Clermont-Ferrand winners for the first time in Romania in the BIEFF 2012 International Competition!

The series of surprises offered by the BIEFF 2012 International Competition continues. BIEFF showcases, for the first time in front of a Romanian audience, films awarded at one of the most important festivals dedicated to short films, the Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival. The screening of these very special films, which have an entirely original and touching approach on the human rights issue, is made possible thanks to the generous support offered by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

 

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.

 

 

EINSPRUCH VI, winner of the Special Jury Award at Clermont-Ferrand 2012 and EFA European Film Award nominee, addresses as well the issue of the violations of immigrants' human rights, but in an entirely different register than the absurd humour of EARLY RISING FRANCE. "Filmed exclusively from the point of view of an African refugee living in Switzerland, the short unravels the last course of events from his life, beginning with the rejection of his political asylum application, followed by the self-imposed hunger strike from prison and ending with his tragical death. The fact that we perceive the protagonist’s experience through his own eyes casts us into witnesses of a distressing inner journey. A clear-headed humanist commentary regarding immigrants’ identity and the bestial forms that the preserving of national security can take." (Andreea Mihalcea, BIEFF 2012)

 

Rewarded with Prix de la Jeunesse at Clermont-Ferrand and the Grand Prize at Tampere, THE LAST BUS is a disturbing parable about the complexity of human nature, set in the animal world. With a daring visual approach, combining animation and live action and in which the actors wear animal masks, the film tells the story of a dangerous escape of the animals from the forest, 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.

 

 

“Standardization means progress!” and “What is good for the factory is good for the family!” are some of the intriguing “conclusions” of the unsettlingly contemporary THE HUMAN FACTOR, designated Best First Movie at Clermont-Ferrand 2012. The film is a caustic and humorous revisiting of the increasing efficiency theories of the influent engineer Frederick Taylor and their effect on society, and also an example of creative repurposing of archive footage. In the 20s, an engineer seduced by taylorism is sent to reorganize a factory. Away from home, he exchanges letters with his wife: while he tells her about his experiments in taylorism, the woman gathers these pieces of information and starts using them in the household. This layer of the story is presented through audio samples containing their dialogue, while the images reveal a collage of archive footage depicting the economic American dream. Gradually though, while the husband starts having doubts that this system is working to the benefit of the individual, his wife takes more steps into thoroughly systematizing the household. Reminding of Chaplin’s MODERN TIMES, THE HUMAN FACTOR is a study on alienation and the absurd of consumer society.

 

 

BIEFF also continues its successful collaboration started at the previous edition with the legendary Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, screening for the first time in Romania several special films from their 2012 selection.

 

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.

 

 

WE LIVED OUR ORDINARY LIVES is a deeply personal exploration of the impact that the terrors of war have 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.

 

PLAYERS is a humorous journey in the world of six professional poker players, who have chosen Bangkok as their home base. Their objective reality – urban landscapes, the hotel, their ordinary daily routine – is intertwined with virtual reality – images of online poker games, mobile applications etc. While one of them explains, with sobriety, the rules of their community, we figure out the director herself, PILVI TAKALA, is playing all of the six parts. We see her – sometimes multiplied on the screen – at the snooker table, in the restaurant, in front of the TV or at the pool. In a hilarious way, the daily habits of this ridiculously wealthy community are presented as being organized according to logics similar to that of gambling games. Poker stops being just a game, undoubtedly becoming a way of live.

 

These are only a few of the highlights of the BIEFF 2012 International Competition, but we will soon reveal more surprises.

 

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, National Museum of Contemporary Arts, 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, Today Advertising, Lente, Hotel Moxa, Cărturești, ALLTUR, Kraftmark.

 

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