Potential Worlds at BIDFF 2021

30 August, 2021

Bucharest International Dance Film Festival will take place between September 1-5, in Bucharest, under the theme Potential Worlds. This year’s edition will focus on the changes that happened in the past year and the way art, like the world we live in, seeks to redefine its form and content.

“In the face of these borderline situations, art and the ways of producing and presenting art have also changed. Ignoring the crisis and the need for change is like watching a tsunami and thinking it’s just a wave you can float through without worrying about it. The artistic formats undergo some necessary mutations, the film leaves the cinema, the dance leaves the stage. BIDFF questions the current situation and wonders what we are heading towards. What will tomorrow’s art be like, the art of the next decade and, why not, the art of the next century? What can be the new cinematic and performative formats, what topics become relevant when you are forced by circumstances to be aware of borders and how can you transgress these boundaries using the body, cinematic art, science and new technologies?” – Simona Deaconescu, artistic director of BIDFF

The festival program features 34 titles in the competition and a selection of 4 documentaries, namely:

Ailey (dir. Jamila Wignot), the opening film of BIDFF 2021, presents the life of Alvin Ailey, “dancer, director, choreographer, and American activist, who founded Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre – a trailblazing pioneer who found salvation through dance.”

Sisters with Transistors (dir. Lisa Rovner), “a documentary about the electronic music’s female pioneers and the sexism that robbed them of their deserving credit. Avant-garde composer Laurie Anderson narration accompanies fascinating archival footage to trace the history of the technological experimentation of sound.”

512 Hours (dir. Adina Istrate, Giannina La Salvia), “talks about the famous experimental exhibition of the same name that Marina Abramovic held in the summer of 2014, where the visitors ended up discovering that they themselves were the subjects of her new groundbreaking work.”

Summer of Soul (dir. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson) is the closing film of the festival; “a captivating documentary that records an epic historical event celebrating Black history, culture and fashion in the summer of 1969 – Harlem Cultural Festival.”

The Japanese Avant-garde

This section of the festival brings to the fore six Japanese avant-garde short films made after World War II: Navel and A-Bomb (dir. Eikoh Hosoe, 1960), The Skin of a Napping (dir. Tsuneo Nakai, 1967), Dead Youth (dir. Donald Richie, 1967), Biological Cycle No. 2 (dir. Ko Nakajima, 1971-82), For the Damaged Right Eye (dir. Toshio Matsumoto, 1968), Merce by Merce by Paik (dir. Nam June Paik, Charles Atlas, Shigeko Kubota, 1978).

Dance filmmaking lab with Marlene Millar

Marlene Millar, one of the most prolific dance filmmakers in Canada, with 30 years of experience in the field, will teach an intensive dance film workshop on September 2-4. The workshop is dedicated to dancers, performers, choreographers, theater and film directors, directors of photography, and visual artists who want to explore the dance film genre.

Performance & Digital art

BIDFF brings the public Cosmogony, a live digital performance, created by the Swiss dance studio Cie Gilles Jobin, in which virtual dancers appear in real time video-mapped on the facade of Odeon Theatre in Bucharest.

The festival also invites the public to immerse themselves in VR with a selection of nine cinematographic works screening at SAC @ MALMAISON.


The full program of the Bucharest International Dance Film Festival can be checked out here. For more info, visit their official website and follow their Facebook page.



Photographer and editor, she co-founded Dissolved Magazine. For Films in Frame she brings the news from the film world, in the Monday News column. She likes stories, Monty Python and going to the seaside.