WILD WILD EAST

BEAST IFF presents the winners of the 2021 Official Competition

Check out below the short and medium-length films announced by our esteemed jury team at the Closing Ceremony, presented live on March 28th.

Every year, exciting new short and medium-length films compete for the awards of Best Fiction, Best Documentary and Best Experimental within the ambit of BEAST International Film Festival. 

The Official Competition presents works of emerging filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe, a pillar to the festival offer. With each edition, this competitive programme enriches BEAST IFF and its community, introducing new works, new faces through a diverse selection of style and form. 

From impressive visuals to candid portraits, the Official Competition gives perspective on The New East while being at the core of our festival.

This year, we counted on an esteemed team of judges: Elsa Cerqueira, Irina Trocan, Pedro Ferreira, Rita Capucho and Anton Yaremchuk. You can read more about the 2021 jury team HERE.

After a thorough evaluation, the judges announced the winners of this edition of BEAST International Film Festival. Check out the results and the video of our Closing Ceremony, presented live on Sunday, March 28th:

EAST WAVE

Jury Mention: NINA, Hristo Simeonov

East Wave Award: SH_T HAPPENS, Michaela Mihalyi and David Štumpf

EXPERIMENTAL EAST

Jury Mention: MATERNITY, Nataliya Ilchuk

Experimental East Award: THE CLOSE RIVER, Marta Hryniuk

EAST DOC

Jury Mention: A CAT IS ALWAYS FEMALE, Martina Mestrovic and Tanja Vujasinovic

East Doc Award: PURE ART, Maksim Shved

BEAST TALKS #7: SCHOOL VISIT

AS PART OF A SPECIAL SERIES OF ONLINE DISCUSSIONS, WE TAKE A DEEPER DIVE INTO THE FEATURES OF THE SCHOOL VISIT SECTION THROUGH ITS DIRECTORS. WATCH BELOW.

As part of the School Visit program, we had a discussion with the students from the Faculty of Theatre and Cinema, part of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, who are the directors of the short films included in the program.

In this talk you’ll find out more about how they developed their projects, how was it to be studying cinema and what career perspectives await young film directors in these pandemic times.

Guests: Daniel Iftene (head of the Cinema Department of the Faculty of Theatre and Cinema) and the directors Ervin Szabo, Agata Olteanu, Eszter Szitai, Sandra Rad, Andra Salaoru, Claudia Alexandru and Hunor Pogony.

The talk is moderated by Simona Constantin and is created in partnership with “Spotlight: Romania Film Fest, The Hague“.

You can watch the discussion below:

BEAST TALKS #6: “Documentary Matters” and “Women in the Romanian Film Industry”

BEAST IFF has promoted two different panels within the Focus Romanian Section. Find out more below.

The festival has broadcasted live the panel Documentary Matters, as a part of the Focus Country section, that pays homage to Romania in 2021.

“Documentary Matters” is a project initiated by the speaker Monica Lazurean Gorgan, aiming to shine a light on the emergence of the documentary in the Romanian film scene. The goal of the project is to create awareness about the importance of this genre and the challenges that the documentary has been facing over the years.

Guest speakers included the producer Monica Lăzurean Gorgan herself, and filmmaker and political researcher Ruxandra Gubernat. If you want to watch the whole discussion, mediated by Simona Constantin, contact us at info@beastfilm.pt

Also within the Focus Romania section, BEAST IFF has broadcasted live another panel: “Women In The Romanian Film Industry”.

Dedicated to gender dynamics in the European film industry, with a specific focus on Romania, the conversation included professionals from different sectors of the cinematic ecosystem, in an attempt to assess, analyze and discuss the past, present, and future situation. The discussion was moderated by Teresa Vieira.

Guest speakers included the producer Ada Solomon, the film critic and professor Irina Trocan and the producer Corina Burlacu. Watch it all below:

BEAST TALKS #5: FOCUS ROMANIA

AS PART OF A SPECIAL SERIES OF ONLINE DISCUSSIONS, WE TAKE A DEEPER DIVE INTO THE FEATURES OF THE FOCUS ROMANIA SECTION THROUGH ITS DIRECTORS. WATCH BELOW.

Within BEAST TALKS and the Focus Romania section, we had a chat with directors Dana Bunescu, Mona Nicoară, and producer Ada Solomon about “The Distance Between Me and Me”.

From the perspective of the iconic figure of the Jewish artist, political refugee and femme fatale, Nina Cassian, the filmmakers reflect on the ambiguities of present reality versus the different notions a person can have about their former self.

