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March 14th–20th, 2016 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului, Cinema Elvire Popesco, Universitatea Națională de Muzică / the 6th edition

BIEFF Promotes Romanian Experimental Film and Visual Art Internationally

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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 top professionals of the international film industry. More than just a screening space for these daring experiments, BIEFF has become an international networking platform, which facilitates the direct meeting between Romanian artists and these cinema professionals, invited to Bucharest as members of the BIEFF 2016 International Competition Jury

PAOLO BERTOLIN — Member of the Selection Committee, Venice International Film Festival
ULRICH ZIEMONS — Program Coordinator, Berlin International Film Festival, Forum Expanded
LUDOVIC CHAVAROT — Member of the Selection Committee, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Compétition LABO
ROEE ROSEN — Visual artist and filmmaker, Winner of the BIEFF 2011 & 2014 Main Awards
XANDRA POPESCU — Artist and co-curator at Atelier 35, Bucharest

Under the special program Experimented in Romania, BIEFF focuses this year on the meeting area between performance art and cinema, showcasing several self-referential works – most of them international premieres – signed by visual artists who daringly reflect on their own creative process, within aesthetic areas different from those usually approached in Romanian cinema.

In her video-performance Revolutionary Gear: The History of Art Retold Through the Black Square, artist Veda Popovici depicts a series of tableaux vivants inspired by Renaissance paintings, Orientalism or sculptures (such as Venus de Milo), providing an intensive discourse about art history retold through the black square created by Kazimir Malevich one hundred years ago. The artist smashes this sign of erudition and class distinction with an enchanted story that guides its audience to reflect on moments in the art history and its political contexts. Her delicate movements and discerning eyes, disguised with the same black square, bring attention to the patriarchal structures which dominated our world, highlighting a feminist discourse which invites you to choose your own revolutionary gear: to participate or to watch. (Claudia Cojocariu, BIEFF 2016)

An intimate self-reflective journey, At the Mirror, signed by Larisa Crunțeanu, seductively portrays the rite of passage into adulthood. A girl – performed by the artist – watches herself (us) into the mirror (camera lens). While she combs her hair, she whispers absent-mindedly a (self-referential) song about a girl (in front of a mirror) who discovers herself in her budding womanhood. Gracefully capturing the tension between innocence and sensuality, the performative body radiates the excitement and anxiety, the confusion and rebellion, the longing and solitude of becoming a woman. Beyond this, At the Mirror works further on a meta-level, as its every new screening is a recording of the previous projection. As the artist notes: This is a work which disappears with every projection. Just like memories, in the end the image disappears, leaving behind a fiction resembling the original story. Impressive in its simplicity, conceptual rigor and depth, At the Mirror becomes a sensorial discourse on time, on memory's frailty and the inevitability of change. (Adina Pintilie, BIEFF 2016)

The body-in-action becomes a political statement in No Shelter from the Storm by artists Arnold Estefan Anca Benera, a video-installation set in woodland that has been devastated by deforestation and therefore offers no place to hide for those escaping any kind of conflict. Besides its ecological  viewpoint, which talks in terms of mass destruction by multinational corporations, the video echoes about human condition and loneliness in a homeland that struggles to maintain its habitat. An optimistic note is provided by the intermingled whistling seen as a solitary struggle, in the hope of collective solidarity. A clever sample of art activism shot in black and white, in textural images that offer a timelessness feeling of insecurity, while camera movements capture the tension between the absence of the forest and its beauty. (Claudia Cojocariu, BIEFF 2016)

In the same vein of socio-political critique, Exercising Failure – exhibited in museums and galleries inVienna, Paris, Barcelona, Johannesburg etc. – by the Romanian artist Dragoș Alexandrescu constructs a personal and evocative interpretation of the fragility of modern doctrines. Literally ripping out the pages of the books that form the foundations of our western thought structure (Marxism, religion and capitalism), Alexandrescu transforms the works into physical raw material for future generations to build into the unknown. Notes from the artist statement: The society in which we live today has been variously termed ‘the post-industrial society’, the ‘consumer society’ or the ‘information age’. A legitimacy crisis is shaking the political economy to the core, in what is proving to be the deepest all encompassing recession in modern history. Those eager to diagnose the condition of contemporary society speak of a shift in focus: a shift from effort to desire, from production to consumption and from the real to the virtual.

