INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION




57.600 SECONDS OF INVISIBLE NIGHT AND LIGHT (5', Italy, 2010) Read more

Director: FLATFORM

 

Reminding of M.C Escher visual explorations, 57.600 SECONDS…, signed by the interesting Italian visual artists FLATFORM, is a witty collage of optical illusions which makes us question our own perception of reality. In only one shot, the motionless camera follows several people who either prepare an outdoor shooting or just pass by. They move mechanically, absent-mindedly, seeming fully immersed in their own thoughts or actions, without noticing the world around them, where strange things start to happen: day turns into night and vice versa, in an unusually fast pace, while an invisible demiurge seems to randomly manipulate the humans' movement speed. A fascinating and unsettling experience, reminding us that, absorbed by our limited daily concerns, we forget the important things and that life is quickly passing us by.



7 DREAMS (10', Romania, 2012) Read more

Director: ALEXANDRU CAPATOIU

 

7 DREAMS by ALEXANDRU CAPATOIU takes the spectator on a journey into the subconscious: seven nightmares lived and told in seven different languages intertwine to form a collective dream whose imaginary is brought to life through Super 8 mm film.



A CURIOUS CONJUNCTION OF COINCIDENCES (9', The Netherlands, 2011) Read more

Director: JOOST REIJMERS

With the support of:

 

Audience Favorite Live Action Short in Palm Springs 2012, screened and awarded in prestigious films festivals like Aspen, Clermont Ferrand and Hong Kong, A CURIOUS CONJUNCTION OF COINCIDENCES is a hilarious mix of animation and live action, which tells three different stories which seem unrelated: three men are having a rough day. This appears to be all that links them, as they each live in different centuries. But in an absurd twist of fate, these three unrelated incidents lead to an explosive climax in the heart of the city of Amsterdam.



A PLACE TO COME (7', Italy, 2011) Read more

Director: FLATFORM

 

Screened in Rotterdam and Edinburgh, A PLACE TO COME is a philosophical visual essay which highlights the miraculous power of the camera to transcend reality and offer, thus, unexpected perspectives on the world. An exercise in logic and a sensorial immersion within the natural world, the film puts to test our perception, concerning both cinema and life.



ABSORBED (11', Romania, 2012) Read more

Director: IRINA STĂNCIULESCU

 

A highly audacious visual poem, shot on an iPhone, about a boy who recalls the death of Dandy, a baby deer hit by a car, that sets his spirit free through his dream. Dandy first emerges in the boy's mind and then becomes the boy's self further being projected across the void from within the boy's dream. The spirit of the baby deer is merged with the cosmic field according to the main law of nature of one reflecting in everything and everything being one, unbounded and inseparable.



ADDICTED (23', Germany, 2011) Read more

Director: PETER BARANOWSKI

 

"ADDICTED, winner of the Golden Leopard for Short Film at Locarno 2011, is an emotional road-movie which comes with a bold stylistic proposal - it is shot exclusively from the POV of the main character, who remains unseen for the audience. A man departs in a search for the woman he loves, who abandoned him without a single word. A perilous journey begins from the Germany's highways to the dodgy Moroccan roads. A captivating tale about obsession. The radical film shooting choice, the fact that we only perceive the cinematographic experience through the eyes of the protagonist, creates a profound affective bond between the spectator and the character. They become travel mates and soul mates in this both geographical and emotional journey." (Adina Pintilie, BIEFF 2012)



AT THE FORMAL (7', Australia, 2011) Read more

Director: ANDREW KAVANAGH

 

AT THE FORMAL compares in a poetical manner the modern ritual of a high school graduation party with the rituals of ancient civilizations, casting an unsettling view upon the human nature. The director ANDREW KAVANAGH asks himself: “beneath the veil of civil ideals, have we really changed that much?” During just one extended long take, filmed in slow motion, guided by the bizarre cadence of the soundtrack, we slowly step into the sinister ambiance of this graduating formal party. At first, the youngsters look splendid and seem to fully enjoy the moment, but as time passes, more and more socially “inadequate” things begin to happen, as the participants' repressed instincts are starting to break loose. The author, who came with the idea of the film from a personal experience, declares: “To me, these teenagers, dressed so elegantly and behaving so bestially, symbolize a conflict, present within us all…”



