ENTERING ITS 6TH EDITION, BEAST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IS RETURNING TO PORTO BETWEEN THE 27TH OF SEPTEMBER – THE 1ST OF OCTOBER 2023.
BEAST IFF 6.0 is looking for short and medium-length films to join its Official Competition Programme – productions from Central & Eastern Europe or by filmmakers of Eastern European descent worldwide irrespective of theme, as well as films by international filmmakers with a focus on the CEE region.
During the 5 festival days, BEAST IFF will turn Porto into the centre of Central & Eastern European cinema culture through screenings, masterclasses, workshops and several industry-related events.
Since its first edition (2017), BEAST IFF brought the community together in celebration of the best cinema from Central & Eastern Europe. Through its public screenings, BEAST IFF premieres a highly curated programme including feature films, documentaries, short films and animation. The post-screenings Q&A create a space for connecting filmmakers, pioneers,opinion-makers, and the wider audience.
Submit your film and give it the chance to be seen on the big screens of Porto’s cinemas.
BEAST IFF aims to provide a platform for emerging CEE filmmakers and Portuguese directors working abroad. Until now, BEAST IFF screened over 500 films, representing over 21 countries from the region. The Official Competition of this edition presents four categories: EAST WAVE (fiction film) EAST DOC (documentary film), experimentalEAST (experimental film) and AnimaEAST (animation film), screening short and medium-length films released in the last two years.
/ VISEGRAD / FILM / HUB /, organized by BEAST International Film Festival with the support of International Visegrad Fund, provides support for the audiovisual works from the V4 region (Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) through activation of networks and educational events. This collaborative experience with relevant institutions from the region will focus on presenting regular screening while accessing new audiences on the Portugal territory. This is to be the fourth edition of VFH, a gathering of film enthusiasts, young professionals and a step further to building the identity of the New East.
Visegrad Film Hub 5.0 will take place between 27 September – 01 October 2023 during the 6th BEAST International Film Festival.
Since its beginning, SPEKTRUM has been a community event, a space to meet people who love and celebrate cinema. The film here in Świdnica is a pretext for collective feelings and sharing emotions, it is a trigger that makes the viewers tightly fill the cinema halls every year, become a community, cry and laugh together, disagree together, discuss… are together.
Primanima Ltd. is the operator of Primanima World Festival of First Animation which is an international festival and competition of first animations in Budaörs, Hungary. The goal of the festival is to provide a platform and opportunity for young animation talents to present their very first artworks, to build professional connections and join international networks. In this regard, Primanima fills a void not only in the Hungarian, but the European festival scene too.
The Institute of Documentary Film (IDF) has been supporting creative documentary films from Central and Eastern Europe since 2001. The IDF provides both emerging and experienced filmmakers with training, financing, networking and pitching opportunities, helps them get international attention and co-productions, rewards the exceptional projects with Awards and further opportunities and improves their orientation on the international market. The promotional and practical service of the IDF includes a wide range of online and offline catalogs being created annually, updating a thorough database of CEE documentaries and professionals and a calendar of important deadlines for producers, and bringing news from the world of documentary film in general via dokweb.net and social media.
Brno16 is one of the oldest film festivals in the Czech Republic with its 61st edition in 2020. The main programme consists of a contest of fictional films with a single formal condition of being up to 30min. The festival has a vast expertise in guest lectures, art exhibitions, discussions and workshops. Their know-how on animation and educational fields is one of the reasons Brno16 is a perfect match for the Hub. Being a thriving film festival in the Czech Republic, it has accumulated knowledge and professionalism over the years.
TRAKT aims to promote art in the widest possible range of social groups through the organisation of exhibitions, screenings, cultural events, theater performances, symposia, lectures, workshops, happenings and other similar events. TRAKT specializes in new media, digital technologies and a wide range of visual art media. The association has no ambition to be just an alternative for a specific, narrow group of people, but to offer cultural and artistic experiences to people with different lifestyles and worldview.
Disco sailing was founded by three graduates of the Film and Television Faculty in Bratislava. Their aim is to develop a healthy short film environment in Slovakia, popularization of this format by diverse curatorial activities and alternative distribution, and to support the work of emerging filmmakers. Disco Sailing is offering the festival distribution service, dramaturgical advice, and a wide spectrum of consultancy activities connected to short films. Disco sailing annually organizes the Slovak version of international initiative The Shortest Day.
