The prestigious LE FRESNOY - Studio National des Arts Contemporaines comes to BIEFF 2012!

Pursuing its educational goal, The Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF launches this year the partnership with one of the most important visual art training centers in Europe: LE FRESNOY - Studio National des Arts Contemporaines in France.


Having a 15 years long history, LE FRESNOY is a unique institution, being at the same time a study platform and a production studio, that develops new talents form all over the world, under the guidance of renowned artists such as: Jean-Luc Godard, Tsai Ming-Liang, Bruno Dumont, Michael Snow, João Pedro Rodrigues, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet and many others.


LE FRESNOY will be present in Bucharest through an unique selection of films, as well as through the participation of Mr. François Bonenfant, Head of Studies at LE FRESNOY and also a member of the BIEFF 2012 jury. The LE FRESNOY Special Program is presented with the support of the French Cultural Institute and UNIFRANCE.



Known as one of the most interesting international laboratories of experimental film and visual arts, LE FRESNOY acts up to its reputation, presenting in Bucharest, for the first time in Romania, some of its most controversial and innovative productions in the last years.


Premiered in Cannes Semaine de la Critique 2012 and one of the European Film Awards 2012 nominees, MORNING OF SAINT ANTHONY’S DAY is an impressive short movie, exploring a popular belief through an urban performance. After partying all night long, early morning, as if in a general trance, ghost-like teenagers silently invade the empty streets of a sleeping city. They seem to be "lost", in search of a “home”, to which they don’t to find anymore the once so familiar way. According to the author, the young men’s movements resemble the «the geometrical and melancholic choreographies of Buster Keaton or Jacques Tati and even the dance pieces of Pina Bausch. A huge St. Anthony’s choreography, a kind of unconscious homage to one of the most popular celebrations in Lisbon.». The film bears the unique signature of one of the rising stars of the contemporary Portuguese cinema, JOÃO PEDRO RODRIGUES. Often present at prestigious festivals such as Cannes, Venice and Locarno, his impressive films explore desire and sexuality and carry on further the radical cinema of Manoel de Oliveira and Pedro Costa.


LE FRESNOY also presents two unsettlingly topical journeys within the Romanian collective trauma caused by the communism, films that are at the same time two samples of cinematic innovation.



A brave experiment both from the point of view of interpreting history, and in terms of cinematic language, THE SALT BOULDER is a “visual essay that captures the absurd and the dispair of the 50s, the beginning of the communist era in Romania. It is the story of three architects that design more than buildings, streets, tramways; they design life itself, while becoming themselves victims of this very project. An investigation, Signed by a visual artist of Romanian origin, Eliza Mureșan, this investigation is sustained in an inspired way by the production design choice to reflect the reality of those times in the shape of 3D projections of an architecture project, in which the characters live, dream and still hope every day, without realizing they are captive in a political specter with no way out.” (Ioana Mischie) Starring in the film are the two young and promising actors George Piștereanu and Lucian Iftime.


On the same subject of the alteration of human relations in the totalitarian system, the distressing THE GENERATION OF SACRIFICE is an innovative combination of animation, collage of fragments from archive films and fictional sound, that reflects  the terror of communist Romania in the 80s, when the espionage apparatus would recruit even high school students, who were persuaded to betray their family and friends. French director Jean Christophe performs a fine X-ray on the mindsets of the Romanian society, starting from the Securitate files made public: «Traveling to Romania in 2010, I was surprised to find how present the recent communist history still is in Romanians’ every day life. Many often say “nothing has changed”: the country has abruptly become neo liberal, but, from the political point of view, the old generation is still ruling» (Jean Christophe).“While listening to the inner dilemmas of two very young spies, we see utopian images of happy teenagers of the Golden Age. As the voices are not attributed to a specific person, the two young men could be anyone among thousands of innocent faces on screen. The film thus reenacts, in a subversive, visceral way, the pervasive paranoia of that era.” (Adina Pintilie)



“Starring the versatile Denis Lavant (Leos Carax’s fetish actor), in the leading role, VIA, signed by the visual artist Léonore Mercier, is both a charming sample of meta-cinema and a fascinating quest for self-discovery. Lavant plays the part of an actor, who, during the shooting of a movie, successively plays different characters. What he doesn’t know yet, but will discover step by step, is that the film continues, in color, in his private life, which turns out to be just as fictional. VIA playfully reflects both on film as a medium and on the philosophical debate on destiny vs free will. The cinematic illusion is constantly broken by the very elements of the film language, which start to intrude the protagonist’s life - the frame margins move till they squash him, the letters of the subtitles have a life of their own, the plot elements make his life miserable, he starts to hear voices which dub his conversations in many languages. By experiencing these strange “symptoms”, he soon becomes aware of his being a prisoner of a in a reality dictated by a script.” (Adina Pintilie)


Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival (BIEFF) is organized by the Culture and Image Association, with the support of the National Cinema Centre, the National University of Drama and Film Bucharest, the National Art University, Le Fresnoy National Studio National Des Arts Contemporaines, MNAC National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest, Jameson, JTI, Samsung, Romania Film, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Austrian Cultural Forum, Goethe Institute, UNIFRANCE, the French Institute, the Korean Embassy, the Polish Institute, Dacia, Cărturești, ALLTUR, Kraftmark.


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