, Nova tries to invite the directors and people whose films are being screened.

Every new program is therefore different than the one before it. A thematic program will encompass a variety of flavors and colors all while maintaining a general Nova-esque coherence. This "Nova" identity is characterized by the special chemistry that comes from bringing individuals, as well as outside partners, together into a "Nova" team, more so than by the guidelines Nova has tried to follow for better or for worse. So it’s nearly impossible to summarize the entire catalog of events and screenings that have made up the Nova experience... the variety of programs grow richer and richer with each month of new faces, new ideas and new films.

If you’d like to get an idea of Nova’s programming, visit the "archive" section (it goes back to May 2000 and is in French or Dutch) for past themes.

Nova frequently provides small festivals with an infrastructure and audience in the heart of Brussels. But Nova also provides opportunities for larger organizations to launch new initiatives that are otherwise too adventurous, too risky... In both cases, Nova strives for true collaboration with the organizers, going a step beyond just providing the "tidy package" of event programming or simply renting out a public space. The decision to collaborate with a festival is made on a case by case basis, and Nova reserves the right to refrain from entering into partnerships that might not harmonize with Nova’s own identity.

The events and initiatives that have already taken place in collaboration with Nova include some of the most varied encounters, like the early "Encounters with Vietnamese Cinema", the "Droit Parole/Image" forum, the monthly gatherings with Schieve Cinema, the first 3 editions of "Jonctions/Verbindingen" (Connections, a multimedia festival), the KunstenFESTIVAL des Arts, the "Anima 2000" section of the Brussels Animation Festival, the "Pink Screens" with the organization "Genres d’à côté", "Urban Stories" with Souterrain production... or "the 7th parallel", a polymorphic and radical festival on the strange and bizarre, in co-production with the team from the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, an event that has taken place every year since 1998, usually during two weeks in March that coincide with the festival.

Nova also hopes to forge partnerships with other initiatives, more alternative ones that don’t necessarily have to happen inside Nova’s walls (for example, the PleinOPENair festival that takes place on various sites around Brussels during the summer). Nova also organizes evenings, called " "Micro-Evenings"", with labels, publishers or independent broadcasters.

In the summer of 1996, a few months before the re-opening of the former Cinéma Arenberg, abandoned for 10 years and now rehabilitated as Nova Cinema (originally destined to exist for only 2 years), the Kino-Trotter association organized "Cinéma Légumen", with the support of Beursschouwburg. Three weekends of outdoor screenings in various empty spaces along boulevard Emile Jacqmain that had been temporarily converted into gardens by the Légumen foundation.

The following summer, Nova Cinema had already been around for 6 months and was closing its doors for a few weekends. renewing the open air cinema experience of Cinéma Légumen. This time, however, the outdoor screenings were set up at Place des Wallons, in front of the ’la Chapelle’ train station, thereby garnering the name "Cinema at the Station".

In 1998 this Nova Cinema summer experience joined forces for the first time with the association City Mine(d) and became the ’PleinOPENair’. The project went beyond just being a free, outdoor screening event and became a mobile festival with a true urban dimension. The summer program was established around one or several transitional sites or neighborhoods in Brussels, in spaces with potential or unrecognized audiences that were looking for ways to invest their energies. By doing so, it shed some light on a series of urban and social issues (changes in the urban landscape, housing difficulties, renovation problems, abandoned buildings, work done on potential sites or on public space or the city’s history...).

The PleinOPENair is a festive event that incites interaction with and reflection on the city. Unusual in its scope and atmosphere, the festival program puts into perspective the issues surrounding certain urban sites and offers a chance to build bridges with other urban activists and movements, all while developing a creative practice that can be expressed in the public sphere (which encompasses everything from the walls of the city to the newspaper, radio waves, the streets, etc...). And by doing so, to deconstruct the codes that dominate the urban development field in order to make space for the imagination and to promote citizen participation.

By investing in one or several symbolic sites, PleinOPENair builds connections with other urban causes. Its method is to decrypt and add clarity to the big debates surrounding urbanism, especially to those that, for example, have resulted in the "urban catastrophes" of Brussels.

