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

Paradise in Ruins: Visual Art Activism - Theme Program Oberhausen ISFF

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Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF continues its inspiring long-term collaboration with the legendary International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, offering Romanian cinema buffs the chance to get acquainted with some of the most intriguing recent works of activist visual art, under the theme program Paradise in Ruins, screened with the kind support of our longtime partner Goethe-Institut Bukarest.
 
We live in a time of failed ideologies. Communism, National-Socialism, Capitalism took turns in claiming to offer a clear way towards the perfect society, and they were all eventually found wanting. The films within this program cast a cinematic eye on a world so engrossed with finding its way towards a lost paradise, that it fails to notice its own slide into neo-feudalist conditions of political and economic inequalities and inequities.
 

Freedom & Independence, by Bjorn Melhus

In Freedom & IndependenceBjørn Melhus questions the global ideological paradigm change to new forms of religious capitalism by confronting ideas of the self announced objectivist philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand with evangelical contents of US-American mainstream movies. This contemporary fairytale in which Melhus performs all characters himself was partly shot in a Berlin morgue and new urban environments in Istanbul. In a tour de force that oscillates between musical, comedy, horror film and fairy tale this high definition trip trawls out our global psyche for stored conceptions of promises of salvation, childhood trauma and work ethic under the imperative of self-optimization. (http://www.kinoderkunst.de). Screened at the prestigious Berlinale and Clermont-­Ferrand International Short Film Festival.

Shift, by Alex Gerbaulet

Alex Gerbaulet's Shiftwinner of the German Competition Prize at Oberhausen 2015 and German Film Critics Award 2015, moves down the shaft of memories, her own family's and those of the industrial city of Salzgitter, a once blooming project of National-Socialist Germany, home of the "Reichswerke Hermann Göring" and of the adjacent labour camps. Shift employs a rhythm crafting a feeling of implacability. Family and history events are concocted from archival propaganda pieces, newsreels, and family photos, and the remains of the mining-cum-steel works shot on location. Moving between layers, the recurrent figure of the widowed father jogs along deserted streets and eventually returns to an empty home, his wife having passed away some time ago after years of suffering from multiple sclerosis. The industrial city is gradually invalided by a multiple sclerosis of its own. Reduced to the representation of the ruins of a failed ideology, it faces a future grimmer still, since it is designed to become the ultimate disposal place for radioactive waste. (Adina Marin, BIEFF 2016)

Paradise, de Max Philipp Schmid

‘Everything was good. Beyond the reach of all evils’, a voice utters repeatedly and persuasively in the beginning of Max Philipp Schmid’s film, hinting at a (lost) Paradise (short awarded with Best Arthouse Film Award at Basler Filmpreis, Basel 2015, and winner of First Prize at VideoEx Zürich, 2015). Instead, the viewer is swept into an artificial greenhouse mimicking the Garden of Eden, where the Adam character is played by a middle-aged, middle class man leafing through a collection of index cards and occasionally reciting into a microphone quotes from The Bible, Rousseau, Der Spiegel, Hesiod, and a bunch of academics. The resulting discourse is a multi-faceted complex of ideas, retracing the history of the garden as the primordial protected place, from the literal meaning of the Persian word pairidaēza (enclosure) to the present societal tendency towards reclusion while longing for the lost paradise. (Adina Marin, BIEFF 2016)

Gangster Backstage, by Teboho Edkins

Gangster Backstageawarded with the Principal Prize Of The International Jury at Oberhausen Film Festival, is Teboho Edkins' follow-up to Gangster Project, a film he completed a few years before, and for the making of which he ventured in one of Cape Town's most violent black townships where few white people dare to enter, to observe the life of real gangsters at first hand. This time, instead of seeking the gangsters in their natural habitat, he summons them to the neutral setting of an empty classroom by launching a casting call. Interviews, during which the characters talk candidly about the pros and cons of gangster life alternate with scenes in which they stage their fears and dreams, in a barren Dogville-like decor, with white tapes marking the claustrophobic outline of a prison cell. Between the torment of confinement and the omnipresent threat of an untimely death, these amoral human beings evolve in the South-African society, which has failed so far to come to terms with itself. (Adina Marin, 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, UniFrance, German Films, the National University of Theatre and Film Bucharest, the National University of Arts Bucharest, the Romanian Filmmakers' Union, MUBI, National Dance Centre Bucharest, Săptămâna Sunetului, Journey Pub, Control Club, Lente & cafea; 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, TeenPress, PLIC – o revistă, @FILM, Movienews.ro, Acoperișul de sticlă.