BLOODROP (7', Russia, 2011) Read more

Director: ALEXEI POPOGREBSKY

 

ALEXEI POPOGREBSKY, the director of How I Ended This Summer (winner of two Silver Bears at the 2010 Berlinale), signs the surrealist BLOODROP. Originally designed for 3D, this movie stretches the borders between reality and fiction; the story focuses on a man who finds that for a brief period, the 2D world of a framed picture becomes a 3D world ripe for exploration. But how long will it last, where will it lead him and will he be able to get back?



CONFESSIONS (9', Romania, 2011) Read more

Director: LIGIA SMARANDACHE

 

Opposing, by the use of split-screen, the reflexive quest of an introverted human being, portrayed by the shadow of a woman, and the factual unraveling of bits and pieces found in nature and society, LIGIA SMARANDACHE’s short casts a series of existential questions on the meaning of life and of our passing through it.



CONNECTION LOST (11', Turkey/Romania, 2012) Read more

Director: PAULA ONEȚ, MANUELA BORZA

 

At the boundary between documentary and fiction, the two directors’ short is an astute commentary on the relationship between them - who are young adults temporarily studying abroad - and their parents back home, in Romania. The two recorded the Skype sessions with their relatives, without them knowing it, this bringing forth the documentary type of authenticity. The main topic is their staying in Turkey which brings to light preconceptions and attitudes of the ones at the other end of the line.



DIARY OF PAMPLONA (17', Argentina, 2011) Read more

Director: GONZALO EGURZA

 

Seemingly a diary depicting a couple’s voyage to Spain, DIARY OF PAMPLONA is actually a touching homage paid to all the things we find difficult to express and, at the same time, yet another demonstration of how repurposing archive material can render poetical meanings. While seeing filmed scenes of the bull races from Pamplona, we listen to the woman's calm voice, giving an account of exterior and neutral details of the trip. At the same time, by means of double exposure, one can observe on the screen written fragments from her conversations with her husband, in which the painful presence of a matrimonial crisis is gradually infiltrating. At the ending, the two levels of discourse intersect, a dying bull becoming the metaphor of their disintegrating relationship.



EARLY RISING FRANCE (22', France, 2011) Read more

Director: HUGO CHESNARD

With the support of:

 

"Winner of the Audience Award at Clermont-Ferrand 2012 and also nominated in 2012 for the César Awards, EARLY RISING FRANCE is an exuberant musical comedy emanating social militancy. Adopting the aesthetics of a musical, the film examines the issue of immigrants’ rights being disregarded and is based on a real fact: “Souleymane, an employee without papers, was arrested in the summer of 2006 at his workplace and deported to Mali. This man had a job, a wife, a child and had been living in France for many years. The airplane supposed to bring him back to Mali never took off because the passengers protested against it”, the director declared. Certainly a propeller for heated debates, the short raises questions concerning social guilt and solidarity." (Andreea Mihalcea, BIEFF 2012)



EINSPRUCH VI (17', Switzerland, 2012) Read more

Director: ROLANDO COLLA

With the support of:

 

Winner of the Special Jury Award in Clermond-Ferrarnd 2012 and EFA European Film Award nominee of Drama Short Film Festival 2012, ROLANDO COLLA’s film, EINSPRUCH VI, addresses the issue of the violations of immigrants' human rights, being based on a real incident: an African asylum-seeker whose rejected application leads to his deportation from Switzerland and his tragic death. The filmmaker's radical daring choice to film the entire story from the point of view of the protagonist has a powerful identification effect, making the audience deeply resonate emotionally with the main character's drama.



FROM TOKYO (10', Russia, 2011) Read more

Director: ALEXEI GERMAN JR.

