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Festivals 2017-03-27

BIEFF 2017 challenges you to defy borders and to experience empathy

Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF reaches this year its 7th edition, which will take place between March 28th and April 2nd, 2017.

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 invites the audience to an exercise in empathy, challenging our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of our fellow man. We feel this is a burning necessity particularly in the present moment, in the light of the recent social conflicts and humanitarian crisis. Most of BIEFF 2017’s films confront us with the personal histories hidden beneath the often clickbait and sensationalist news we are assaulted by on a daily basis, news which create a general atmosphere of anxiety and rejection. Raising debate around the notion of "border" – physical versus psychological, geographical versus cultural and socio-political, stylistic versus conceptual – BIEFF 2017's selection proposes a denial of barriers – those between individuals, but also those of the cinematic language. The viewers are invited thus to internalize the tragedy of their fellow men and to see the world through the Other's eyes.

In this vein, BIEFF’s 2017 selection – curated by Adina Pintilie in collaboration with Dan Angelescu – will present the Romanian premiere of some of the boldest short films of the past few years in their search for new forms of cinematic expression, with a special attention to works created by significant contemporary visual artists, which are usually exhibited in museums and art galleries and only rarely in cinemas.

Following the last years’ audience success, BIEFF’s long-term partnership with Cannes’ Quinzaine des Réalisateurs brings again, with the kind support of the French Institute Bucharest, the Romanian premiere of one of the masters of the international avant-garde cinema – Endless Poetry / Poesia sin Fin by Alejandro Jodorowsky, which opens this year’s festival on the 28th of March.

Meanwhile we offer again our audience the rare privilege to watch winners of the most prestigious international film festivals and events, such as: Timecode, by Juanjo Giménez (Palme d’Or for Short Film – Cannes Film Festival and Oscar nominee for Best Short Film), 9 Days – From My Window in Aleppo, by Floor van der Meulen, Thomas Vroege și Issa Touma (Best Short Film Award at the EFA European Film Academy Awards), Over, by Jörn Threlfall (BAFTA Awards nominee) and many other treats.

True to its consistent focus on experimentation, the BIEFF 2017 International Competition returns with five programs curated around themes which we feel are highly relevant to contemporary society, challenging the audience to debate and participation, with a particular focus on the idea of otherness and the urgent need for empathy, tolerance and inclusion:    


THE POLITICS OF THE BODY: The Performative Self

SEARCHING FOR TRANSCENDENCE: Spirituality in the Digital Age

YOU ARE ANOTHER ME: On Exile and Shifting Borderscapes

THE ALCHEMY OF THE FRAME: Deconstructing the Image

CUTTING THE CORD: Family Love and Its Discontents

This thematic approach aims at expanding and deepening the cinematic experience, by placing individual works in more complex contexts, which push boundaries, trigger controversies and challenge our preconceived ideas.

Unique in Romania, BIEFF's educational partnerships with some of the major European film festivals and cultural institutions also return this year, with an invitation to jumpstart our so-called mirror neurons, that part of the human brain responsible for our ability not only to understand things rationally, but also to viscerally feel other people's emotions.

In partnership with Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art Berlin and with the kind support of the Goethe-Institut, BIEFF offers the Romanian audience the rare opportunity to watch some of the most challenging works from the avantgarde section of the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival: Berlinale Forum Expanded, within the theme program NOSTALGIA FOR THE FUTURE: Manufactured Histories.

Moreover, BIEFF 2017 takes further the inspiring educational partnership with the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which shares with our public an impressive sample of political activism in visual art, within the thought-provoking program PAINTING WITH HISTORY.

As part of the same in depth collaboration of our festival with the Dutch cinema and visual art scene, the popular dance cinema program comes back to Bucharest, in partnership with Cinedans – Dance on Screen Festival Amsterdam, under the theme EMOTIONAL BODIES: Anxiety, Desire and Solitude in the Post-Internet Urbanscape.


The 7th edition of the Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF is 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, Sixpackfilm Austria, LIMA, LUX, Portugal Film, Agência – Portuguese Short Film Agency, Winnipeg Film Group, Swiss Films, AV-arkki, NISI MASA – European Network of Young Cinema.

BIEFF would not be possible without the support of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund, Romanian National Film Center, Romanian Cultural Institute, 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, National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, MUBI, Sky Tour, Eventbook, Canopy.

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