It's going to be a very exciting autumn in Kortrijk! On 14 and 15 October, the first edition of Unwrap Festival will be organised, the jewel in the crown of the Kortrijk gaming industry. With this festival, Kortrijk will be putting itself further on the map as an international gaming city by highlighting the potential of the region for the entertainment industry, with a major focus on the talent present, thanks to Howest DAE.
The region has gold in its hands with the Digital Arts & Entertainment programme at Howest. Howest has been voted the best game development school in the world several times and plays an essential role in the game industry. The creative talents of tomorrow are moulded at their school desks. Moreover, with the Devine programme, Howest has a fully-fledged arts programme that guarantees extra creative influx into our city. In addition, Kortrijk has been recognised by UNESCO as a Creative City of Design, a title it bears with pride and which is reflected in projects such as Wonder and Paradise. Kortrijk is also the hometown of Wilde Westen, a purebred festival and concert organiser that always comes up with fresh, innovative concepts, such as Sonic City. Entrepreneurship in Kortrijk is embodied by the start-up hub Hangar K at Kortrijk Weide, where the Howest spin-off DAE Studios is also located. DAE Studios guides young talent towards their own game studio.
All parties involved join forces and organise the first edition of the Unwrap festival on 14 and 15 October. With the Unwrap festival, the organisers want to highlight the potential of the region for the entertainment industry, with a major focus on the talent present. After all, Kortrijk Weide is the breeding ground within Europe for international top talent in the entertainment industry. It is therefore at the Kortrijk Weide site that the event will take place. With inspiring locations such as Hangar K, The Level, Départ and Tranzit on a handkerchief, Unwrap has many trump cards up its sleeve.
Unwrap will build bridges between professionals from different sectors. Crossovers between the entertainment sectors of music, gaming and film are obvious, but other sectors are also welcome. The creative applications resulting from the gaming industry often find their way into other sectors as well.
Besides the professional part, Kortrijk also wants to put the e-sports story in the spotlight. Parallel to the Unwrap festival, a number of e-sports related activities will take place, with which Kortrijk explicitly wants to put this new sports discipline in the spotlight and profile itself as an innovative city in this field.
For a sector to grow and flourish, you need above all talent. The young talent is supplied year after year by the Howest DAE programme. But in addition to young talent and starters, there is also a need for people with experience to steer this continuous supply of young talent in the right direction and to accelerate it towards substantial sector growth. With the Unwrap festival and specifically the Unwrap career fair, we want to bring DAE alumni with years of experience abroad back to the region by putting all the assets of the region in the spotlight.
The Unwrap festival is inspired by SXSW and, given the above-mentioned focus, is primarily aimed at a B2B audience, supplemented by students looking for a career in the entertainment sector and professionals from the international entertainment sector.