Bif&st-Bari International Film Festival reaches every year 75.000 spectators, and in just 11 editions, with its broad offer of the highest cultural level, it has become one of the leading cinematic events in Italy. The main venues of Bif&st are some of the most beautiful theatres in the world, the Teatro Petruzzelli, Teatro Piccinni and Teatro Margherita. In 2021 Teatro Kursaal, currently under restoration, will be added for the upcoming edition (September 25- October 2)
Bif&st, which is under the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, is promoted by Apulia Region in collaboration with the City of Bari and with the Ministry of Culture. The festival is produced by Apulia Film Commission Foundation, with the support of several sponsors.
Festival president is Margarethe von Trotta. The late film director Ettore Scola, president for many years, is the honorary president. The founder and director is Felice Laudadio, former president of Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, past director of the Venice Film Festival and of the Casa del Cinema in Rome, and also past CEO of Istituto Luce and chairman of Cinecittà Holding.
Among the guests awarded with the Federico Fellini Platinum Award for Cinematic Excellence 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; among Italians guests: Antonio Albanese, Gianni Amelio, Roberto Andò, Dario Argento, Pupi Avati, Pippo Baudo, Marco Bellocchio, Roberto Benigni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Richard Borg, Andrea Camilleri, Claudia Cardinale, Sergio Castellitto, Liliana Cavani, Paola Cortellesi, Cristina Comencini, Paolo Del Brocco, Valerio De Paolis, Pierfrancesco Favino, Sabrina Ferilli, Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo, Giancarlo Giannini, Fabrizio Gifuni, Valeria Golino, Ugo Gregoretti, Tonino Guerra, Roberto Herlitzka, Virna Lisi, Nicola Maccanico, Mario Martone, Valerio Mastandrea, Giuliano Montaldo, Laura Morante, Nanni Moretti, Ennio Morricone, Ornella Muti, Nicola Piovani, Michele Placido, Francesco Rosi, Sergio Rubini, Lina Sastri, Ettore Scola, Toni Servillo, Paolo Sorrentino, Vittorio Storaro, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Giuseppe Tornatore, Armando Trovajoli, Carlo and Enrico Vanzina, Carlo Verdone, Paolo Virzì. All of these great professionals held a Master Class for the very large audience of the Teatro Petruzzelli (about 1.400 people each time).
The gala evenings, in the historical Teatro Petruzzelli, present films out of competition from all over the world, in the section International Premieres. 12 other films – Italian premieres – are selected each year for the International Panorama competition, also in the Teatro Petruzzelli, with an international jury awarding the best director, best actor and best actress. Starting from 2021 Teatro Piccinni will host the ItaliaFilmFest section, presenting the best Italian films of the past year, awarded by a renowned jury of film critics. In the same theatre there will also be a competition of recent Italian films, absolute world premieres, introduced by their film directors and cast.
Bif&st also organizes each year important Retrospectives, among the most extended ever tributed to these masters and great cinema personalities: Carmelo Bene, Franco Cristaldi, Vittorio Gassman, Federico Fellini, Marco Ferreri, Fritz Lang, Marcello Mastroianni, Mario Monicelli, Ennio Morricone, Dino Risi, Francesco Rosi, Ettore Scola, Alberto Sordi, Giuseppe Tornatore, Gian Maria Volonté, in collaboration with Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale. The retrospective of Bif&st 2021 will be dedicated to 01 Distribution.