To mark its 40th anniversary edition, Film Fest Ghent (Oct 8-19) is staging a major Martin Scorsese exhibition and retrospective.

Scorsese has close and surprising links with Belgium. His early short The Big Shave (1967) was a prize winner at the Knokke Experimental Film Festival in Belgium. It was shot on stock provided by Belgian company Gevaert-Agfa.

The American director is a known admirer of artist Hieronymous Bosch, whose painting Christ Carrying The Cross inspired a shot in The Last Temptation Of Christ. The Bosch painting will feature in the exhibition.

Also included will be the original posters for Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) designed by Guy Peellaert (the Belgian artist famous for his album covers for The Rolling Stones and David Bowie).

The Ghent Festival always foregrounds music. Scorsese has given permission for a competition to be staged for young film composers to write new scores to The Big Shave.

There will also be a special concert during the Festival featuring the symphonic music from Scorsese’s movies. This will feature Bernard Herrmann’s music for Taxi Driver, Elmer Bernstein’s music for The Age Of Innocence and some of the later scores written for his films by Howard Shore.

Festival director Patrick Duynslaegher is hoping to include Scorsese’s latest feature The Wolf Of Wall Street in the programme and is also keen to bring Scorsese to Flanders. As yet, the American director’s attendance isn’t confirmed.

Complementing the Scorsese events, the festival is staging a “Focus on American Independent Cinema”.

There will also be an Alexandre Desplat concert at the festival’s 13th World Soundtrack Awards as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award for veteran Italian composer Riz Ortolani, whose music featured in Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds and Drive.