With the support of:

 

World premiered in 2011 Venice Orizzonti, FROM TOKYO steps on the boundary between the real and the imagined, in a dreamlike, almost surrealistic atmosphere. Mostly taking place on an airplane, the story follows two men: one of them volunteered to help in Japan after a catastrophe, and the other is one of the people he saved. Also flying with them are people from their past who are no longer with them, their memories, a world that is no less, but perhaps even more important for them than reality. “A story about people whose actions speak louder than words, and who care deeply about others.” (ALEXEI GERMAN JR.)



GLUCOSE (6', France/Romania, 2012) Read more

Director: MIHAI GRECU, THIBAULT GLEIZE

 

"Mixing 3D technology and live shooting, GLUCOSE reinvents our domestic environment, modifying forever our perception of it. A full of humour and anxiety interpretation of the cuantum physics idea that we can exist in two places at the same time. The familiar things suffer strange physical distortions and the natural laws are not valid anymore. Thus surprising associations are created between the micro and the macro universe and we watch in awe how every glass of water becomes an ocean full of fish, each yolk of egg disintegrates in what seems to be a solar explosion, the wall surfaces become arctic landscapes, while fishes cross the now permeable glass wall of the aquarium, floating in air as naturally as in water. A deeply sensorial experience, in GLUCOSE, a sequence of moments of perception disorder becomes an intelligent commentary about our universe." (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2012)



GOD MOVES ON THE WATER (3', Germany, 2008) Read more

Director: ERIK BÜNGER

 

In this mischievous compilation short, on visual excerpts from the 1997 Céline Dion’s My Heart Will Go On music video is superimposed a 1929 gospel song, by use of sleight cinematic means, thus engendering a creative reconfiguration on the subject of the Titanic shipwreck. Surprisingly as it may seem, the 3 minutes alone the film lasts are enough to incite reflexion on the dynamics undergone by a real life event, being turned into the topic of a song, then turned into a blockbuster material, and later on into a tear-jerking music video until taking the shape it currently has in GOD MOVES ON THE WATER.

 



HOPE (11', Canada, 2011) Read more

Director: PEDRO PIRES

 

Ten minutes of visual excellence are the trademark of HOPE, an exploration of the subconscious and a bold interpretation of war seen through the eyes of a dying general. We should expect a hypnotic experience from a director, PEDRO PIRES, who really seems to master his craft and for whom his background in cinematography and special effects gets to serve him very well. Inspired from the play “Jimmy, créature de rêve”, by Marie Brassard, but not using any dialogue, this mix of death, brutality and love is, in its own way, an homage to cinema.



HORIZON (11', Romania, 2012) Read more

Director: PAUL NEGOESCU

 

Generating cinematic and literary references like Hemingway`s “The Oldman and the Sea” or Melville's "Moby Dick", HORIZON depicts the story of a lone fisherman who dedicates each day to his job, going past the big ships that sail the Black Sea with his little boat. His daily unperturbed routine seems to be unbroken until someone (or something) enters the slow and repetitive rhythm of his life. World premiered in Cannes's Critics Week 2012, the film enjoys a rich festival career, being screened in Sarajevo, Namur, Milano, Ghent and many others.



HUMAN (25', Norway, 2009) Read more

Director: THOMAS A. ØSTBYE

 

Will getting really close to someone’s exterior wrapping actually tell us something meaningful about him/her? A noteworthy and problematic pondering underpins this visual essay, otherwise endowed with a crystal clear cinematography. HUMAN challenges its viewers in a way they can’t elude facing their perhaps battered social labeling instincts and, therefore, deal with the fact that our perception on others is never really built on a solid ground, but rather on a dynamical sense of uncertainty. This is a visually mature experiment whose final note played on Puccini’s music definitely strikes some chords.



