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.