When passion dies away, can we find eternity in an instant? How shall we deal with limits of existing norms? How can we remove the boundary between dance and film?
Since its birth about 130 years ago, film has been through multiple transformations, mostly along with iterations of technologies and media. However, that’s not all that makes film a unique form of art. It’s worth noticing that filmmaking masters have been disrupting and reconstructing film. For instance, D.W. Griffith revolutionized film aesthetics in the era of silent films; and Jean-Luc Godard and the French New Wave movement came up with “film d’auteur” against the hegemony of the Hollywood. All those masters removed the limits of existing norms in a “wild” manner, pushed the boundaries in filmmaking as pioneers, and remained proud when faced with waves of transformations, thanks to which the film art has been constantly brought to next level.
Due to the rise of new media and portable filming devices, film is placed on the cusp of transformation again. Where is the art heading in the maze of past and present? Heated discussions and various voices are heard.
Dance video could be a way forward.
We asked the question of “what is dance video” at the 2nd Beijing International Dance Video Festival (BIDVF). The concept of “dance video” has been controversial since its birth. Undeniably, dance video means so much more than recording the performance of dance elements. Instead of mere objective presentation of dance, dance video deserves attention towards the message and narrative that choreography tries to convey, and the audio-visual experience it offers. Besides, the form should not be limited to “people dancing in front of cameras”. Does it have to include a real person on camera? What about animation or empty shots in POV? Do single frames go against the principle of moving cameras? How about changes that the body language of dancing may bring about to conventional film narrative and acting? Is it okay to shift the focus of choreography from dancers to cameras? Can music and sound design create brand new viewing experience? Vice versa, does the language have the power to surpass concrete representation? Anything is possible.
Being the first platform for selection, review and screening of international dance videos in China, the BJIFF BIDVF has attracted increasing number of individuals and teams to dance video making and promotion with our full commitment to discovery and dissemination. And we are seeing promising prospects of the festival. The BIDVF gradually formed the narrative of dance video. Nowadays, video making tends to be homogeneous and mediocre. Therefore, we expect creators to break from conventions, set rather than follow trends, and exhaust possibilities of dance video and film on the whole in future editions of the BIDVF.
Only by doing so can we create infinite possibilities for dance and film.
124 entries were collected over three months for the 2nd BIDVF, all of which constituted powerful responses. There were nine winners. The Full House Red, Flying Dust and Grey Matters won the Special Jury’s Choice awards, and View won the Best Experimental Video award. Among winning dance videos, there are those produced under well-established industrial filmmaking practice with adequate budget, and those with limited budget of cast & crew, environment and filming conditions. Regardless of their making experiences, all winning videos managed to fulfill interests of the general public and express themselves: they care about the present, convey their intended messages, work on possible combinations of dance and video through various forms, and show overwhelming passion and sincerity when pioneering in-depth expression, choreography, narrative, video making techniques and audio-visual presentation.
The pioneering spirit is wild in nature. Those young creators refuse to be defined, and they stand up and say no to increasingly fixed and irrefutable concepts and barriers resulted from professionalism. And they act to challenge those barriers.
What does the future for film look like? What about that for dance video?
In the ever changing era, we need such “wild and proud” spirit.
We are devoted to discovering and making more and more outstanding dance videos worldwide, establishing effective and fair artistic evaluation criteria for them, leading video making trends, building a platform for artistic and industrial exchanges, exploring more possibilities of dance video and incentivizing and supporting brave trailblazers and creators of dance videos.
The competition section of the 3rd BIDVF is calling for entries by March 20, 2024. Please scan the QR code at the end of the article and download the rules and regulations for entry as well as the entry form to learn about entry rules and details.
◎Poster of the Call for Entries of the 14th BJIFF Beijing International Dance Video Festival
▍The “Photosynthesis” Support Program is initiated
The BIDVF set up the Extreme Creation section at the first edition. During 48-hour limit, the entire process from idea conceiving to filming and production in given space with designated themes is live streamed. The extreme and demanding video making environment sets the precedent among domestic film festivals. We are able to witness booming improvising capabilities of entrants, and how they make impossible possible. Meanwhile, there are highlights and regrets. What regrets? Short production term, limited filming environment, difficulties in realizing good ideas, video making bottlenecks, difficulties in making up a team, inadequate devices and technologies, etc. Those difficulties wear creators’ ambitions away.