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund – www.visegradfund.org. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
BEAST 2022 Awards
The winners of the Official Competition of the fifth edition of BEAST are already known. This year, the festival attributed a prize and a jury mention for each category. The best fiction, documentary and experimental works were awarded by this year’s jury.
EAST WAVE AWARD for Best Fiction Film
Dad’s Sneakers, Olha Zhurba
Ukraine | 2021 | FIC. | 19′.
´For a detailed and fresh take on a coming of age story and institution of family, which combines excellent direction with stunning visuals. The film stood out for its captivating storytelling and complex depiction of the protagonist’s emotional struggle. The multilayered and deeply touching film proves an extraordinary talent.´
Alba Vulva, Dorka Vermes
Hungary | 2022 | FIC. | 16
´For a minimalistic yet powerful study of liberation, femininity and intimacy. A nuanced and subtle emotional portrait of a heartbreak evokes a healing process, showing us that sometimes to rebuild we need to destroy and even go against our values.
An intimate portrait of a woman in her late 40s in a life situation of loss that creates empathy established through the unsaid, provoking meditation on traditional gender roles and the nuclear family.´
EAST DOC AWARD for Best Documentary
Pension Day, Liis Lepik
Estonia | 2020 | DOC | 24′
´For its look onto tedium, and the dynamics that we allow ourselves when we feel that we’ve lost the meaning of life, and society doesn’t care anymore. With directing and writing that doesn’t try to appeal to easy emotions and is capable of showing a sense of humour without being frivolous about the theme.´
Only the Wind, Zofia Kowalewska
Poland | 2021 | DOC. | 60′
´For a film that shows both great talent in crafting a cinematic experience, and great sympathy for the protagonist, while documenting a nostalgia-filled journey of discovery of the other, and of oneself.´
experimentalEAST AWARD for Best Experimental Film
Mon Chéri Sovietique, Karol Radziszewski
Poland | 2021 | EXP. | 27′
´A brave and subversive film, that uses humour to describe a world between communism and capitalism by deconstructing the figure of the Soviet soldier. A suppressed and uncomfortable archive, which was certainly destined for destruction, but that there is built as an important archive for a queer memory.´
Before The Fall There Was No Fall, Anna Dasovic
The Netherlands | 2020 | EXP. | 20′
´This film is awarded the special mention for showing us something we might not have known without having seen it–something inconsequential at first sight, but scary and baffling if given a moment to consider it.
A film that masterfully combines archival material and authentic found footage to look for how traces of history manifest themselves. Searching for meaning in porous walls where the trauma is fresh. A powerful way to show what can happen when artists keep searching, don’t let go, don’t forget.´
A special addition to the fifth edition of BEAST, the Queer Shorts programme reinforces the idea of a festival that promotes plurality and difference, opening channels of debate to marginalized themes and universes.
Queer Shorts is a collaboration with the Queer Archives Institute, an organization that documents queer visual records in modern history. The selection features three short films that offer a different view of how queer history has been represented on screen. This programme underlines the importance of documentary and archival research as an engaging and accessible historical resource.
Alongside the Queer Shorts programme, BEAST presents a panel discussion that, drawing on personal and professional experiences, will examine queer feeling in a Europe that is still a polarized territory when it comes to the rights of sexual minorities. The conversation will feature Karol Radziszewski (founder of the Queer Archives Institute), Teresa Vieira (film critic and journalist), Bohdan Zhuk (curator of Sunny Bunny, Kyiv) and Bianca Stânea (sociology researcher in LGBTQIA+ rights).
With the aim of supporting the Ukrainian community and celebrating the art made in the country, BEAST IFF dedicates a special programme to Ukraine. Highlight Ukraine! features a selection of films by emerging filmmakers, plus a conversation that will discuss the impact of the Russian invasion on Ukrainian creative industries.
