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March 28th – April 2nd, 2017 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului & Cinema Elvire Popesco / the 7th edition

Defying Borders – BIEFF's Main Award Goes to 489 Years, a Journey Through the Korean Demilitarized Zone

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The 7th Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF came to a successful end on Sunday, the 2nd of April. Once again this year the audience attended in great numbers our screenings and special events, proving once more an ever-increasing interest in state-of-the-art experimentation at the border between cinema and visual art. 
 
We were happy to have full house screenings for most of the five competitive programmes – conceived this year around urgent topics of our contemporary society: You Are Another Me, The Politics of the Body, Searching for Transcendence, The Alchemy of the Frame, Cutting the Cord.

The special programmes – created within BIEFF’s long-term partnerships with some of the major European festivals and visual art organizations – also had sold out screenings:
Berlinale Forum Expanded: Nostalgia for the Future
Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Cannes: Endless Poetry, by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Cinedans Amsterdam: Emotional Bodies.

Manifesto, by Julian Rosefeldt, starring Cate Blanchett, and Golden Shorts – Best Films in Major Festivals also made full house. 

BIEFF 2017
 
All these programmes engaged the audiences into debates focused on alterity, the pressing need for empathy, acceptance and inclusion. Created under the token of the ancient Mayan greeting IN LAK’ECH ALA K’IN – which translates into English as YOU ARE ANOTHER ME – this year's edition invited the audience to an exercise in empathy, challenging our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of our fellow man. We felt this was a burning necessity particularly in the present moment, in the light of the recent social conflicts and humanitarian crisis. The BIEFF 2017 selection was curated by artistic director Adina Pintilie, in collaboration with associate curator Dan Angelescu

BIEFF 2017
 
The BIEFF International Competition Jury brought together high quality cinema and visual art professionals, with experience as curators and managers of significant film festivals and institutions: Nora Molitor – representative of Berlinale Forum Expanded and of Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art; Paolo Moretti – member of the Selection Committee of the International Documentary Film Festival FIDMarseille and programme advisor for Visions du Réel Nyon; Boglárka Nagy – Manager of Film Projects for French Institute Romania and Programmer of Elvire Popesco Cinema.

 
BIEFF 2017 Main Award for Experimental Film – in amount of 3,000 Euro was granted to Hayoun Kwon for 489 Years. The award was offered by the Romanian Cultural Institute. This is the motivation of the jury:  "By combining 2D, 3D animation and documentary, 489 Years provides an immersive experience of the North/South Korean border known as DMZ. Instead of using 3D animation techniques to build an alternative reality, Kwon creatively opens a virtual space of a 'real' yet fantastic territory in order to give access to an otherwise forbidden area. By conceiving computer generated images as a possible extension of documentary material, 489 Years also constitutes a contemporary and powerful reflection on the very nature of the image and on the new frontiers of imagination as well as narration."

 
The Best Filmmaker Award consisting in post-production services in value of 1,500 Euro (offered by Cinelab Romania) went to Diogo Costa Amarante for Small Town. "With a very poetic and narrative montage, using a format that goes beyond cinemascope, Diogo Costa Amarante dares to approach the questions of death and consciousness within the setting of a mother-child relationship. Creating a fragile balance between philosophical thought and restrained emotionalization, he leaves space to his own imagery and its perception." (BIEFF 2017 Jury Motivation). The BIEFF screening of Small Town was possible due to the kind support of Agência da Curta Metragem.

 
Cinelab offered one further prize of the same value for the Best Visual Concept. The award went to Ronny Trocker for the film Summer. "Starting from an existing photograph, Summer reenacts and reinterprets a given situation with ideomatic 3D animation. Alternating still and moving image, as well as the point of view of bystander and subject, it opens up the original iconography of the photograph; Ronny Trocker challenges the spectator’s perception but also questions – if not subverts – the sensationalism of current media." (BIEFF 2017 Jury Motivation). The BIEFF screening of Summer was possible due to the kind support of Autour de Minuit, the Wallonia-Brussels Delegation and the Italian Cultural Institute.