The Extreme Creation section of the 3rd BIDVF is renamed the “Photosynthesis” Support Program, through which we plan to work with internationally renowned brands, set up a generous support fund, remove barriers between jury members and entering teams, invite jury members of the competition section and prestigious directors and choreographers to offer guidance on creation, and provide support in funding, technology, locations, staff and creation, thus establishing an independent and inclusive creation platform for young creators, and expanding commercial and artistic values of dance video. The BIDVF calls for excellent short scripts, concept demos or choreographies by creators in the field of dance and film. Project pitching, production and online & offline screening will be organized to review and select entries. Please stay tuned to our subsequent feeds for details and entry channels.
▍The dance video training camp is starting soon
Creators have to take adventures rather than observe rules in order to survive in the field of dance video. It’s a long and complicated process for a dance video to be made from ideas, script to choreography, production, entry for competition, screening and distribution. You may feel at a loss and wonder where to go next before you start creation. Confusion and adventure lie ahead with such a question. But we shouldn’t stop. The only way out is to embark on a filming adventure. And we’d like to join hands with you in the creation journey with wider prospects.
The dance video training camp is starting soon. Senior creators in the field of dance and film will be invited as mentors and advisors, and give lectures on idea conceiving, location scouting, filming, editing and post-production throughout a week offline to make creation happen. Meanwhile, videos made during the training camp will be screened during the opening of the BIDVF. And we will select and include outstanding creators and teams in the “Photosynthesis” Support Program.
▍The BIDVF is improving its review and selection system
As the 3rd edition is coming soon, the video review and selection system is optimized and adjusted based on previous editions.
Among various genres, dance video brings infinite power to dance and video with its unique avant-garde quality. The “Best Experimental Video” is upgraded to “Infinity” Pioneering Creation award. Many entries in previous editions were submitted by university students. Usually, they were favored by jury members for their wild, vital and unique appeal despite limited budget, environment and conditions. In order to form close ties with those creators on the rise, the “Best Video by Student” category is added. The first, second and third prizes in the Special Jury’s Choice category are integrated into “Special Jury Prize”, and “Best Director”, “Best Dancer” and “Best Contribution” are added to reward individuals. In particular, the “Best Contribution” will be awarded to influential promoters and outstanding creators in the field of dance video.
The 3rd edition cancels subdivisions of dance videos. There are only two divisions: documentaries and general videos. Commercial dance videos are included in the general division. For more information, please download the rules and regulations for entry.
▍The “audience jury” will be set up
In previous editions, the review and selection were conducted by the shortlisting taskforce and jury. We’ve been committed to setting up more diverse and fairer artistic evaluation criteria, and a platform for exchanges among fans and creators of dance video. From the 3rd edition on, an “audience jury” will be established. The BIDVF becomes the first dance video festival in China to do so. We aim to include more diverse voices in the review and selection, and create a forum for exchanges among the audience. Members of the “audience jury” will be chosen as per diverse regions, professions and age groups. More details will be provided in subsequent feeds. Stay tuned.
▍Awards and prize money
  “Best Contribution”
  and “Special Jury Prize”
  with a prize money of RMB 10,000
  “‘Infinity’ Pioneering Creation”
  with a prize money of RMB 5,000
  “Best Video”
  with a prize money of RMB 5,000
  “Best Video by Student”
  “Best Documentary”
  “Best Director”
  “Best Dancer”
The competition section of the BIDVF is open to everyone.
