Bucharest International Dance Film Festival – About the 6th edition

31 August, 2020

Autumn kicks off with the 6th edition of Bucharest International Dance Film Festival, the only festival dedicated to dance film in Romania. It will take place between September 3-6, in outdoor locations in Bucharest.

The theme of this year’s edition is utopia/dystopia, and it reflects on the present, but also explores a possible future. According to Andreea Novac, curator of BIDFF #6, “By diving deep into imagination, into its innovative, critical or transformative potential, and by using dance film as a means of expression, these utopian/dystopian ideas this year’s film selection comes to offer, are built on new ways of viewing, knowing and (re)presenting the present and the future, sometimes with confidence, sometimes with skepticism, undoubtedly with humor and irony.”

EMA, by Pablo Larraín, will be the opening film of BIDFF #6, a film that questions the concept of modern family, a film about the power of love and sacrifice, with an original score by Nicolás Jaar.

The BIDFF program includes three competition sections: international, Romanian and musical competition, as well as workshops, lectures and other special events.

The international competition consists of 21 films, divided into three categories: Fictions and Frictions, Dances and Circumstances and Bodies and Fluidities.

The theme of the Romanian competition is Mazes and Gazes, referring to the human touch and interaction, and the notion of reality, whereas the theme of the musical competition is called Treats and Traps, and it centers around the negative attitudes we have towards our bodies and the social anxiety that haunts us everyday.

“We also address a challenge to the audience: to understand the dance film as an open system, an art of process and progress. This year, BIDFF continues to develop its program, by adding new special screenings, lectures and workshops that explore, on a theoretical and practical level, the topics of utopia and dystopia through fiction, expanded cinema, animations, musicals and documentaries”, say Andreea Novac and Simona Deaconescu, artistic director of BIDFF.

Among the special events within BIDFF #6 are:

  • Dance film workshop with choreographer Chrysanthi Badeka – it’s a 3-day workshop that will focus on exploring dance film making as a practice for interdisciplinary artistic development, taking into account all stages of making a film, from storyboard to choreography for the camera and teamwork communication.
  • Overarching vision and Collective work with Maria Tanjala, film producer and co-founder of FilmChain – a masterclass on script development, production, marketing and all sorts of technical details useful to any filmmaker at the beginning of their career.
  • Haunting and Hospitality, a Double Bind. Lecture by Jassem Hindi – “on editing techniques that are the very texture of utopias and dystopias, but also have the power to manipulate time.”
  • An embodied approach to utopia and other short stories – a dance by pavleheidler – starting from Descartes’ theory of the mind-body split, pavleheidler proposes an analysis of the festival theme, utopia/dystopia.

Another must-see film in the BIDFF program, presented in national premiere, is Being Jérôme Bel (dir. Sima Khatami, Sima Khatami). As its title suggests, the documentary follows the life of artist and choreographer Jérôme Bel, an enigmatic and provocative character, who irremediably transformed the face of contemporary dance.

The closing film of the festival is the debut film by director Réka Szabó, The Euphoria of Being, centered around the story of Eva Fahidi, a survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. Réka Szabó invites Eva Fahidi to take part in a dance-theater performance about her life, now at the age of 90. The film won Critics’ Week Award at Locarno Film Festival and Human Rights Award at Sarajevo Film Festival among several other international prizes.


Bucharest International Dance Film Festival will take place between September 3-6. For more information, visit the BIDFF website. Tickets are available on Eventbook.ro.

Melissa Antonescu Melissa Antonescu
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.