November 18, 2021

BIEFF 2021 International Competition: What does it mean to be human?

Innovative and surprising, controversial or self-reflective, the films included in this year’s BIEFF International Competition offer new perspectives on human nature and the aspects that define our identity as human beings in a constantly changing world. Organized discursively in 7 curatorial themes, 34 short films from 20 countries will be screened for the first time in Romania at the 11th edition of the International Experimental Film Festival (November 17-21, Bucharest). 

The selection made by Oana Ghera, the artistic director of the festival, together with Flavia Dima, associate curator, explores key issues for the era we live in, such as emphasizing the need for human connection in response to fragmentation and accelerated virtualization of contemporary social interactions, alienation and dehumanization, deriving from the leveling and/or denial of the identity and otherness of the other, the way we relate to work and productivity, but also the impact of human activities on the world around us.

The complete program and access tickets to the BIEFF.11 screenings are available on

Unsubmissive to the conventional, stereotypical images and rigid gender roles, the women in the Undutiful Daughters program range from demiurgic entities to those among us in everyday life, all having in common the desire to transcend traditional boundaries. – of society, of fiction, of representation. BIEFF spectators are invited to discover them on the first day of the festival, on November 17, at 19:30, at Cinema Elvire Popesco. Also here will run on Thursday, from 17:30, the short films from the Interiors / Interiors (Interior (itie) s) program, a selection of four films in which an equally intimate discourse is outlined in an enigmatic, almost sensory  and politically form about the tensions between public and private space, between reality and interiority.

What does it really mean to be human? The five short films in the (Ful) Human (Not Fully Human) block, screened at Cinema Elvire Popesco on November 18, at 7:30 p.m., juggle the meaning of the term, describing various situations in which the individual is forced to repress its humanity completely, or to be half naked in front of the world. On Friday, at 17:30, the films from the selection Language = Power question the political power and its ability to communicate, but also the strength of the so-called “iconic” images of cinema, and from 19:30 , the program Searching For Connection discusses the centrality of the need for affection and interaction in defining the human condition.

Presented on Saturday, November 20, at 16:30, the thematic program Our Daily Work is an invigorating interpretation of how work has been shaped to exist in today’s society. The selection includes five short films applauded by the juries of the festivals in Locarno, San Sebastián, Toronto or Annecy. On the same day, from 19:30, at the Eforie Cinematheque, spectators are invited to discover The World Without Us, a selection of cinematic experiments that make up a portrait of the Anthropocene in the absence of human presence, capturing both the complexity and the beauty of the natural world, but also the ways in which humanity inevitably alters its course.

BIEFF 2021 International Competition Jury

The 34 short films that defy the conventional discursive limits of cinema, using unique combinations of visual means and narrative techniques, will be analyzed by the Jury of the International Competition, which will decide the winning title of the BIEFF Grand Prize 2021. Director and visual artist Antoine Chapon, whose work has been exhibited at prestigious institutions such as ZKM | Karlsruhe (Germany), Center Pompidou (France) and Venice Architecture Biennale (Italy), will be part of the jury together with Angelika Ramlow, member of the Berlinale Forum Expanded team and project manager at Arsenal Distribution. The two will nominate the winners of the 11th edition of BIEFF together with curator Mathieu Janssen, pre-selector for the Vienna Shorts festival and director of competition sections at the Go Short Nijmegen Film Festival, and viewers will discover the award-winning films at a special screening scheduled for the evening of November 21, at Cinema Elvire Popesco, starting at 19.00.

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