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

When the Personal Turns Political and the Present Mirrors the Past: from Berlinale Forum Expanded to BIEFF

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Within the ongoing inspiring partnership with Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art Berlin and with the kind support of Goethe-InstitutBucharest International Experimental Film Festival offers the Romanian audience the rare opportunity to see some of the most thought-provoking titles from Berlin International Film Festival's avant-garde section Berlinale Forum Expanded.
 

The theme program Nostalgia for the Future: Manufactured Histories presents the latest film signed by cult experimental filmmaker Guy Maddin along with works by some of the most interesting contemporary visual artists: Clemens von WedemeyerLarissa Sansour and Søren Lind. Looking into cinema's subjective role in dealing with memory, these artists place under scrutiny the relationship of the individual with history, the personal struggle to stand against the collective torrent of events and the dichotomy between subjectivity and objectivity in constructing historical narratives and national identities, consistently subverting the old adage of History Always Favours the Winners.

Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton
 
What do you get when a modern-day-Méliès is hired to produce a making-of for a big-budget war film? A rollicking and unsettling satire, utterly honest in its contradictions, Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton probes deep into cinema’s heart of darkness. Turned into an artist-for-hire on the set of Canadian movie star Paul Gross’ Hyena RoadGuy Maddin films behind-the-scenes on the Jordanian desert standing in for Taliban-held Afghanistan. Via manipulated footage and narrated musings on Canadian pop-culture and the epistemology of cinema, a material originally designed for mere advertising purposes becomes a gesture of artistic subversion, combining the ego’s in/eternal battles of art vs. commerce, with bloated patriotism and the ethics of representation.
 
ESIOD 2015

Clemens von Wedemeyer proposes a lyrical envisioning of a metropolis set in a dystopian future, where a centralized commodification has monetized everything, from urban spaces, social structures to, ultimately, our collective memory. ESIOD 2015 follows the journey of the protagonist as she proceeds towards the core of this new world - the banking headquarters of society’s stored data, finances and memories - in an attempt to access her virtual safe, an operation that would allow her to travel back in time and transmit a subversive message to the present. At the borderline between the real and the virtual, the body turns performative while collective memory and the film itself dissolve in a cloud of pixels, shaping a sci-fi dystopia which projects issues such as the financial crisis and the virtualization of work and capital into a not so distant future.
 
In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain

With a temporal twist, In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain, signed by Palestinian-born Larissa Sansour in collaboration with Danish filmmaker Søren Lind study the relevance of myth and fiction in the construction of history and national identity, by means of an inventive mix of live action and CGI, of archaeology, politics and science-fiction. The film tells the story of the so called narrative terrorists whose job is to plant archaeological artefacts to be discovered by future generations. In doing so, this group of narrative resistance exercises a decisive influence on the course of history, since the artefacts will function as material evidence of the existence of a fictional people.

The complete film presentations, written by Andrei Tănăsescu, are available here.
 
Bearing the title of this year's edition, the competitive programme You Are Another Me questions the idea of borders, while exploring the issues of otherness and the limitations of empathy. How does one deal with the reality of another human being? Is it at all possible to escape the inner bubble of our own minds in order to understand something we have no direct experience of? These are questions which have become even more pressing in the light of recent social and humanitarian struggles. The burdens of others reach us in the form of stories, narratives which reduce and replace the complexities of life. Most of the times, we are not even aware of their being no more than that - mere fictions filtered through our inherently biased and distant perspective. Tackling the problem head on, these innovative and emotionally-powerful works dissolve the barriers towards our understanding of the plight of Others.
 
9 Days - From My Window in Aleppo

Raw footage shot from a window, hastily made photographs and a voice-over narration reconstructed post-factum from diary notes paint a gruesome picture of a war in first person. Awarded the Best Short Film Prize by the European Film Academy9 Days - From My Window In Aleppo is a harrowing documentary that counters the romanticized view on the Syrian Civil War as presented by the Western media. Through minimalistic means, Syrian photographer Issa Touma shows how a warfare situation can become part of everyday life's normality; as the deafening sound of gunshots streams freely through the window, art becomes the only viable mechanism of survival. The film is screened with the kind support of the Eye Film Institute Netherlands and Some Shorts.

Over

Nominated for the BAFTA Awards and the European Film Academy AwardsOver by Jörn Threlfall applies a simple yet effective formula when looking into the stories of those who come to Europe with the hope of finding here the promised land. Inspired by a true story, the short film actively involves the viewers in deciphering and reconstructing a mysterious death told in reverse. However, understanding the thread of events doesn’t confer any of the comfort of a solved puzzle. Instead, the shocking, almost surreal ending leaves us with the question, how could this have happened?!, too stunned to dare give an answer.
 
Summer

Directly from the Berlinale competition comes Summer, a film arguing on the limited capacity of photographs to tell the stories we so readily consume. A beach frozen in time, as if in a snapshot: people enjoying the sun, a child eating ice-cream, a father taking his picture. But in the frame another character appears. Laboriously making their way out of the waters, a group of refugees crawl to the uncertain safety of the beach, escaping a near-certain death. Innovatively mixing 3D modelling and 16mm footage, the film delivers a sharp political commentary on the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Filmmaker Ronny Trocker will be present at the festival with the kind support of Wallonia-Brussels Delegation and the Italian Cultural Institute.
 
Remains from the Desert

The wounds of the past, both physical and psychological are not easily appeased. This is the core of Remains from the Desert, the chilling tale of a young Eritrean refugee captured, tortured and mutilated for money. Despite all the marks carrying the remembrance of what has happened, the breath-taking desertscape remains impassible and unscathed. In the end, the film recognizes the futility of trying to find logic in the senselessness of torture. The only solace can be found in the notion that human memory is as fragile as the body, and that bit by bit all will be forgotten.

We All Love the Seashore

Nominated for the European Film AwardsWe All Love the Seashore explores the experience of exile in a hybrid documentary intermingling reality and fiction. Taking the perspective of a group of refugees stuck in-between borders, director Keina Espiñeira delves into a place where human trajectories are spatially and temporally suspended. Myths of the colonial past intertwine with mundane conversations, while hypnotic images of the sea give an air of poetic unreality to an all too real border experience.

The complete film presentations, written by Diana Mereoiu, are available here.

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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, Romanian Filmmakers's Union, 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, Cinelab România, Aqua Carpatica, MUBI, Sky Tour, Eventbook, Canopy.

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