The 4th Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival with title “Reinventing Bridges”, supported yet again by the European Fund for the Balkans, took place in Bucharest on 11-13 October 2013 at National Museum Țăranului Român & Club Țăranului. The audience in Bucharest that joined the Festival had the opportunity to share a Balkan experience, get inspired and motivated by the films and get another perspective regarding the Balkan reality.
The BBB focus section was devoted on Israeli short film industry with films from the Israeli Video Art and Experimental Cinema Awards which is the only competition with monetary prizes of its kind in Israel. Every year it shows a selection of about 8 short films produced during the last year and selected among more than 90 entries. It presents a diverse approach to the field, giving an overview of the best short experimental videos produced during 2012 in Israel. The audience showed a great interest and the screening was almost full!
“Botev is an idiot”, a fiction film by Deyan Bararev, Bulgaria won the “Best Film” prize of the 4thBalkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival. The Award was given by Ada Condeescu, President of the Jury. According to the Jury composed by Ada Condeescu (Romania), Effi Weiss & Amir Borenstein (Israel) and Gergana Doncheva (Bulgaria), “Botev is an idiot” is “a courageous film in its form and content. In an almost 9 minutes-long masterfully-made single shot, “Botev is an idiot” manages to challenge national mythology and to raise acute questions about transmission, history and education. This powerful film sends a direct message without pretending to give answers: made as a loop, the story is brought back to its starting point while transforming a statement into a question. For its emblematic character that goes beyond its local context, its passion and its cinematic qualities, we are happy to award “Botev is an idiot” the “best film” of the 2013 Balkan Beyond Borders film festival.” In a few words, “Botev is an idiot is a film about a high school student Vasko who criticizes his society that swears by Bulgarian national hero Hristo Botev and his ideals but at the same time is living in a brutish narrow-mindedness.
The “Audience Prize” went this year to the fiction film “In the shadow of the deathless tree” by Nail Pelivan from Turkey. 36 films participated this year at the 4th Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival from all the Balkan region and beyond such as Germany and Sweden; films of great quality that were inspired and related to this year’s theme: “Reinventing Bridges”.
This year the Festival awarded one more Prize , the “Altcine.com Award” that went to the documentary “The Shovel is too Small” by Nemanja Babic from Serbia. Altcine is a web-based platform dedicated to the Balkan cinema having as main goal to bring together the Balkan film community. According to Altcine.com the film was selected because of “its efficiency in the audiovisual storytelling language, its excellent pace and rhythm, the well researched archive material and most of all for the ability to express fully the message of the “reinventing Bridges” theme”. The “Altcine.com” Prize consist of the screening of the film during the Online short film festival altcineAction! 2014 and the full presentation of the film on altcine.com Balkan movie database.
Taking into consideration the good quality of this year’s films, the Jury gave “Special Mentions” to three other films: Nicoleta, a fiction short film directed by Sonia Liza Kenterman from Greece, Worthless, a Drama by Nart Zeqiraj from Kosovo and The Blue Viking in Sarajevo, a Documentary directed by Ado Hasanovic, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This year’s prizes were designed by Marietta Lyriotaki and produced by the Solid 3D Printing and scanning company. Moreover, the “Best Film” Prize was awarded with 500€ and the “Audience Prize” with 100€ and a lomo camera, by the Lomography.gr.