 
The Best Romanian Filmmaker Award in amount of 1,000 Euro, offered by the Romanian Filmmakers’ Union (UCIN), was granted to Luiza Pârvu and Toma Peiu for Sisyphus 2.0. "Sisyphus 2.0 transfers an ancient Greek parable – or rather its adaptation in French existentialist literature – to an endless stream of surveillance camera recordings, documenting the everyday’s attempt to give a meaning to life. Plain images of the daily routine turn into the representations of a purely restless resilience of the human being." (BIEFF 2017 Jury Motivation)

 
For the second year in a row, the Special Mention of the Jury went to Gabriel Abrantes for A Brief History of Princess X, which "brings together two historical characters, Constantin Brâncuși and Princess Marie Bonaparte, and virtuously depicts their encounter. We are awarding the Special Mention of the jury for the ability to condensate a deep artistic and social parable in a precisely constructed narrative, managing to combine the seriousness of its topics with a sharp humorous approach."  (BIEFF 2017 Jury Motivation). The BIEFF screening of A Brief History of Princess X was possible due to the kind support of Agência da Curta Metragem.



 
Just like in previous years, we were eager to learn the opinion of our audience regarding the BIEFF 2017 selection. There was a tough competition for the Audience Award this year, and at one point almost half of the films had collected enough votes to claim the prize. Eventually, the Audience Award was split between Peep Show by Rino Stefano Tagliafierro – a mesmerizing homage to the history of art, exploring sensuality across time and cultures (screened with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute), and I Made You, I Kill You by Alexandru Petru Bădeliță – an exquisite exercise in self-exorcism giving a moving personal account of the director's traumatized childhood, in the surprising form of a surrealist mix of collage, animation, documentary and photos from his personal archive (screened with the support of BIEFF’s partner Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains). 
 
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The 7th edition of the Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF was organized by Manekino Cultural Association in partnership with PRINTOR COM and Film Monitor Association.
 
BIEFF is honoured and grateful to receive support and inspiration from its partners: Quinzaine des Réalisateurs – Cannes Film Festival, Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art Berlin, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Cinedans – Dance on Screen Festival Amsterdam, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Tampere Film Festival, Centre Pompidou, Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains, EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Swedish Film Institute, Norwegian Film Institute, Le Pacte, The Match Factory, Sixpackfilm Austria, LIMA, LUX, Portugal Film, Agência – Portuguese Short Film Agency, Winnipeg Film Group, Swiss Films, AV-arkki, Marvin & Wayne, Some Shorts, Autour de Minuit, NISI MASA – European Network of Young Cinema, MUBI.

BIEFF would not be possible without the support of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund, Romanian National Film Center, Ministry of Culture and National Identity, Romanian Cultural Institute, Romanian Filmmakers's Union, National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Embassy of France, French Institute, Goethe-Institut, Austrian Cultural Forum, Swiss Sponsors’ Fund, Embassy of Switzerland, Embassy of Sweden, Wallonia-Brussels Delegation, Italian Cultural Institute, Greek Cultural Foundation, National University of Theatre and Film Bucharest, National University of Arts Bucharest, Cinelab România, NouMax, MDV Studio, Aqua Carpatica, Domeniile Sâmburești, Hotel Venezia, Journey Pub, Lente, Sky Tour, DHL, Canopy, ZeList Monitor, Eventbook.

Media partners: Radio Guerrilla, Radio România Cultural, Agerpres, HotNews, Cinemagia, Zile și Nopți, Cinemap, Brrlog, Scena9, CINEPUB, Decât o Revistă, Observator Cultural, Revista ARTA, Revista Zeppelin, Igloo, Liternet, Ziarul Metropolis, Ziare.com, IQads, ART7, SUB25, Think Outside the Box, All About Romanian Cinema, Acoperișul de sticlă, Dissolved Magazine, The re:art, A List Magazine, Glamour România, Bucharest City App, Film New Europe.