IMPOSSIBLE EXCHANGE (10', Lebanon, 2011) Read more

Director: MAHMOUD HOJEIJ

With the support of:

 

World premiere in Berlinale 2012, IMPOSSIBLE EXCHANGE is a piece of documentary video-art which explores how expanding moments through slow motion together with textual interventions can enhance the deeper meaning of what is seen. Using minimal means for maximal effect, Lebanese director MAHMOUD HOJEIJ breaks down “the forth wall” by addressing the viewer directly and involves him in a seemingly banal episode, which carries in fact a strong political and emotional charge. Aboard a boat, some French tourists negotiate with the merchants on shore. However close they may be, the obvious difference of their status sets them worlds apart.



INTERNAL DISPLACEMENTS (15', France, 2010) Read more

Director: JEAN CHRISTOPHE

With the support of:

 

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the countries that have gained their independence question their new identities. Transnistria, an enclaved zone, between Moldova and the Ukraine, is an unrecognized de facto state situated in the Republic of Moldova. Between Transnistria and Moldova, four languages are spoken daily. This political entity with its own cultural attributes is not recognized by any country of the international community including Russia where its troops are still deployed. Transnistria has become a region of internal displacement.



MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO (22', Brazil, 2011) Read more

Director: JULIANO DORNELLES

 

Awarded the Special Mention of the Jury at Locarno 2012, MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO, "a film about obsession, limits, and madness", as his author describes it, tells the story of a bodybuilder dedicated to a daily, heavy, and obsessive routine of physical exercises. He finds in his perfect body his only source of pride. But what could be the life of a bodybuilder when his own body wants something that his mind is not so sure about? A strong conflict appears, between desires and temptations, with a lot of sweat, tears and blood. A surprising and ironical mixture of genres, ranging from psychological thrillers to gory exploitation flicks, whose the well-orchestrated twist in the end makes it a must-see for all film buffs.



METEOR (15', Germany, 2011) Read more

Director: MATTHIAS MÜLLER, CHRISTOPH GIRARDET

 

 

 

Winner of the ARTE Award at Hamburg and screened at prestigious film festivals such as Venice, Oberhausen, Rotterdam or Edinburgh, METEOR is a symbolical coming-of-age with fairytale elements in the manner of the Grimm brothers, made of fragments of classical movies. The generic hero of the boy is literally cut out from black-and-whites such as LES QUATRE CENTS COUPS, LE BALLON ROUGE or ZÉRO DE CONDUITE, while the images of the cosmic space come from vintage sci-fis. A demonstration of creativity in the repurposing of found footage, ʺthe film empathizes with childlike realms of imagination, accompanying a boy’s stages of development towards individuation and disentanglementʺ, said the two directors, Matthias Müller and Christophe Girardet. (Andreea Mihalcea, BIEFF 2012)



MOVING STORIES (7', Belgium, 2011) Read more

Director: NICOLAS PROVOST

 

The new work of the always surprising visual artist NICOLAS PROVOST, author of PLOTPOINT (BIEFF 2010) and STARDUST (BIEFF 2011), takes us on a trip to the skies. Over seductive images of a plane flying in the sunset, we hear the off-screen dialogue between a man and a woman. Without ever seeing them, they fully appeal to our imagination. Stock footage is cheaper than shooting new material and is mainly used to fill editing gaps in a film or to illustrate a needed lacking landscape. PROVOST shows that it can have esthetic and cinematic value in itself and can tell a story. In this film, he uses nothing but stock footage of a Boeing plane, flying towards a sunset.



PLAYERS (8', The Netherlands, 2010) Read more

Director: PILVI TAKALA

With the support of:

 

PLAYERS provides a documentary peek into the lives of six professional poker players who have chosen Bangkok as their home base. While one of them, soberly explains the rules within their community, the artist herself, PILVI TAKALA, plays all the roles. We see her – sometimes as multiples – at the snooker table, in a restaurant, in front of the TV or at the swimming pool. The daily routine of this poker community is structured and organized around the logic of playing poker. The game becomes unwillingly life itself.



PUZZLE (3', Romania, 2012) Read more

Director: ANDREEA MĂDĂLINA ȘTEFAN

 

PUZZLE by ANDREEA MĂDĂLINA ȘTEFAN is a student film that discusses the problem of defining yourself in an abstract context in which things are no longer what they seem to be. Studying the difference between appearance and essence, PUZZLE is a cinematic essay structured like an aphoristic collection about the continuous struggle of understanding yourself.