Here are some of the steps already taken by this traveling project: ’le Quartier Maritime’ (Molenbeek), the ’Ecole des Vétérinaires’ in Cureghem (Anderlecht), the esplanade and gardens of the ’Cité Administrative’ (Brussels), the ’Quartier Léopold’ (Ixelles), Gauchere. square (Schaerbeek), the Prince Albert barracks (Brussels), the ’Théâtre de Verdure’ (Brussels), the ’impasse de la Tête de Boeuf ’ (Brussels). Martini tower (Schaerbeek), ’Tour et Taxis’ (Molenbeek), the European Parliament esplanade (Ixelles), the Moeraske natural reserve (Evere), the ’Quartier Midi’ (Saint-Gilles), etc.

Since then, a new building for the National Theatre has replaced the empty lot where Cinéma Légumen once took place. The association Recyclart has developed its project in the Chappelle station, and Beursschouwburg has been entirely renovated and transformed, with a new team...

For 8 years, PleinOPENair was a co-production between Nova and City Mine(d) that focused on numerous neighbourhoods and sites in Brussels that were undergoing urban transitions. During this time, the project multiplied its collaborations with various organizations. Over the summer in 2004, the project established its home in the ’Cité administrative’ of the Belgian government (a complex established in the Northern part of Brussels to house the various administrative buildings of the Belgian government), long since emptied of its occupants.

Unsanitary, inhuman, unforgettable, unidentified, unladylike, unrelenting,... in-or-un-whatever-you-want films. But like a good wine, these low-budget flicks get better with age... except for those that have soured into vinegar.

Already sipped:
Adios Aldomovar; Rocky Horror Picture Show + live gimmicks; cinéma bis Night of which Burke & Hare ; Evil Dead I + II; Erotic Cinema Night: anonymous films presented by Huitième Sous Sol; Vampyros Lesbos; Deadly Weapons; Glen or Glenda; Plan 9 from Outerspace; Death Race 2000; Braindead; Night of the Living Dead; Vanishing Point; Day of the Dead; Porno meets screenplay night with: the Bunny Caper (sexplay) & The Lickerish Quartet; Les raisins de la mort; Fascination; Santa Sangre; Cinderella 2000; Heat; Score; Bubbles Galore; Hong-Kong Evening with: A Chinese Ghost Story, The Heroïc Trio, Full Contact; Terror, Kung-fu, Sex & Rock’n’roll Night with Angustia, Virgins of the 7 seas, This is Spinal Tap; The Little Shop of Horror; Cherry, Harry & Raquel; Spoken Spooky Tour with readings by Jack Sergeant & Julie Peasley; Blaxplotation films with: Friday Foster, Gordon’s War, Big Doll House, Spider Baby, Coffy, Foxy Brown, Shaft & The Wiz; Underground Future Show with shock TV, Insight, Year 1999 A.D., Sins of the Fleshapoids,Tribulation’99; Bike to the Beat: part 1, Wheel freedom experience with: She Devil’s on Wheels; Scorpio Rising; Hell’s Angels on Wheels; part2, Tips and Trip with: The Trip; Drug Scare Film Show compiled by Jack Stevenson; Blue Sunshine; Reefer Madness; 3 nocturnes Corman, Poe, Price with: House of the Usher; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Raven; True Gore; Flaming Creatures; Mala Noche; Bucket of Blood; Videodrome; Western Side Stories with: Way Out West, the Lucky Texan, Frankenstein’s Daughter Meets Jesse James, Terror of Tiny Town, Cat Ballou, Flaming Star, Lust in the Dust ...a Movie Gimmick Show presented by Jack Stevenson fellowed by The Tingler + live gimmicks; Female Offensive with: A Gun for Jennifer, Attack of the 50 Foot Women, Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill; Final Frontier: Exile in Outer Space: Plan 9 from Outer Space, Journey to the Seventh Planet, Frankenstein meets the Space Monster; Mad Science: The Final Programme, Super Inframan... and many others...

Some more names? Here we go: Walerian Borowczyk, Joe Sarno, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Larry Cohen, Joe Dante, Donald Cammell, David Cronenberg, Frank Henenlotter, Christian Marquand, Robert Fuest, Sidney Pink, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Miike Takashi, Al Adamson, Suzuki Norifumi, Gaspar Noé...

Since the beginning, Nova has often invited musicians to volunteer their talent for a difficult but enriching experiment: to create a live soundtrack for a silent film before a mixed audience of music and film lovers.

The music can either be a composed piece for a specific silent feature, or total improvisation where rich sounds encounter moving images. Live Soundtracks has become yet another Nova specialty, and it’s not surprising that a growing number of international musicians come to take part.

