Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF) is arranged anually in October. BIFF is one of the largest and most interesting film festivals in Norway.
The festival is screening a great mix of new feature and documentary films from all over the world. The programme consists of over 100 titles we have hunted down from other international film festivals or traced on our own.
The festival programme is varied. The main programme is the International Competition, where 15 feature films which have not yet been imported to Norway is competing about the Jury Award. BIFF also has a big international Documentary section with films dealing with contemporary issues, and the festival is arranging several panel discussions in connection with these. BIFF also has sneak previews of coming cinema releases, animation films, fantasy and science fiction, gay and lesbian films – and a Norwegian short film competition. Several filmmakers are festival guests.
BIFF gathers some media and industry delegates, but is first and foremost an audience festival. Since the first festival in 2000, audience figures has risen from about 9.000 to 37.400 (2006). The festival was arranged for the first time in 2000, when Bergen was a European City of Culture. BIFF also arranges several projects for local schools and film production companies.
BIFF's main venue is at the municipal cinema Bergen Kino. Since 2004 the festival has been arranged at the new 5-screen multiplex cinema Magnus Barfot (1052 seats) in the centre of Bergen. Bergen International Film Festival AS is 100% owned by Bergen Kino AS. BIFF has permanent office at the culture house USF Verftet.
Festival director and head of programming is Tor Fosse. He came from the film society movement, and was key person in establishing and running the theatrical distribution company Arthaus and Tromsø International Film Festival. He also runs the theatrical distribution company Tour de Force.
BIFF is part of BergArt (Bergen Art Festival), the annual festival of contemporary art taking place in Bergen every autumn.
"An exquisite BIFF (...) in the top range among our domestic audience festivals (...) when it comes to quality, range, seriousness, ideas and surplus energy (...) the citys’s perhaps most important cultural event (...) the scope and volume of the programme is impressing (...) The festival is among the world’s leading in presenting the current international flourishing of socially committed and politicizing documentaries
Consultant, Film&Kino & Programme Manager, The Norwegian International Film Festival, Haugesund
Film&KinoNytt, October 2004