RITA (19', Italy, 2009) Read more

Director: FABIO GRASSADONIA, ANTONIO PIAZZA

 

One of the most successful Italian shorts ever, revealing a masterly use of an efficient and refined cinematic language, the film was shown in over 100 festivals and distributed in 9 countries. Rita, a-ten-year old girl, blind since birth, stubborn and curious, is feeling thwarted by an overprotective dictatorial mother. The claustrophobic world of her home is suddenly breached by a mysterious presence. It's a boy on the run, wounded and terrified. Thanks to their rather out-of-the-ordinary encounter or perhaps only thanks to her imagination and courage, Rita escapes from home and goes to the beach. She learns to swim and experiences a brief moment of freedom which ends when her unusual new acquaintance vanishes and she finds herself alone in the sea.



ROAD (5', Romania, 2011) Read more

Director: TÁNCZOS ANDRÁS

 

Whether we’re talking about industrial roads, major highways or about rocks and grains of sand, the road is the metaphor of life and of decisions. This short is a poetical inquiry on these themes and it is based on the American writer and painter Jack Kerouac’s words: “What’s your road, man? – holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, gruppy road, any road. It’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow.”



SHELTER (16', Indonesia, 2011) Read more

Director: ISMAIL BASBETH

 

"A subtle and disturbing essay about love and solitude in only one extended shot, SHELTER seems to follow a moment in the life of a couple: a girl and a boy, leaning against each other, tired, in the back of an empty bus. Yet, gradually, the nature of their relationship becomes ambiguous - the boy's more and more passionate embraces seem to leave the girl strangely indifferent. In spite of their physical closeness, the two seem painfully alone. A very unusual suspense is thus created and becomes more and more intriguing until, in the end, the film almost imperceptibly crosses the line between the reality and the fantastic, entering a parallel, spiritual realm. What seems to be initially an ordinary scene becomes a powerful emotional experience and, at the same time, a contemplation of life's frailty and of the immense power of our feelings." (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2012)



THE FINNISH COW (20', Romania, 2012) Read more

Director: GHEORGHE PREDA

 

Inspired by Guillemo Vargas, an artist who exhibited in 2008 at Habakkuk Centroamericana Honduras Biennale a very original artwork (a dog that was left to die of hunger), THE FINNISH COW by GHEORGHE PREDA depicts the story of a farmer, Fane, who sells a breed cow to a contemporary art museum, unaware of the fact that exhibiting that animal in a museum will cause him to radically change his life. 



THE FISHERMAN (10', Mexico, 2011) Read more

Director: SAMANTHA PINEDA SIERRA

 

It's the Day of the Dead in a small Mexican village. In a modest fisherman hut, on the shores of the ocean, Leni, an old fisherman, finds a magic way to live again the memories of the time he had spent with his beloved wife. Winner of the Silver Ariel at the Mexican Academy of Film in 2012, THE FISHERMAN is an arresting story about love, imbued with magical realism.



THE HUMAN FACTOR (28', France, 2011) Read more

Director: THIBAULT LE TEXIER

 

What is good for the factory is good for the family! Winner at Clermon-Ferrand, THE HUMAN FACTOR creates with the help of found footage a tragicomical depiction of the birth of the efficiency theories of Frederick Taylor. As the story goes, in 1914, an engineer exchanges letters with his wife, while away on a mission to reorganize a factory. As he tells her about his experiments in taylorism, she picks up bits and pieces of this method and applies it to her daily tasks at home. While the Taylor system starts to disappoint him, his wife becomes a true domestic engineer.



