Foreign Language Film Oscar winner, "A Separation," was also nominated for the Writing (Original Screenplay) Academy Award. <em>*Photo supplied</em><br />
Foreign Language Film Oscar winner, "A Separation," was also nominated for the Writing (Original Screenplay) Academy Award. *Photo supplied
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THURSDAY, MARCH 1:  BIFF today announces the lineup for the 15th annual Bermuda International Film Festival taking place from March 16 to 22. This year's programme includes Foreign Language Film Oscar winner, “A Separation,” as well as three films nominated for the same category: “Bullhead,” “Footnote,” and “In Darkness.” “A Separation” was also nominated for the Writing (Original Screenplay) Academy Award.

These films will be screened in the World Cinema strand of BIFF 2012. This will be the largest category comprising 12 features, including “Wuthering Heights,” the latest offering from Director Andrea Arnold, whose short film, “Wasp,” screened at BIFF 2004 and later won the Short Film (Live Action) Academy Award. The celebrated narrative features “Corpo Celeste,” “Declaration of War,” and “Where do we go now?” will also be showing in this section, along with thought-provoking documentaries, “Khodorkovsky,” “Putin's Kiss,” “Whores' Glory” and “The Island President.”

The 2012 Bermuda Shorts programme, for which BIFF is a qualifying festival for the Short Film (Live Action) Academy Award, will screen over 40 shorts in competition from all over the world, from countries as diverse as Sweden, Israel and Peru. There is also some home-grown talent in the mix with the locally-produced documentary, “Trusting Train,” about the island's unique methods of collecting and conserving rain water and “The Last/First Kiss,” written and co-produced by Bermudian Andrew Stoneham.

BIFF 2012 sees the launch of two new sections, Masterworks and Modern Masters, which bring together films that share thematic or stylistic content. Modern Masters features exciting new works from some of the most respected contemporary directors. “We need to talk about Kevin” is a definite highlight having attracted a number of award nominations including Best Actress Golden Globe and BAFTA nods for Tilda Swinton and Best Director for Lynee Ramsay at the British Independent Film Awards. The equally lauded “Damsels in Distress,” “Into the Abyss” and “The Day He Arrives” also screen in Modern Masters.

Masterworks will showcase films from the most influential auteurs living today. This section includes Best Documentary Feature Academy Award nominee, “Pina,” joined by European Film award-winning “Le Havre,” Asian Pacific award-winning “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” and 2011 Berlinale Grand Jury Prize and Competition Prize winner, “The Turin Horse.”

BIFF's late night strand has been redesigned and expanded this year as After Hours. Films selected for this section are provocative, controversial and uncompromising visions that take an innovative approach to storytelling. They are: “Alps,” “Michael,” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

BIFF Kids, designed to demonstrate how film can be used as a rich learning tool, is also back. This year, this section has a local flavour with screenings of the short film, “Peer Mediation” and documentary “Poverty in Paradise: The Price We Pay,” both directed by Bermudian filmmaker Lucinda Spurling. “My So-Called Enemy” a documentary about the U.S. Women's leadership programme called “Building Bridges for Peace” rounds out this strand.

BIFF 2012 opens with the charming “Darling Companion,” starring Academy Award winners, Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline, and closes with the inspired romantic comedy “Hysteria” starring Academy Award nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy.

David O'Beirne, Director of Programming, BIFF said: “The 2012 programme is notably reduced in comparison to prior years in response to the challenges presented by the current economy and resulting budgeting restraints, however, there has been no compromise on quality. We have brought together a diverse selection of independent films to inspire and engage from across the globe so there really is something for everyone. We are delighted to have secured so many popular and critically-acclaimed features to screen at BIFF 2012, which is testimony to the increasing high regard in which Bermuda International Film Festival is held by the film industry.”

The full BIFF 2012 Film Guide and schedule will be distributed in Bermuda Sun and go live online at http://www.biff.bm on March 7. The online box office and physical box office (courtesy of Freisenbruch Meyer at 75 Front Street in Hamilton) will open at 11am that day.

To get early access to the BIFF 2012 box office from March 5, as well as discounted festival tickets, become a BIFF BUFF annual member for just $50. To sign-up, visit http://www.biff.bm and click BUY NOW at the top of the screen. The membership boasts a whole host of additional benefits outlined in full on the website, including discounts passed on by 'Friends of BIFF' such as 10 percent off food at Bistro Muse in Hamilton. BIFF 2012 patrons and sponsors can also take advantage of this service.

For more information, please call 293-3456 or email info@biff.bm.