BIEFF promotes Romanian experimental film and visual art internationally!

BIEFF carries on its mission to promote Romanian experimental film and visual art, by presenting the most recent Romanian works both to the local audience and to some important professionals of the international film industry. Furthermore, BIEFF facilitates the direct meeting between the Romanian artists and these professionals, who are invited to Bucharest both as members of the BIEFF 2012 International Competition Jury, and as representatives of the BIEFF Special Programs:


CHRISTOPHE LEPARC, Managing Director of QUINZAINE DES RÉALISATEURS, parallel section of the CANNES Film Festival.

JONATHAN POUTHIER, cinema programmer at CENTRE POMPIDOU National Museum of Modern Art, Paris.

FRANÇOIS BONENFANT, Head of Studies at LE FRESNOY - Studio National Des Arts Contemporaines, France.


BRIGITTA BURGER UTZER, director of SIXPACKFILM, the main distributor of Austrian experimental film and visual art.


BIEFF is the first Romanian event dedicated to promoting the border area between cinema and visual art, offering increased visibility to cutting edge visual artists, whose work is mainly accessible in museums and art galleries circuit and rarely on cinema screen. “We do this as we believe this border area is an extremely rich, creatively nourishing territory, from where unique artistic voices have constantly emerged over the years, such as Peter Greenaway, David Lynch, Derek Jarman, Andy Warhol, Stan Brakhage and others”, said Adina Pintilie, BIEFF curator.  


BIEFF presents the international premiere of the latest work signed by the Romanian visual artist Călin Dan, STILL LIFE, 20TH C. An established name in contemporary art, Călin Dan has participated in prestigious exhibitions and film festivals like the Venice Biennale, Manifesta, the Rotterdam Film Festival or Oberhausen. At the border between fiction and documentary, STILL LIFE, 20TH C. is based on autobiographical sources, telling the story of the author’s grandmother: the memories of this woman, who was jailed without a trail, because of political reasons, in 1948, by the Communist regime in Romania, are intertwined with those of the artist. Apparently a description of how day-to-day life unfolded during Communism, the film references many layers of the 20th century history, with its ideological confusions, guilt, oppression and trauma-altered memory.


Presented in the Venice Biennale, at Centre Pompidou and Haus der Kultur der Welt, RITE OF SPRING, by visual artists Mona Vătămanu and Florin Tudor, poetically explores the theme of change, starting from the simple gesture of kids lighting up fires that burn the poplars’ white fluff in spring. “A yearly ritual performed by kids, outsiders of a system of automatic gestures repeated daily by the ones living in this world, a metaphor of the spark which sets on fire the existing order, leading to a change. Those sparks and small fires we shot on film symbolically associate to many things - could be the fires in the French suburbs during the recent years “émeutes”, the perpetual evacuated, repatriated Rroma people through Europe, the antiwar protests around the globe, against the invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, or this year uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East for the hope of an equal world”, the authors said.


BIEFF also presents several cinematic experiments that courageously test areas different from those usually explored in Romanian cinema.



A postmodern mixture of contemporary dance and cinema, COLLECTIVE IDENTITY, directed by choreographer Sandra Mavhima and cinematographer Radu Aldea, is a very original attempt within the Romanian cinema landscape. In a post-industrial space, in a world on the verge of disintegration, a group of dancers fight to regain their uniqueness. A classical ballet professor, embodying a bygone era of harmony, asks for discipline and perfection from his students, who in turn refuse to abide to the rules and fit in the rigid patterns, appearing as complex beings in a continuous transformation. With a visceral sound design in which classical harmonies are constantly undermined by electro-industrial dissonances, with an impressive set-design, cinematography and physical expressivity, COLLECTIVE IDENTITY is a seductive sensorial essay about inner freedom.


Designated Best Short Film at the Dublin Film Festival, DONNA MUST DIE, by Dragoș Dulea and Ismail Jamaludin, is “a pastiche of noir films and, at the same time, an homage paid to the pasticheur par excellence, The Mighty Tarantino”. (Lavinia Cioacă, FILM MENU). Fred, a passive-aggressive husband confronts his strong urge to kill his lifeless wife, after she destroys by accident his garden gnome - the thing he treasured most. Referencing postmodernist films like PULP FICTION, Rodriguez’s SIN CITY, or THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE by the Coen brothers, the film is an enjoyable play on the matter of the killer’s stereotype, with stylistical insertions of graphic novel.