THE LAST BUS (15', Slovakia, 2011) Read more

Director: MARTIN SNOPEK, IVANA LAUČÍKOVÁ

With the support of:

 

Rewarded with Prix de la Jeunesse at Clermont-Ferrand and the Grand Prize at Tampere, THE LAST BUS is a disturbing fable about the complexity of human nature, situated in the animal world. With a daring visual approach, which combines animation and live action and in which the actors wear animal masks, the film tells the story of a dangerous escape of the forest animals, while trying to get away from hunters. Reminding of nightmarish scenes from mankind’s history (such as the escape of refugees from Nazi-occupied territories during World War II), THE LAST BUS places the notions of good and evil under the magnifying glass of relativism, dealing, at a deeper level, with the dark side of human nature which breaks loose in crisis situations, with fear, cowardice, submission and anger.



THE MAN THAT GOT AWAY (25', Canada, 2012) Read more

Director: TREVOR ANDERSON

 

Winner of the DAAD Award in Berlinale Shorts 2012 and highly acclaim in the international film festival circuit, this wonderfully entertaining musical documentary tells the true life story of Trevor’s great-uncle, Jimmy, in six original songs. With an outstanding music and splendidly designed choreographies in retro ambiances, this eccentric film creates a hilarious and moving personal portrayal of a former Broadway dancer, Judy-Garland-befriending, reminding of the 40's musicals and of classical musical stars like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers.



THE MEANING OF STYLE (5', Malaysia, 2012) Read more

Director: PHIL COLLINS

With the support of:

 

The experimental British filmmaker PHIL COLLINS traveled far, all the way to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, to explore the relationship between East and West. He brought back a tropical fantasy featuring a cast of left-wing skinheads and exotic butterflies that seduced many film festivals, from Sarajevo and Rotterdam in Europe to Bello Horizonte in Brasil and Telluride in USA. Originally commissioned by the 2011 Singapore Bienalle, this single-channel video installation is an acid and at the same time strikingly beautiful reflection on complex topics such as the construction of identity in relation to mass media and the contemporary forms of (neo)colonialism.



THE WAVES (21', Portugal, 2012) Read more

Director: MIGUEL FONSECA

 

“There is, in the latest FONSECA film, a kind of melancholy one can find in the haunting harmonies of Fado. THE WAVES has a contemplative, almost esoteric dimension, which links humans and nature, life and death as two sides of the same reality.” (Marie Bergeret, Formatcourt) Through an elliptical narrative, THE WAVES tells the story of two sisters caught in a strange mutually dependent relationship. The sparse storyline is set against the dramatic and beautifully photographed Portuguese coastline- a Portuguese 'paradise lost', rendered even more beautiful by the sense of frailty and loss at its very core. World premiered at Rotterdam IFF 2012



TIMI (10', Romania, 2009) Read more

Director: CRISTI IFTIME

 

In only one 10 minute long take, TIMI is an incisive study of human nature. A 10 years old boy with behavioral disorder, placed in foster care, goes for the first time to the seaside. While the boy sleeps in the background, his tutors, Olga and Nicu, plan their first day of holiday, without including Timi in their plans. The lack of editing cuts and the fixed camera, the filmmaker's choice not to "interfere", make the film's emotional "cut" even sharper, questioning the very meaning of "behavioral disorder".



WE LIVED OUR ORDINARY LIVES (19', The Netherlands, 2012) Read more

Director: DAYA CAHEN

With the support of:

 

 

"A deeply personal exploration of the impact the war terror has on an “ordinary” person. Images in which a young girl - that was 6 years old when the war began - is recollecting things from her childhood are interlaced with guilty pleas from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, showcasing the absurdity of an interethnic conflict, in which those who used to be neighbors and friends have become aggressors and victims. Without having seen any actual war scene, it is the war that paradoxically becomes the real “protagonist”, contaminating society with big words like state, nation or religion, while generating hate and violence. Yet another unsettling immersion in the anomalies of our contemporary world, signed by the interesting Dutch visual artist DAYA CAHEN – author of NASHI (BIEFF 2010) and BIRTH OF A NATION (BIEFF 2011) – the film traces the painful way in which a human being may forever lose its trust in humanity." (Adina Pintilie, BIEFF 2012)