The Film Festival Ghent 2011 (October 11-22) is to hold a special tribute to publicist Ronni Chasen, who was murdered in Los Angeles last November.
The festival’s main prize, The World Soundtrack Award, will be dedicated to her.
For 11 years, Chasen was the US representative for the Belgian festival. She helped attract some major names to Ghent. Morgan Freeman, Stanley Donen, Tony Curtis, Irwin Winkler, Sandra Bullock and many others attended during her time working with the Festival.
Chasen was also instrumental in cementing the festival’s reputation as a top film event for movie composers.
“We will have a special evening dedicated to Ronni,” said Jacques Dubrulle, Festival Director at Ghent. “She helped put us on the map internationally. Like so many people, we were in shock in November when we had the news (of her death).”
Chasen last attended Ghent in October, for the 2010 edition, just a few weeks before she was killed.
Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore are expected to be in attendance as are a number of other high-profile Hollywood composers.
Dubrulle said that the Festival expects to make a decision as to who will replace Chasen as Ghent’s US PR by April or May. “It will not be easy because she (Chasen) was very good at press relations and contacting talent.”
Chasen was recommended to Dubrulle by a friend in LA. The Festival director met her in Westwood. Thus began her long relationship with
“She (Chasen) became a friend…she was a very colourful person. She was not a person in a corner. She was very active when she came in
Chasen used to spend holiday time in Flanders after the Festival. “She liked the Festival and the city of Ghent. She always asked for
the same room in the hotel.”
The next edition of the Ghent Festival will have a focus on legendary Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann. The World Soundtrack Awards will
be held on October 22. Further details of the festival are yet to be announced. Dubrulle said that the event’s funding is currently
stable. It runs on a budget of €3.3m.