1) No limits of age, nationality or gender;
2) Open to individual and team entries;
3) Each entrant is allowed to enter multiple videos;
4) No limits of runtime, genre, style, time of creation, and entrants shall define the division of the videos they enter;
5) Entries must be original videos created and lawfully owned by entrants;
6) All entrants and participants shall abide by relevant laws of the People’s Republic of China, and warrant that they have no criminal record;
7) Previous entries that didn’t win can be entered again;
8) Entries in the “Best Video by Student” category shall be directed by full-time and part-time students currently enrolled at colleges and universities or to be graduated in 2024 (including junior college graduates, undergraduates and postgraduates)
▍Deadline for entry
The 3rd BIDVF is opening for entries from 00:00AM, December 15, 2023 to 12:00AM, March 20, 2024 (Beijing time). Entrants shall send relevant entry materials to the designated official e-mail address. In the event that entry materials fail to be delivered to the e-mail address by the deadline or meet specified requirements, or are incomplete, concerned entries will be excluded from the review and selection.
▍Entry method and fees
Entrants shall send their entry materials to the one and only official e-mail address: 3630176509@qq.com. Please fill in the entry form as required, and carefully read through the rules and regulations for entry before submitting your entry materials. Entrants are not allowed to withdraw their entries or quit after the deadline, i.e. 12:00AM, March 20, 2024 (Beijing time).
No entry fees are charged.
▍Entry form and rules and regulations for entry
Please scan the QR code and download the rules and regulations for entry and entry form.
▍Entry materials and steps
1)Online entry
Entrants are required to submit their entry materials via e-mail. Please download all necessary documents for entry, prepare relevant materials as required and send them to the e-mail address: 3630176509@qq.com. The staff will review the submissions and confirm the receipt via e-mail.
All entry materials should be uploaded to Baidu Wangpan. Please create and copy in the entry form a permanently shared link to the entry materials, and send them to the designated official e-mail address. Where entrants are abroad, and cannot access Baidu Wangpan, they may use Google Cloud, wetransfer, CowTransfer or other file transfer tools. The naming of the folder and entry form is as follows: BIDVF2024+title of the entry+entrant’s name+division to enter.
2) Formatting and version requirements
●For the entry form, all the items are required to be filled in. No modification is allowed when the entry form is submitted. Therefore, you are advised to check the form before submitting it.
● Complete video copy to be entered (Chinese and English subtitles are required where necessary). Resolution of the video shall be at least 1920*1080. For the convenience of viewing during the review and selection, and subsequent promotion, no watermark should be kept in the video. All jury members will review the one and only video submitted by the entrant. No replacement will be accepted throughout the review and selection process.
● Promo clip/trailer of the entry. Runtime within 1 minute; resolution shall be at least 1920*1080; MOV/MP4 file no more than 300MB; a portrait poster (resolution of 300DPI; no larger than 10MB).
● Still of the entry (at least one landscape and one portrait copy with a resolution of 300DPI within 5MB) among other high-definition promotional materials (where such promotional materials are missing or incomplete, the entrant acknowledges and agrees that the organizing committee may extract them from the concerned video).
● Photo of the director(s). A recent photo (not ID photo) in JPEG/PNG format within 5MB.
● As for the “Best Video by Student” category, concerned directors are required to provide valid documents as listed below in PDF/JPEG/PNG format (within 5MB).
①Students enrolled in colleges and universities in Chinese mainland are required to provide any of the following valid ID documents, including but not limited to: student ID, certificate of graduation, campus card or the Online Verification Report of Student Record (to be obtained via the CSSD).
②Students enrolled in colleges and universities in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, China, or overseas, are required to provide any of the following valid ID documents, including but not limited to: student ID, certificate of graduation, campus card or the Degree Verification Certificate issued by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange, or a student record verified by their college or university
*Entrants shall warrant that the ID documents they submit are authentic, and they might be disqualified in case of alleged forgery.
*By submitting an entry/entries, you are deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions contained in the rules and regulations for entry of the 3rd BIDVF. As for uncovered matters, the final interpretation of the organizing committee shall prevail. The organizing committee reserves the right to amend the rules and regulations and will announce them in due course.
▍The call for sponsors is launched at the same time
The BJIFF volunteer recruitment process has been officially launched. If you are interested, please visit the official website of the BJIFF: www.bjiff.com (volunteer section on the homepage) or download the BJIFF App (home-my-login) to apply.