The winner of the Golden Leopard for Short Film from Locarno in the BIEFF 2012 competition!

As usual, the BIEFF International Competition features some of the most innovative short films from the field of experimental cinema and visual art, 38 multiply awarded works, presented at prestigious festivals and museums such as Locarno, Venice, Berlinale, Cannes, Rotterdam, Centre Pompidou, MOMA etc.


"Very special films that open new, unsettling perspectives on the human condition and show a remarkable audacity to experiment, both in terms of concept and cinematic language”, according to the curator of the BIEFF 2012 International Program, Adina Pintilie.


Winner of the Golden Leopard for Short Film at Locarno 2011, ADDICTED is an emotional road movie, highly audacious in terms of stylistics:  - it is shot entirely from the point of view of the leading character, who remains, thus, unseen for the audience. A man sets in the search for his girlfriend, who abandoned him without a word. A perilous journey starting off from German highways toward hazardous Moroccan roads and, at the same time, an enthralling story about obsession. The radical filming choice - the fact that we perceive the cinematic experience only through the eyes of the protagonist - creates a deep affective bond between the viewer and the main character. The two become travel mates and soul mates in this both geographical and emotional journey.



Awarded the Special Mention of the Jury at Locarno 2012, MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO is a sample of how one can intelligently play with the classical narrative mechanisms. For several minutes we watch a bodybuilder training, completely absorbed by a whole ritual dedicated to his own body. "By the way he looks, with his brawny body and hammer-like hands, we can be sure that there will be bloodshed. But the spectator's expectations are constantly put on hold. The antagonist fails to make an appearance while the bodybuilder's daily routine turns to obsession. Finally, as in any "respectable" story, we are provided with an "antagonist" and a "conflict", but not quite the way we have been used to. The antagonist, unexpected, to say the least, turns out to be the bodybuilder's perfect body, which tries to get rid of his flawed part, our hero's mind. We can say, thus, that we are dealing with an inner conflict!" (Andrei Dobrescu, BIEFF 2012)



Also from the Leopards of Tomorrow Competition, 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, whose idea for this film came from a personal experience, declares: “To me, these teenagers, dressed so elegantly and behaving so bestially, symbolize a conflict, present within us all…”


BIEFF also brings for the first time in Romania some of the most interesting films from Venice, from the ORIZZONTI section that focuses on the most innovative trends in contemporary cinema. Two of them, MOVING STORIES and METEOR, highlight the poetic potential of re-using archive material.



The new work of the always surprising visual artist NICOLAS PROVOST, author of PLOTPOINT (winner of BIEFF 2010) and STARDUST (BIEFF 2011), MOVING STORIES is yet another intelligent exploration of the cinematic language grammar. Over seductive images of a plane flying in the sunset, we hear the off-screen dialogue between a man and a woman, taken from the iconic BLUE VELVET (r. David Lynch, 1986). PROVOST beautifully demonstrates that stock footage (usually used to fill editing gaps, being cheaper than shooting new material) can have esthetical value in itself and that, by stimulating the spectator’s imagination, with minimum resources, a highly emotional story can be told.


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.



Also from Venice, on the boundary between the real and the imagined, in a dreamlike, almost surrealistic atmosphere, FROM TOKIO follows the story of two men who return from Japan, after a catastrophe. They fly together in a plane to Europe. Also flying with them are people from their past who are no longer alive. "Reminding of Ingmar’s Bergman’s WILD STRAWBERRIES, the past and the present meet in the same frame, while memories seem to have a supernatural power that allows them to become concrete reality. This translates to a bitter-sweet realization for the characters that they are not alone. They will always have their memories, but those very memories will also prevent them from living in the present. They live in an in-between, both on a physical and symbolical journey, connected to one another through their grief." (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2012)


These are only a few of the highlights of the BIEFF 2012 International Competition.  We’ll be coming back soon with new 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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