The 5th Moscow International Experimental Film Festival (MIEFF) will take place on August 19-25. The main venues of the festival are Garage Screen summer cinema, Illuzion cinema as well as Moskino Zvezda, Moskino Fakel, Moskino Muzeon and Richter. The programme includes Russian and International competitions, the first Russian retrospective of the avant-garde queer cinema pioneer Barbara Hammer, a series of special full-length screenings, as well as a broad curatorial section Fireworks, which is based on a metaphorical comparison of cinema with fire and the effect of entrancement. Fireworks includes programmes of short and full-length films, open air screening of silent films, accompanied by live sound, a lecture by Oleg Aronson, performances and installations.
“The fifth edition of the festival is unexpectedly taking place under completely different circumstances, in a new world. MIEFF 2020 is distinguished by its restraint and an attempt to understand the mission of the festival and its prospects. Russian competition framing and the participation of Russian films in the international programme is a new mark for us, confirming that the development of the local context is possible and feasible”, — Vladimir Nadein, MIEFF co-founder and festival director.
The International competition programme includes 29 shorts filmed in 2019-2020 from 21 countries. While representing a wide range of artistic strategies, the festival also strives to be gender balanced, featuring 16 female and 18 male filmmakers in this year’s programme.This year MIEFF is launching a Russian competition programme, which will feature 7 experimental video works of young Russian artists and directors. It includes the works by graduates of the Rodchenko School, the Moscow School of New Cinema and independent participants. The programme meets the main goals of the festival: development and support of local directors and artists, as well as the creation of a community of like-minded people. Within the framework of the annual Close-up section, MIEFF presents the first Russian retrospective of Barbara Hammer’s works. Recognized as a pioneering figure in the history of avant-garde queer cinema, her films have become part of global feminist art as the earliest artistic statements about the female body and queer sexuality. Split into two blocks, the program is composed of Hammer’s early experimentations with the 16mm camera along with her iconic movies of the 1970s–1990s, including the feature-length Nitrate Kisses.
Fireworks is a large themed programme prepared jointly with Moskino. It focuses on the pure visuality of movement as an opposition to narrative cinema, and offers an alternative logic for understanding this medium. In the course of 6 sessions together with a small exhibition, we would like to raise a question about the nature and ethics of spectacle in the era when the moving image has become ubiquitous and inhabits not only cinemas, but also contemporary art spaces, as well as our living rooms and our electronic gadgets. Fireworks is a very diverse programme: in addition to digital and film screenings, it includes one lecture, two installations, and three iterations of one performance.
MIEFF strives to introduce the viewer to the variety of practices and approaches inherent in experimental cinema. In addition to competition entries, curators meticulously collect feature length experiments from around the world throughout the year for a series of special festival screenings. Each film in the programme is a rare visual experience and an opportunity to explore your own perception. Un Film Dramatique screened with support of French Institute at the Embassy of France in Russia is a collective project, filmed by the artist in Maar junior high school in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis a film about friendship, emancipation, trust, performance, and, in particular, the act of filmmaking for a generation raised by selfies and YouTube. Abstracted / Family by Koki Tanaka screening is supported by the Japan Foundation. Koki Tanaka questions the coordinates and the mechanisms that contribute to the formation of a family through his film work Abstracted / Family, where the notion of ‘family’ is not one based on blood relation, but refers to a “quasi-family”, wherein a group of people who happen to share the same time and space are united. The third film is Cemetery by Carlos Casas. The film tells a story of Nga, an old elephant and probably the last of its species, and Sanra his mahout, that are about to embark on a journey to find the mythical elephant’s graveyard followed by a group of poachers. Shown with support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).
The winners of the international competition will be announced on August 25 at the Garage Screen summer cinema. Laureates will receive a special prize from the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, a two-month residency in their Workshops in 2021, and a prize from Kodak. The winners of the Russian competition will receive a special prize from the Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantin Sorokin Foundation and a post-production prize for a future short film from the Kosmosfilm film company.
All films are shown in their original language with Russian and English subtitles.