BIEFF Promotes Romanian Experimental Film and Visual Art Internationally

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. Furthermore, BIEFF facilitates the direct meeting between the Romanian artists and these professionals, who are invited to Bucharest both as members of the BIEFF 2013 International Competition Jury and as representatives of the BIEFF Special Programs:


  • RÉMI BONHOMME - Programme Manager, Semaine de la Critique, Cannes Film Festival
  • JOOST DAAMEN Programmer IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
  • MIEKE BERNINK -  Head of the Master of Film, Netherlands Film and Television Academy
  • MÁRIO MICAELO - Co-Director, Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival


BIEFF presents several cinematic experiments – most of them international premieres – that courageously explore aesthetic areas different from those usually approached in Romanian cinema.



Under the WARDEN COLLECTIVE creative trademark, the unconventional filmmakers BARNA NÉMETHI and VLAD FENEȘAN return to BIEFF with two novel samples of fashion cinema, a genre less known and rarely practiced in Romania:


Starring the two well-known Romanian actresses Luminița Gheorghiu (The Death of Mr. LăzărescuChild's Pose) and Monica Bîrlădeanu (Of Snails and MenFrancesca) in the lead parts, THE MATRIARCH (directed by BARNA NÉMETHI) is an unsettling and seductive mix of sensuality and grotesque that “explores the diva-seen-as-a-sex-predator iconography, in a baroque stylistic key, reminding of the fascinating universe of Erwin Olaf's photography.” (Andreea Mihalcea, BIEFF 2013)



“Glam meets medieval sorcery in BECOMING (directed by VLAD FENEȘAN), a reinterpretation of the incubus myth, in an eccentric mix of archaic and ultra-modern, where futurism meets the Inquisition and the minimalist set design and animation contrast with the baroque costumes, in an enigmatic story about envy and lust.” (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2013)



A mesmerizing black and white photo and video collage, HOTEL CALIFORNIA - NOBLESSE OBLIGE signed by CARMEN LIDIA VIDU (known for her innovative multimedia performances) is “an intricate tale of toxic relationships, a glimpse through the peeping hole into the protagonist’s memories. Set to the sultry voice of Noblesse Oblige’s lead singer, in this cover of The Eagles’ famous song, the filmmaker creatively envisions the inner turmoil of a young man, whose memory is haunted by a seductive and destructive femme fatale.” (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2013)



Winner of the Romanian Filmmakers Association Award for Experimental Animation Film 2013, IMAGE FISHERMAN (directed by ALEXANDRU BĂDELIȚĂ) is “a mock-reinterpretation of the experimental cinema aesthetics, a quirky collage of live-action and animation, where the filmmaker reveals, with playfulness and irony, fragments of memories, subconscious thoughts, fears, obsessions, in an uncontainable incandescence of imagination.” (BIEFF 2013)



CECILIA FÉLMERI comes back to BIEFF with the dark comedy THE PILL OF HAPPINESS, winner of the CANAL+ Award at Montpellier 2013. “Launching an interesting debate on the manipulative power of television, the film is, on one hand, a satire on the TV reality show phenomenon, and on the other, a caustic commentary on the everyday abuses the ordinary Romanian faces in contemporary society. In a dystopian reality show, such an unpleasant event is reenacted with a twist in which the bad guy receives his well-deserved pay-off, according to some sort of talion law.” (Oana Ghera, BIEFF 2013)


BIEFF is the first Romanian event dedicated to promoting the border area between cinema and visual art, offering increased visibility to cutting edge visual artists, whose work is mainly accessible in museums and art galleries circuit and rarely on cinema screens. “We do this as we believe this border area is an extremely rich, creatively nourishing territory, from where unique artistic voices have constantly emerged over the years, such as Peter Greenaway, David Lynch, Derek Jarman, Andy Warhol, Stan Brakhage and others”, says Adina Pintilie, BIEFF curator.  



BIEFF brings on screen two recent works signed by the visual artist MIRCEA CANTOR: SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI – a conceptual performance that suggests the ephemerality of human condition, the illusion of earthly glory and the hope for transcendence – and TRACKING HAPPINESS, a poetic imagery on the search for happiness, subtly suggested through the hypnotic choreography of seven women. Winner of the prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize (2011), CANTOR is an established name in contemporary art, his works being exhibited in renowned museums and galleries worldwide such as Centre Pompidou, MoMa, Museum of Moving Image New York, Museo di Arte Contemporanea Roma etc.



The Aristoteles Workshop comes back to BIEFF with its daring recent production THE BED IS BROKEN (directed by RALUCA RĂCEAN GORGOS), world premiered at IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, a film which “works with subtlety, silence and an eerie visual sense. It gets you so close to these deprived kids, so much that the files they throw at each other hit you as well. Finally, the heart is broken as much as the whole world in which they live in.” (Alexandru Solomon, filmmaker and Festival Director, One World Romania)



The series of cinematic experiments is rounded up by several interesting debut shorts signed by students of the film and visual arts universities from Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca.


Coming from the National University of Theatre and Film Bucharest, OMNIVORE (directed by LAURENȚIU RĂDUCANU) is a “surrealist incursion in a butcher's routine, reminding of Orwell's Animal Farm, that brings forth an unsettling perspective on human identity, by exploring our instinctive side and latent beastliness.” (BIEFF 2013)


From Babeș Bolyai University Cluj, ALEXANDRU PONORAN’s film ISAC IS STILL SLEEPING, speaks about “lucid dreaming and the consequences of dealing with the subconscious, through astounding images reminding of some of the great pioneers of surrealism such as Svankmajer or Man Ray. The film explores the attempts of a boy raised by an extremely religious mother and an aggressive and dominating father to control his dreams and to transform the dream world into one where he can feel free, thus escaping the harsh reality.” (Mihai Teodor, BIEFF 2013)



BIEFF also offers visibility to artists from the Republic of Moldova, presenting two recent works by MITOȘ MICLEUȘEANU: ASK THE RIVER, ASK THE TREE – “the discourse of a misanthropist blackbird that criticizes the effects of rationality on mankind and on the environment, proposing in return an insightful understanding that pulsates with infinity and nature” and THE SCREAM – “a postmodernist endeavor that re-contextualizes Edvard Munch’s famous eponymous painting in the contemporary urban space, commenting upon alienation, lack of communication and indifference towards the Other’s despair.” (Luciana Dumitru, BIEFF 2013)


The 4th edition of BIEFF will take place between December 11th and 15th, at Cinema Studio and Cinema Elvira Popescu, and is organized with the support of the National Cinema Centre, the National University of Theatre and Film, the National University of Arts, Le Fresnoy – Studio National Des Arts Contemporains, UCIN, British Council, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Rule of Law Program South-East Europe of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Romanian Cultural Institute, the French Institute in Bucharest, Goethe-Institut, JTI, Dacia, Jameson.


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