Florian Hoffman, Switzerland/Germany, 2015, 84’
The Gaia Student Award goes to “Arlette: courage is a muscle” for telling a subject oriented story with an artistic eye. The film successfully captures what it means for a young girl to be alone, alienated, in a culture that is miles away from her war torn country.
Metin Kaya, Turkey, 2015, 47’
We chose “Sigh”, because of its amazing raw access to the subject matter; of the risks that the filmmaker has taken, of the respectful depiction of labor and the struggle for survival of both people and animals.
Ernesto Cabellos, Peru, 2015,88’
We chose “Daughter of the Lake” because of its poetic and mythical approach to its subject matter and because of its successful combination of a lyrical depiction and documentation. It reminded us once again that the seemingly never-ending struggle for survival is universal.
Runar Jarle Wiik, Norway/Myanmar/Thailand, 2014, 89′
We chose “No Word for Worry” because of its choice of an original story and a touching character, and its approach to storytelling, because of its ability to depict larger economic and political contexts in a subtle way, because of its success in incorporating the contemporary with the traditional in the form of a personal and geographical journey.
Aya Domenig, Switzerland/Finland, 2015, 78’
We chose “The Day the Sun Fell” because of its unique and refreshing personal approach to a universal subject; because of how it gently and sensitively takes a story from the past and connects it to the present in a critical way, because of how successfully it incorporates archival material into the storytelling.
Phie Ambo, Denmark, 2014, 95’
We chose “Good Things Await” because of its impressive depiction of a person’s relationship to animals and nature; because of its successful storytelling in which the director keeps us present and engaged in the story throughout the film. As the name implies this is a story from the future and the main character not only inspires all those around him, but also through the film inspires us as viewers. We also wish to compliment this film’s impressive cinematography and musical score.
For some time now, nature has been sending us serious signals indicating that the story is about to be over. However, we are accelerating the process with big efforts. The so-called developed countries lead the way in this delirious process. What is planned for the next twenty years across the world is fifty thousands dams, large-scale activities that will contaminate nature and extremely significant ecosystems under the pretext of mining (Artvin, Bergama, Izmir Efemçukuru…). These so called mining activities lead to terrifying and never-ending wars in which millions of civilians – men, women, and children – have already been killed and raped (Congo, Nigeria, Middle Eastern countries). The mining and refining of tar sands in Alberta, Canada, the hybrid seed industry led by the Netherlands, nuclear energy production… The big corporations’ increasing efforts to grab and exploit, in every sense, the very lands that the local people need for survival, for nourishment… (the sugar production in the cultivated lands of the local people in Cambodia, the production of fodder for EU animals on the land where the people of Kenya need to cultivate their own food).
Advertising plays a significant role in shaping children in particular, and individuals as well as the entire society by repeating the same sentences over and over again. Advertisements are of critical importance in the formation of memory, the cultural and social memories, and in the rewriting of history and ethics. The advertisement industry polishes, brightens, and makes bigger what is already big and successful. Simply put, advertising makes the following statement: Buy whatever you want, consume, nothing is important other than personal pleasures. You can resort to any means to buy what you want to buy. If you don’t, you are an idiot.
We cannot live in peace. On the contrary, violence and exploitation are on the rise. The question is how to free ourselves from all the injustice and inequality, from a fierce consumer culture that is left to exploit and expand. Let’s find new perspectives, alternative ways of living, and alternative energies.
The voice of the subaltern is fading each and every day, becoming inaudible. Their rights are constantly violated and it is normalized. There are serious obstacles thwarting collective organization, using one’s mother tongue, living one’s sexual preferences, everyone’s right to live in a clean environment and protecting workers’ rights. And the society is becoming used to all these inequalities. The words ‘solidarity’ and ‘sharing’ have been forgotten. BIFED aims to convey stories of empathy, sharing, and solidarity.
BIFED accepts that the ecological balance and diversity is the prerequisite for a sincere respect for the rights of the Other, for the peace and civilization. We hold this festival for this reason. BIFED cares about the local, the small-scale, the slower; in other words BIFED cares about the genuine.
Looking forward to see you in October at BIFED 2016.
BIFED 2016 team.