Bif&st – Bari International Film Festival reaches every year 75.000 spectators, and in just eight editions, with its broad offer of the highest cultural level (our 2017 program presented 320 events over 8 days), it has grown to become one of the leading cinematic events in Italy.
Festival president is Margarethe von Trotta. The late film director Ettore Scola is honorary president of Bif&st. The director is Felice Laudadio, president of Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia and former director of the Venice Film Festival and Cinecittà Holding. The main venue is the prestigious Teatro Petruzzelli (in the photo), included among the most beautiful theatres in the world, and 12 other city theatres are reserved to the festival.
The gala evenings of the festival in the historical Teatro Petruzzelli present International Premieres (or, in any case, absolute premieres for the Italian market) among which, in 2010: Nine by Rob Marshall, The Lovely Bones by Peter Jackson, An Education by Lone Scherfig, Away We Go by Sam Mendes; Bright Star by Jane Campion. In 2011: The King’s Speech by Tom Hooper, Morning Glory by Roger Michell, London Boulevard by William Monahan. In 2012: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Stephen Daldry, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by John Madden, Titanic 3D by James Cameron. In 2013: The Place Beyond the Pines by Derek Cianfrance, A Late Quartet by Yaron Zilberman, Stand Up Guys by Fisher Stevens, Hannah Arendt by Margarethe von Trotta, Stoker by Chan-wook Park. In 2014: Noah by Darren Aronofsky, The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson, The Invisible Woman by Ralph Fiennes, Fading Gigolo by John Turturro. In 2015: Le dernier loup by Jean-Jacques Annaud, Ex Machina by Alex Garland, The Misplaced World by Margarethe von Trotta, The Second Best Marigold Hotel by John Madden, Miss Julie by Liv Ullman, Chappie by Neill Blomkamp. In 2016: Les innocentes by Anne Fontaine, Concussion by Peter Landesman, The Man Who Knew Infinity by Matt Brown. In 2017: La tenerezza by Gianni Amelio, Miss Sloane by John Madden, Get Out by Jordan Peele, Le divan de Staline by Fanny Ardant, 20th Century Woman by Mike Mills, An Ordinary Man by Brad Silberling, Gifted by Mark Webb, Land of the Gods by Goran Paskaljevic, Going in Style by Zach Braff, Return to Montauk by Volker Schlöndorff, and several other great titles.
Bif&st also presents International Panorama, a competition for international feature films with awards to the best director, leading actor and leading actress. Among directors of past films in this section: Lucas Belvaux, Paul Bettany, Marion Hansel, Annemarie Jacir, Lech Majewski, Goran Paskaljevic, Lone Scherfig, Brad Silberling, Liv Ullman.
During the past 8 years some of the guests awarded in Bari with the Federico Fellini Platinum Award for Cinematic Excellence, for having illuminated the cinema world with their artistic work, were: Jean-Jacques Annaud, Luis Bacalov, Costa-Gavras, Stephen Frears, Abbas Kiarostami, Andrej Končalovskij, John Madden, Alan Parker, Jacques Perrin, Michael Radford, Edgar Reitz, Volker Schlöndorff, Barbara Sukowa, Bertrand Tavernier, Max von Sydow, Margarethe von Trotta, Andrzej Wajda; and Gianni Amelio, Dario Argento, Pupi Avati, Marco Bellocchio, Andrea Camilleri, Claudia Cardinale, Sergio Castellitto, Liliana Cavani, Cristina Comencini, Sabrina Ferilli, Dante Ferretti e Francesca Lo Schiavo, Giancarlo Giannini, Tonino Guerra, Virna Lisi, Giuliano Montaldo, Laura Morante, Nanni Moretti, Ennio Morricone, Ornella Muti, Nicola Piovani, Francesco Rosi, Sergio Rubini, Ettore Scola, Toni Servillo, Paolo Sorrentino, Paolo e Vittorio Taviani, Giuseppe Tornatore, Armando Trovajoli, Carlo Verdone, Paolo Virzì amongst the others. Every one of these great professionals held a Master Class for a passionate audience of about 1.400 people each time gathered in the Teatro Petruzzelli.
Not only is the festival enthusiastically welcomed by local and national audiences, but also by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), which holds its yearly General Assembly in Bari during Bif&st. In fact, media coverage of the festival features both national and international journalists: 150 professionals coming from Italy and 50 from the whole world.
Bif&st also searches cinema and television archives for unreleased and precious documents on great personalities, many of which were ambassadors of cinema to the world: the Retrospectives dedicated to Federico Fellini, Alberto Sordi, Carmelo Bene, Gian Maria Volonté, Francesco Rosi, Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Dino Risi, Fritz Lang, Fanny Ardant are among the most extended ever tributed to these masters. In addition to non-competitive screenings, special events, workshops and meetings with the authors, Bif&st features two competitions: one dedicated to the best Italian films released over the last year and one dedicated to best Debut or Second Italian Film Directors.