The programme kicks off with the screening of “Stop Zemlia”, an ambitious coming-of-age film by Kateryna Gornostai, the Ukrainian director’s first feature film. World premiered and awarded at the Berlinale, the film is played by young non-professionals and immerses us in the problematic world of growing, bringing out the fragilities of a group of teenagers. Highlight Ukraine! also presents a unique selection from the Kyiv International Short Film Festival, with the screening of five short films that have marked the last editions of the festival. With a selection that highlights recent works by emerging Ukrainian directors, BEAST takes the position of promoting and celebrating art made in Ukraine, a way to convey support and hope to the entire Ukrainian population and community. Donations can be made: www.hospitallers.life
This special programme also motivates the conversation “Ukraine and Expressions of Freedom”, which intends to reflect on how the Russian invasion is affecting Ukraine’s creative industries, as well as analyse resistance and activism among Ukrainian and international artists. The debate will be attended by Olga Gusiatynska (Programme Coordinator, Kyiv International Short Film Festival) and Bohdan Zhuk (Programme Coordinator, Kyiv International Film Festival Molodist) and Kateryna Gornostai (Ukrainian filmmaker).
VIDEO ART MATCH EXHIBITION
Video Art Match Porto is a free continuation of a series of events presenting student video art in a non-gallery environment in various locations in Slovakia. The title references the match between young artists competing for the attention of the audience. Curator Štefan Oliš, contemporary artist and pedagogue, presents a selection of his favorites from the era of the first ten years of the millenium, highlighting videos from artists from the V4 countries.
Opening: 22 September, from 18:00h Location: Café Candelabro – Rua da Conceição 3, Porto Dates: 22–25 September, during opening hours (Thu–Sat 14:30–02:00, Sun 17:00–24:00) Curated by: Štefan Oliš / TRAKT – www.trakt.sk
The project is being presented as part of the VISEGRAD FILM HUB, organised by BEAST IFF with the support of International Visegrad Fund, provides support for the audiovisual works from the V4 region (Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) through activation of networks and educational events. This collaborative experience with relevant institutions from the region will focus on presenting regular screenings, exhibitions, workshops and masterclasses while accessing new audiences on the Portugal territory. This is to be the fourth edition of VFH, a gathering of film enthusiasts, young professionals and a step further to building the identity of the New East.
The project is being presented as part of Visegrad Film Hub and is supported by International Visegrad Fund and co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – www.visegradfund.org. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
OPENING CEREMONY – The Elegy of Laurel
BEAST Festival of Central & Eastern European Film is returning to the city of Porto between September 21 and 25, with a programme dedicated to the film culture from 21 countries.
The Official Opening Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, 21st of September from 22:00 in the grand Cinema Passos Manuel. The festival will kick-off with the screening of The Elegy of Laurel, the debut feature film by Montenegrin filmmaker Dusan Kasalica, as part of a focus that the fifth edition of the festival dedicates to Montenegrin cinema. With its national premiere at BEAST IFF, the film is a challenging and innovative drama, which suddenly becomes dark, fantastic and mysterious.
BEAST – International Film Festival takes place in several venues of Porto: Passos Manuel, Cinema Trindade, Casa das Artes, OKNA – Espaço Cultural and Livraria Térmita. In addition to the 60 selected films, the festival’s programme extends to a series of exhibitions, workshops and panels events.
BESTIARIUM features 4 animated 3D sculptures created by the young Polish artists Joanna Simon, Patryk Ornoch, Maciej Żak, Barnaba Mikułowski.
BESTIARIUM is an immersive exhibition unleashing virtual creatures to the streets of Porto from 21 to 25th of September. The city game produced by the Photon Foundation, the organizer of the Patchlab Digital Art Festival in Krakow, is a part of the side programme of the BEAST International Film Festival.
Individual beasts in Augmented Reality can be discovered in these following locations: Travessa da Figueirôa / Rua de Álvares Cabral (crossroad) R. da Cedofeita no. 247 Travessa de Cedofeita no. 60 Maus Hábitos (glass corridor & terrace)
To discover animated dragons, find a poster exposed in the locations listed above and scan the QR code on the poster.
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund – www.visegradfund.org . The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
MASTERCLASS: Safety Belt for Young Filmmakers￼
Nikola Vukčević invites emerging filmmakers to take part in a masterclass focusing on the practical details of the filmmaking process.
Sharing tips from his professional experience, Nikola aims to create a healthier environment for the aspiring artists. Challenges of the creative process between art, craft and media will be discussed during the masterclass dealing with the story structure, topic/theme, message, conflict, creating characters, time-math, work with actors and use of technology. The masterclass is recommended to students of filmmaking, young screenwriters, directors, producers, actors, creatives and all film enthusiasts.