This Romanian-American co-production is also included in the Focus Romania section, available until April 4th on Filmin Portugal. The conversation was moderated by Teresa Vieira.

Its screening was supported by Instituto Cultural Romeno Lisboa. Watch the discussion surrounding the film below:

BEAST TALKS #4: FOCUS ROMANIA

AS PART OF A SPECIAL SERIES OF ONLINE DISCUSSIONS, WE TAKE A DEEPER DIVE INTO THE FEATURES OF THE FOCUS ROMANIA SECTION THROUGH ITS DIRECTORS. WATCH BELOW.

Within BEAST TALKS and the Focus Romania section, Simona Constantin moderated a discussion with director Dragoș Turea. They talked about the documentary “The Soviet Garden”.

This very personal feature film explores rare images in order to portray the industrial shock imposed on Moldova by the Soviet State while revealing Nikita Khrushchev’s secret plan to transform the nation into the Soviet garden.

The documentary will be available until the 4th of April on Filmin Portugal, and its screening is supported by Instituto Cultural Romeno Lisboa. You can watch the whole conversation regarding this work below:

We also had the presence of the investigative journalist and director of Acasă, My Home, Radu Ciorniciuc. The conversation about the film was be moderated by Bohdan Zhuk.

The Romanian documentary deals with the drastic change in the lives of a family of eleven people, forced to abandon their idyllic routine of two decades to live in a small apartment in the heart of the metropolis. You can find the feature, that won last year’s Sundance Film Festival Prize, on Filmin Portugal until April 4th.

Its screening was also supported by Instituto Cultural Romeno Lisboa. Watch the discussion surrounding the film below:

BEAST TALKS #3: V4 Screen

AS PART OF A SPECIAL SERIES OF ONLINE DISCUSSIONS, WE TAKE A DEEPER DIVE INTO THE FEATURES OF THE V4 SCREEN SECTION THROUGH ITS DIRECTORS. WATCH BELOW.

Within BEAST TALKS and the V4 Screen section, filmmaker Piotr Domalewski talked live about his work in “I Never Cry”, in a discussion moderated by Bohdan Zhuk.

Ola, a seventeen-year-old girl from a small town, leaves for a foreign country alone. It will be her life’s journey, a journey into the unknown, in which she will try to reconnect with her distant father.

“I Never Cry” is a part of the V4 Screen section, which features works from the Visegrad Group countries.

Its screening is supported by the International Visegrad Fund and the Embassy of Poland in Portugal. You can watch the discussion below:

Although BEAST could not have a live broadcast with the director of “SWEAT”, Magnus von Horn, he sent the festival a heartwarming video with the whole team of the production.

“SWEAT” reports three days into the life of fitness motivator Sylwia Zając, whose social media presence made her a celebrity. Although she has hundreds of thousands of followers, she is surrounded by loyal officials and admired by acquaintances, she still pursues true intimacy.

Its screening is also supported by the International Visegrad Fund and the Embassy of Poland in Portugal. You can watch the whole talk below:

BEAST TALKS #2: V4 Screen

AS PART OF A SPECIAL SERIES OF ONLINE DISCUSSIONS, WE TAKE A DEEPER DIVE INTO THE FEATURES OF THE V4 SCREEN SECTION THROUGH ITS DIRECTORS. WATCH BELOW.

Filmmaker Marko Škop talked live about his work in “Let There Be Light”, in a discussion moderated by Bohdan Zhuk.

In the feature-length film, we meet Milan, a father of three who works in Germany to support his family, who lives in Slovakia. Visiting them at Christmas, he learns that Adam, his eldest son, is definitely hanging out with the wrong crowd. The death of the teenager’s classmate will reveal to Milan and his wife the real truth about their son, their family, and the community around them.

Its screening is supported by the International Visegrad Fund and the Embassy of Slovakia in Portugal. You can watch the discussion below:

Within BEAST TALKS and the V4 Screen section, the festival also broadcasted a talk with director Cecília Felméri, responsible for the Hungarian feature “Spiral”. The film is available until April 4th on Filmin Portugal. The discussion was moderated by journalist Teresa Vieira.

In “Spiral”, we get to know an old house and a mysterious lake amid Hungarian nature. There, a man and two women form a strange love triangle. A history of crises, regrets and unknowns.

Its screening is supported by the International Visegrad Fund and the Embaixada da Hungria em Lisboa. You can watch the whole talk below:

BEAST TALKS: V4 SCREEN

As part of a special series of online discussions, we take a deeper dive into the features of the V4 Screen section through its directors. Watch below.

