BEAST International Film Festival is back with its 4th edition and a rich Polish participation

    The festival establishes itself as a complex channel of contemporary culture from Central and Eastern Europe to Portugal, putting the spotlight on novel cinematographic trends of countries such as Poland.

    Since 2017, BEAST International Film Festival has been proving itself and to the public as an event that shines an important light on the East European cinema landscape. While exploring the Balkans, Baltics, or Post-Communism, BEAST IFF has opened a cultural umbrella covering 21 countries, with a unique focus on diversity bringing new works and talents that represent the latest faces of the New East in cinema.

    With the challenges generated by the pandemic and the viability for an enriching online experience, BEAST International Film Festival will first kick off from the 24th to the 28th of March in partnership with the Portuguese streaming platform Filmin.  Born from a collaboration and dialogue initiative between Portuguese cinematographic operators, critics, festivals and national as well as international cultural institutions, Filmin is the main independent cinema streaming platform in Portugal.

    BEAST IFF's programs, such as Focus Country, V4 Screen, EastWave, experimentalEAST, and EastDoc will be available until the 4th of April for Filmin subscribers, or through a pay-per-view format on its website. Alongside the Portuguese streaming website, platforms such as Vimeo, YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and Instagram will also host BEAST IFF's screenings, events, live streams, and Q&As. 

    This year, Romania is the focus of the festival through the Focus Country section, but other Eastern and Central European nations will be highlighted by the program as well. The Official Competition, which has functioned as the core of BEAST International Film Festival since its first edition, will give a platform to three short-length films from Poland, whereas the V4 Screen section, provided by the Visegrad Film Hub project, will give prominence to two other feature-length films from the country. 

    In the EastWave program, aimed towards supporting short and medium-length fiction films by promising young talents, Polish director Klaudia Folga presents "The Turtle Cave", a story that moves the audience back to the protagonist's troubled childhood, driven by the figure of her mother. Additionally, "The Close River", a short movie by artist and filmmaker Marta Hryniuk, born in Warsaw, brings a poetic and historical investigation of the New East through conceptual and technical experimentation that is representative of the experimentalEAST section it is a part of. 

    Furthermore, the EastDoc section, which promotes selected works that stand as clear windows towards real stories from Central and Eastern Europe, showcases "Pure Art", a portrayal by director Maksim Shved of communal painters Zina and Inna and the birth of an artistic phenomenon on the walls of Minsk, with the support of the artist Zakhar Kudin. The film is co-produced by Poland and Belarus. 

    The V4 Screen program, as mentioned before, will also call attention to two feature-length films from Poland, as part of a project co-financed by the governments of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia through the International Visegrad Fund, in collaboration with various institutions of the V4 countries. "Sweat" is directed by Magnus von Horn and recounts three days in the life of fitness motivator Sylwia Zając, whose presence on social media has made her a celebrity surrounded by employees and admirers, but still a woman wistful for true intimacy. Moreover, "I Never Cry", a Polish and Irish co-production by director Piotr Domalewski, tells the story of Ola, a seventeen-year-old girl from a small city who sets off to a foreign country on her own to reconnect with her estranged father. Additionally, a workshop in partnership with Polish Photon Foundation is also underway.

    After the end of the edition in March, BEAST IFF will continue until June 1st, through special monthly screenings, events, and the Visegrad Film Hub – an industry event dedicated to the Visegrad countries – including even more screenings, masterclasses, and workshops, with an online and possibly on-site offer. In case it's safe for festival spectators in the nearby future, limited screenings and activities will be held at traditional venues in the city of Porto.

    The festival structure is designed in a way as to provide a diverse collection of films as part of the official competition and as part of the special programs. Since its existence, BEAST International Film Festival has presented over 300 short, medium-length, and feature films, several world, European and Portuguese premieres, and more than 150 screening sessions, including special line-ups of national and international guests.

    Some of our activities, such as screenings, Q&As with filmmakers, BEAST Talks, and The Mirages of Freedom and School Visit programs will be available for worldwide audiences, free of charge, through our online channels. For more information please visit:
    Website:     https://beastfilm.pt/
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