Date: September 24 Time: 16:00 – 17:30 Location: Livraria Térmita (Largo de Mompilher 5 R/C, Porto) Language: English Free entry No registration required
Nikola Vukčević is one of the most respected film directors of the young generation in Montenegro. He is associate professor of Film and TV direction and Head of Film and Media department at the University of Montenegro.
Nikola holds a PhD in Filmology, he is an alumni of the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and Fulbright Program (New York, Los Angeles). For seven seasons he was the artistic director of the City Theater in Podgorica. His feature film The Kids from the Marx and Engels Street (Dječaci iz Ulice Marksa i Engelsa, 2014) was an official Montenegrin Oscar Candidate in the category for the Best Foreign Picture in 2014.
In the last five years, he has held director’s masterclasses in Paris, Dubrovnik, Izmir, Tirana, Mostar, China dealing with issues of directorial poetics, crafts, art, structure. As director and producer, he has been committed to producing stories about marginalized and discriminated social groups, people who are working to encourage social change, peace, and find ways to improve human conditions. Using film as a form of expression, his director’s approach is to utilize the media power of film and the performing arts to contribute to the development of civil society and social change. In video storytelling, he is well versed in the use of modern cinematic technology, a skill he has mastered through collaboration with experienced international crews as well as through attendance of international workshops, festivals, and training sessions.
Discover the full programme of the 5th BEAST IFF
The fifth edition of Beast returns to Porto between September 21st and 25th, with a programme dedicated to Central and Eastern European film culture. Five spaces in the city will be occupied by a diversified programme that, besides the 70 selected films, extends to a series of parallel activities and events.
It is a unique and singular festival that intends not only to promote Eastern European productions and filmmakers, but also to open a space for debate and dialogue with the culture of this region, demystifying clichés and evoking contemporary socio-political issues and concerns. The Beast – International Film Festival, organized by Cultural Association OKNA in partnership with the City Council of Porto, completes this year five editions and returns to the city of Porto to show the most vibrant works produced in the Balkans, Baltic and post-communist countries.
The Official Competition is the central space of BEAST, dedicated to mapping and promoting the new Eastern European cinema. A selection of 28 short and medium-length films, focused on new works by emerging directors, will bring to the screens in Porto a series of works that show the best of what is produced in the region.
This year’s focus is on Montenegro, a rare opportunity to get to know a cinema made in a recent country, which does not always find its rightful place among western culture. This focus includes the opening film of the festival, “Laurel’s Elegy”, the first feature film by filmmaker Dusan Kasalica, as well as programmes dedicated to the representation of emerging filmmakers, school projects and an extensive retrospective made in partnership with the Montenegrin Cinematheque. In a special programme, the festival presents Highlight Ukraine!, which features films by six promising Ukrainian filmmakers and Kateryna Gornostai’s feature film “Stop Zemlia”.
These are new additions to this fifth edition of BEAST and reinforce the idea of a festival that promotes plurality and difference, assuming the ever important need to tread new paths and open channels of debate to marginalized themes and universes. Queer Shorts is a programme presented in collaboration with the Queer Archives Institute, an organisation that tracks queer visual representations of Eastern Europe in modern history, in which each film makes us look at how the region’s cinema has worked with and represented the LGBTQIA+ community. Still strengthening the forum for dialogue and questioning rooted notions, the Territories section explores the concept of “place” by interrogating the power of belonging and the sense of dislocation and dissociation from a territory.
The BEAST programme also includes Visegrad Film Hub, which supports audiovisual works from the V4 region (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia), promoting cultural and collaborative interaction through screenings and educational projects. This section integrates the special Lost Sci-Fi Epic programme, with the screening of the unfinished cult film – cancelled by government authorities – by Polish filmmaker Andrzej Żuławski, “Escape to the Other Globe”, accompanied by the documentary that tells us the story of the whole process.
The festival’s programme is completed with a series of talks, masterclasses, parties, exhibitions, or workshops. BEAST – International Film Festival will take place in several places in the city of Porto, from September 21st to 25th: Passos Manuel, Cinema Trindade, Casa das Artes, OKNA – Espaço Cultural and Livraria Térmita.