To give an example, here are some names of artists who have already played with this kind of live experience: The Ex (NL), Roof (US/UK/NL/F), Leonid Soybelman (Mold), Thomas Köner, Klangkriek, Melaena (D), People Like Us, Ted Milton & Blurt, Spaceheads, Caroline Kraabel (UK); Pierre Bastien, Sister Iodine (F); Kato Hideki, Taku Sugimoto (J); Matthieu Ha, Adult Fantasies, Dada Camerata Viva, Aka Moon, Ice Cream Solution, Morgan/Sanders/Jacquemyn trio (B), etc. etc.

Nova also welcomes bands or solo musicians to perform as they are, because often music is evocative in ways that surpass the power of the moving image. This is also how Nova has turned into a breeding ground for audio experimentation, most notably through the Ears Open program, and also in collaboration with Radio Panik, Radio Campus, Bruxelles Parallèle, Martiens Go Home, The Workshop of Resonant and Radiophonic Creation, Philippe Beloul... to name but a few of the many sound performers that have contributed their talent to the Nova soundscape.

The "Open Screen" is a popular free evening where amateurs, film students and professional filmmakers can bring along any short feature to be screened, sans censorship! The only pre-requisite is that no film or video be longer than 15 minutes and that films be sent or delivered to Nova a week in advance.
Contact us: openscreen@nova-cinema.org !

The Open Screen was conceived at the same time as Nova and has become a Brussels institution. It features the work of filmmakers from all walks of life and from every technical level, of Belgians and artists from abroad, and provides a unique opportunity for artists to take a risk and share their work with a wider audience. In exchange, viewers get the chance to experience creations they would otherwise have no opportunity to see. Increasing audiences and a commitment to free artistic form and fringe production ensure that the Open Screen will remain a constant highlight in Nova’s monthly program.

The Open Screen also had a little sister program under the name "Ears Open", collective listening sessions in the dark, for sound pieces of 10 minutes or less.

Cineketje is a monthly program designed to bring out Nova’s inner child. Children and adults are invited to discover films unreleased or rarely shown in the traditional movie circuit. Whether classic films or recent productions, films made by collectives, amateurs or professionals, Cineketje brings children in touch with different cinematic genres and techniques, as well as introduces them to the regular array of Nova topics and themes.

Cineketje provides a space where little and big kids alike can actively and creatively interact with others and with the world surrounding film. The theatre naturally fills the role of "creative incubation space", whereas the bar and common spaces are transformed into a hands-on meeting place for young ones, with an artisanal snack provided after each screening. Children and adults can feed their senses by exploring the books and other material related to cinema —like zoetropes and viewmasters—that inhabit the space during Cineketje.

Although it’s first and foremost a film program, Cineketje also occasionally integrates other artistic disciplines that relate to the image. Workshops are regularly organized in collaboration with professional artists. They familiarize children with the diverse methods of expression: cinema, animation, visual arts, music... Kids can work on their own movies and discover the cinematic fruits of other workshops: their creations are shown during the screenings. In this way Cineketje provides a platform for budding artists.

The Cineketje program is multilingual and resolutely non-elitist, accessible to children of all ages and of all backgrounds who want to discover something different. The program organizers make a conscious effort to present films that are a rich reflection of the cultural diversity of Brussels.

"TV Nova: we are the channel and we want to meet you!"

TV Nova wants you to watch TV at the movies as frequently as possible... but not just any TV!

Nova has been actively exploring questions about television media for several years. It participated in a collective of organizations that presented "Coup de Pouce" on Télé Bruxelles (a Brussels-based TV show dedicated to studio movies) and is a member of the "permanent coordination for independent media", an initiative from France.

TV Nova evolved out of ’Forums TV’, which was formerly organized in collaboration with the Association of Active Television Viewers. The TV Nova sessions broadcasted meetings with organizers of independent, community, local and pirate television projects from all over the world. TV Nova also organized an international meeting in 2001 that brought together several dozen small production groups that were interested in finding television alternatives in different countries around the world. This also spawned a project with which Nova was associated that televised an international neighborhood news program (with participants from Spain, Ireland, France, Belgium and even Venezuela, amongst others).

Nova opens the screen to those forgotten or rarely-broadcasted little shows, and offers viewers a chace to discover shows that never made it to the channels because they went too far against the grain, weren’t motivated by profits or were put together by d.i.y activists that had no access to or resisted mass media production.

TV Nova is neither a pay cable channel (entrance is, for the most part, free), nor is it a regular TV channel (no commercials, no talk shows). It’s a public broadcasting necessity for mental well-being!