Bif&st – Bari International Film Festival reaches every year 75.000 spectators, and in just nine editions, with its broad offer of the highest cultural level (our 2018 program presented over 300 events in 8 days), it has grown to become one of the leading cinematic events in Italy.
Bif&st, under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic of Italy, is promoted by Apulia Region in collaboration with the City of Bari, and it is produced by Apulia Film Commission.
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 Bernardo Bertolucci at the end of his Master Class), included among the most beautiful theatres in the world.
During the past years among the guests awarded in Bari with the Federico Fellini Platinum Award for Cinematic Excellence, for having illuminated the cinema world with their artistic work, there were: Jean-Jacques Annaud, Fanny Ardant, 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 among Italian awarded guests: Gianni Amelio, Antonio Albanese, Dario Argento, Pupi Avati, Marco Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci, Andrea Camilleri, Claudia Cardinale, Sergio Castellitto, Liliana Cavani, Cristina Comencini, Pierfrancesco Favino, Sabrina Ferilli, Dante Ferretti e Francesca Lo Schiavo, Giancarlo Giannini, Tonino Guerra, Virna Lisi, Mario Martone, Giuliano Montaldo, Laura Morante, Nanni Moretti, Ennio Morricone, Ornella Muti, Nicola Piovani, Francesco Rosi, Sergio Rubini, Ettore Scola, Toni Servillo, Paolo Sorrentino, Vittorio Storaro, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Giuseppe Tornatore, Armando Trovajoli, Carlo Verdone, Paolo Virzì. Every one of these great professionals held a Master Class for a passionate audience of about 1.400 people gathered daily in the Teatro Petruzzelli.
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. In 2018: The Captain by Robert Schwentke, Unsane by Steven Soderbergh, Before the Night by Daniele Vicari, and the restored version, world première, of Last Tango in Paris by Bernardo Bertolucci.
Other 12 international feature films are selected each year for the International Panorama competition, 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, Iram Haq, Samuel Tilman, Pantelis Voulgaris, Aleksej Fedorchenko.
In addition to non-competitive screenings, special events, workshops and meetings with the authors, Bif&st features two Italian competitions: one dedicated to the best Italian films released in theatres or presented in festivals over the last year, and one dedicated to best recent Debut or Second Italian films.
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 honoring Carmelo Bene, Franco Cristaldi, Federico Fellini, Marco Ferreri, Vittorio Gassman, Fritz Lang, Marcello Mastroianni, Dino Risi, Francesco Rosi, Ettore Scola, Alberto Sordi, Giuseppe Tornatore, Gian Maria Volonté, are among the most extended ever dedicated to these masters.
Not only is the festival enthusiastically welcomed by local and national audiences, but also by the Italian press and 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: 200 professionals coming from Italy and 70 from the whole world.