Ion Bârlădeanu is already an iconic figure, known worldwide as a homeless art-world darling starring in Alexander Nanău’s documentary, The World According to Ion B. In Bucharest. A World of Ion Bârlădeanu and Carmen Lidia Vidu, the filmmaker Carmen Lidia Vidu portrays him as a unique soul, who ingenuously asserts his obsessions and idiosincrasies. She gracefully captures, through a sensitive editing, fragments of his digressive desires and memories, emphasizing his mercurial personality joined by a significant number of real and fictional figures from his famous collages. She reaches his iconography following his artistic direction swamped in irony and social critique. While the collages he puts together are his own films, the filmmaker succeeds to create a moving collage by placing him at the center of his own picture. (Claudia Cojocariu, BIEFF 2016)

Cleverly playing with the tension between the visual and audio discourse, Cobalt Blue by Diana Miron delivers a captivating reflection on the connection between aesthetics and the body. Starting from the root of the word aesthetics as an experience of the senses, the voiceover muses on various philosophical views on the topic, while the artist’s performative body undergoes an inner transformation which ironically addresses the viewer's scopophilia. Intelligent, ludic and sensual at the same time, Cobalt Blue will stay imprinted in our sensorial memory, existing in that elusive area where the artist, the work and the audience meet and change one another. As the film says, we are fundamentally aesthetic beings, we are embodied beings, we are beings that exist in this way - we sense, we care about these senses, we are transformed by them and our actions and view of the world are shaped by that. (Adina Pintilie, BIEFF 2016)

The 6th edition of Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF takes place between March 14th – 20th, 2016.
BIEFF is honoured and grateful to receive support and inspiration from its partners: Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Cannes, Berlinale Forum Expanded, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Oberhausen Film Festival, IDFA Amsterdam Paradocs, Centre Pompidou, Le Fresnoy - Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Cinedans - Dance on Screen Festival Amsterdam, Tampere Film Festival, Sixpackfilm Austria, LIMA, Portugal Film and EYE Film Institute Netherlands.
BIEFF would not be possible without the support of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund, the Romanian Cultural Institute, the Austrian Cultural Forum, Goethe-Institut Bukarest, British Council, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Embassy of Israel, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Switzerland, Swiss Sponsors' Fund, the French Institute in Bucharest, Instituto Cervantes, Balassi Institute, Italian Cultural Institute, Dacia, TNT, JTI, NouMax, MDV, UniFrance, German Films, the National University of Theatre and Film Bucharest, the National University of Arts Bucharest, the National University of Music Bucharest, the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, the Romanian Filmmakers' Union, Cinelab Romania, MUBI, National Dance Centre Bucharest, Săptămâna Sunetului, Journey Pub, Control Club, Lente & cafea, Lara Zankoul Photography; ticketing by Eventbook.
Media partners: TVR, HotNews, Radio România Cultural, Radio Tanănana, Zile și Nopți, Cinemap, Cinemagia, CinemaRx, LiterNet, The Romania Journal, Societatesicultura.ro, Revista Arta, The Institute, VICE, Think Outside the Box, SUB25.ro, Decât o Revistă, Psychologies.ro, Graphic Front, Revista Arte & Meserii, Café Gradiva, PoliticALL, Igloo, Ziarul Metropolis, B365, Cinefan, All about Romanian Cinema, IQads, Cărturești, Cooperativa Urbană, Urban.ro, PostModern, TeenPress, PLIC – o revistă, @FILM, Movienews.ro, Acoperișul de sticlă.