As part of this special online program of discussions with members of the film industry in Central and Eastern Europe, director Ivan Ostrochovský and producer Katarina Tomkova had a conversation mediated by Bohdan Zhuk, about the feature film co-produced by Slovakia, Romania, and the Czech Republic, “Servants”. 

Directed by Ostrochovský, the film addresses seminary students Michal and Juraj in the context of 1980s Czechoslovakia. The title is part of the V4 Screen section and will be available until April 4th on the Filmin Portugal platform within the Visegrad Film Hub project, in partnership with the International Visegrad Fund.

The discussion is already available, as you can watch it below:

Within BEAST TALKS and the V4 Screen section, the duo of directors Nándor Lörincz and Bálint Nagy, responsible for the feature film “As Far as I Know”, also had a discussion moderated by the journalist Teresa Vieira.

“As Far as I Know” is based on a true-life story and talks of the complicated process of criminal proceedings initiated due to rape from the perspective of the victim’s spouse Dénes. That is the beginning of a sharply tense hunt for truth on the trail of suspicions, in the course of which the prejudices of the audience are also incisively mapped.

The feature film by Lörincz and Nagy was co-produced by Romania and Hungary. Its screening was supported by the Embassy of Hungary in Lisbon, as well as by the International Visegrad Fund.

You can watch the whole conversation with the duo below:

Review: “Acasă, My Home”

The journalist and film critic Marta Reis, from Cineclube do Porto, reviews “Acasă, My Home“, from director Radu Ciorniciuc.

From the valley of weeping to the concrete jungle, Radu Ciorniciuc’s documentary, Acasă My Home, is set in contemporary Bucharest, the capital and largest city of Romania. The Enache family has been living on an island in the wetlands surrounding Lake Văcăreșt for twenty years. As Vacaresti Park develops, the Enache’s are evicted from the new Urban Nature Park. Radu Ciorniciuc accompanied this family for four years and recorded the event. 

At the lake the children can run free, swim and play with animals but social services perceive that they are not properly taken care of and order them to attend school. For Gica, the father, school is not an option as it is very far from the lake, he does not want to be separated from his children and also refuses to go back to living in the city.

The municipality finds them an apartment in the city but we can see that there is a lot of learning for them to do in order to adjust. And while the children start going to school, and try to adapt to the new way of life, the adults are becoming increasingly ill. Nonetheless, the mother does not seem to have any regrets and wants to help her children succeed. Vali, the oldest son, is able to find proper work and is trying to adjust to living in the city but collides with his father’s views. However, Gika has no ally in his struggle to go live elsewhere. Homesickness prevails and, as Vali moves out, the mother is not able to provide for the children.

Once again the Enache’s are evicted… Mihaela, the local counselor, is always very supportive and keeps trying to help them settle in spite of their seemingly lack of commitment. As Vali seems to be thriving we wish that the children will follow his example.

Ciorniciuc’s observational documentary is fascinating. By accompanying the Enache family so closely in their day-to-day lives we become very compassionate. The images shot in nature and in the lake are very idyllic but we can see the Mother and children working hard all the time. People and animals share the same space and it is heartbreaking to acknowledge the impoverished and dangerous conditions of the family at the lake. We feel sorry for the children being kept in a bubble in fear of the outside world and then abruptly forced to adapt to a foreign reality.

We do not know exactly what happened that propelled Gika to go live in the middle of nowhere but as they settle in the city and are shouted at we understand that he surely has been discriminated against and wanted to shield his children from prejudice. Living in ignorance and deprivation might have been disadvantageous for the family’s integration in society but with proper acknowledgment and more empathetic professionals from all areas working together in the field hopefully, this new generation will flourish!

BEAST IFF presents NINANIÑA and Cristina Pop-Tiron shortly after its Opening Ceremony

Watch below the performance of the artists NINANIÑA and Cristina Pop-Tiron, which took place shortly after the Festival’s Opening Ceremony.

On the 24th of March, at 8 pm, the 4th edition of BEAST International Film Festival launched with an Opening Ceremony, live on Facebook. At 8:30 pm, it was time for the artistic duo NINANIÑA and Cristina Pop-Tiron to celebrate the beginning of our online edition. The performance was streamed live on Facebook and Youtube. 

“DOR: Uma Lembrança” is an audiovisual experience that projects and reflects the feeling of dor/saudade, often found in Romanian folklore. During the performance, the visual elements fuse with the soundscape and open a space of dialogue between traditional and contemporary worldviews, suggesting a synergetic cathartic experience.

You can watch the whole act below: