Baloji in attendance. Followed by a reception with Belgian beer and bites hosted by Hopleaf.

“Announces its writer-director as an artist of significant formal imagination and daring, unafraid to put standard narrative legibility at risk in favor of intuitive sensory suggestion.” - Guy Lodge, Variety

“A visually striking, deeply compassionate, and memorable debut.” - Arjun Sajip, Indiewire

Friday, March 1, 7:00 p.m. | In OMEN, the feature debut from Belgian-Congolese artist and musician Baloji, Koffi, a young Congolese man, visits his native Kinshasa after living for years in Belgium. With his white  fiancée Alice by his side, the return to his birthplace is troubled from the start, as his family members hold fast to old superstitions, heightened by his appearance and the passage of time. When he suffers a nosebleed during a meal, secrecy and sorcery erupt. With stunningly rich visuals, OMEN is a sensory experience, introducing a daring, imaginative, and visionary filmmaker. Belgium’s submission to the Academy Awards for consideration, OMEN premiered in the Un Certain Regard program at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the New Voice Prize. Baloji in attendance. Tickets: $20 Gene Siskel Film Center members and SAIC students, faculty, and staff / $25 general audiences. Festival Passports not eligible for Opening Night.

HopleafFollowed by a reception with Belgian beer and bites hosted by Hopleaf. 

Awards & Nominations

Winner - Un Certain Regard - New Voice Prize, Cannes Film Festival
Nominee - Un Certain Regard Award, Cannes Film Festival
Nominee - Golden Camera, Cannes Film Festival

Chicago European Union Film Festival - Spotlight on BelgiumJoin us this year as we dive into the best of Belgian cinema new and old. Presenting Chicago audiences with a potent cultural immersion and showcasing bright new native talents alongside a slice of repertory favorites. View full festival.

The Film Center thanks the consulates, consuls general, and cultural institutes of the European Union in Chicago and their embassies in Washington, D.C., for their support, partnership, and collaboration. Special thanks to Paul M. Van Halteren, president of EuroChicago and Honorary Consul of Belgium in Illinois, and our 2024 Belgium Spotlight partners:

Belgian Presidency of the EU CouncilBe BrusselsFlandersWallonia ExportWallonie BruxellesFederation WalloniaEuro CircleEUC

European Union Center w/European Union Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign through support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC Program.

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email