Winner of the Canal+ Award at the Montpellier Festival, THE FINNISH COW, by Gheorghe Preda, even though it has a classical narrative and mis-en-scene, is welcomed in the BIEFF program due to the highly controversial and present-day topic it debates, with a high quality absurd humour: the eccentricity and gratuitousness  of contemporary art. Inspired by Guillermo Vargas, an artist who, in 2008, exhibited at the Centroamerican Biennale, a very original artwork (a dog that was left to starve to death), the film follows the story of a farmer who sells a cow to a museum of contemporary art, unknowing that the exhibition of this animal in a museum would cause radical changes in his life. Starting from the question “is it normal that an artist lets an animal starve for art’s sake?”, THE FINNISH COW will surely provoke passionate debates.


The series of experiments is rounded up by several debut shorts signed by young female artists, presented in international premiere at BIEFF. Closely connected to the “classical” experimental aesthetics of the 60’s American avantgarde, ABSORBED, by the visual artist Irina Stănciulescu (Color Nurse), is a captivating visual poem filmed on an iPhone. In a hypnotic atmosphere, created both by the oneirism of the images and by the vibrant electronic soundtrack signed by Tanz Ohne Musik (Dan Șerbănescu), we witness a fascinating journey inside the human subconscious.



Coming from Cluj: CONFESSIONS, by Ligia Smarandache - an elegant mix of animation and live action, in a visual essay about the transience of life and the meaning of our passing through it - and CONNECTION LOST, by Paula Oneț and Manuela Borza, who record Skype conversations between themselves, young filmmakers studying abroad and their relatives at home, thus creating an interesting study on family relationships, (non)communication and prejudices.


BIEFF also presents two short films by two young and promising Romanian directors, graduates from the National University of Drama and Film Bucharest HORIZON by Paul Negoescu and TIMI by Cristi Iftime, films highly praised at international festivals.


Having its premiere at CANNES, SEMAINE DE LA CRITIQUE 2012 and screened at Sarajevo, Namur, Milano etc., HORIZON witnesses the life of a lonely fisherman, whose daily routine seems to be impossible to disturb, until someone (or something) disrupts the slow and repetitive rhythm of his existence. Reminding of Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, the film has a contemplative nature, talking about the mix of fascination and fear one feels when confronted with the mysteries of the Universe.



In a single 10-minute-long take, TIMI, selected at Tampere, Tel Aviv and Sao Paulo Film Festivals, is an incisive study on the human nature. Olga and Nicu are two foster parents at the seaside, in a holiday paid by the government for Timi, a 10-year-old boy with behavioural disorders placed in their care. The two are making holiday plans, without including Timi in them, while Timi is trying to sleep in the background, being at times undistinguishable among the pieces of luggage on the bed. The audacious director’s choice to not “interfere”, the seeming “distance” of the observational style generated by the lack of editing cuts and the fixed camera, make the emotional impact of the film all the more stronger, raising the question: who is the one actually having behavioural disorders here?


Besides the actual screenings, BIEFF also organises the panel entitled “THE SECRETS OF PRODUCING AND DISTRIBUTING EXPERIMENTAL FILM AND VISUAL ART IN EUROPE, a platform for meetings between the foreign professionals invited at the festival, the main Romanian educational institutions in this field - the National University of Drama and Film Bucharest and the National University of Arts - and the Romanian film and visual art students and professionals. This panel is an important opportunity for the Romanian filmmakers to get in touch with the international market of experimental film and visual art. The panel is open to all Romanian directors and visual artists, regardless of their creative genre or experience. At the same time, the film and visual art departments of the National University of Drama and Film Bucharest and the National University of Arts will introduce to the distinguished guests the latest student productions, establishing in this way an essential collaboration platform, between the main film and visual art Romanian educational institutions and these prestigious festivals, institutions and foreign distributors.


The new edition of the Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF will take place between 20th – 25th of November at Cinema Scala and Cinema Elvira Popescu. The entrance to the screenings and related events is free of charge, depending on the number of available seats.


Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival (BIEFF) is organized by The Association for Culture and Image, with the support of The National Centre of Cinematography, The National University of Drama and Cinema, The National University of Fine Arts, Le Fresnoy - National Studio of Contemporary Arts, MNAC National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Jameson, JTI, Samsung, UNIFRANCE, Noumax, Romania Film, The Konrad Adenauer Foundation, The French Institute, The Austrian Cultural Forum, The Polish Institute, Goethe Institute, Design Forge, The Embassy of The Republic of Korea, Dacia, ALLTUR, Libraria Bastilia, Lente, Hotel Moxa, La Mama, Kraftmark.


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