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Bulgarian banquet

Brotfabrik Kino ushers in the autumn with a selection of Bulgarian cinema addressing themes dark and bright, serious and silly, with an alert and acerbic eye on the nation's problems. Starts Fri Aug 23 and runs into September.

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Bright Future – Evgeni Bogdanov/NAGLEDNA.

To show out the summer, the cineaste artisans at Brotfabrik will dish out fine batches of film from a rather under-celebrated grain: Bulgaria. The films meditate on the power of art and design and the disillusionment with bread and circuses in the EU’s poorest member state.

Highlights for Anglophones include this year’s Bright Future (showing Aug 23, 21:00), directed by Evgeni Bogdanov in co-operation with the Nagledna art collective. In this offbeat exploration of the subtle subsersive potential of fonts, the team, with a wry and caustic take on the worn-out promises of advertising and old communist slogans alike, chop and change old neon signage to see how the message endures when the typeface is radically altered. (An interest in Cyrillic script is probably helpful.)

On Sunday, Nagledna put in another appearance – The Year of Our Discontent (showing Sun Aug 25, 18:00), is a project showcasing the relationship of art and protest. Twelve artists explain the message behind their own poster, each designed to address various thorns in Bulgaria’s side – dwindling fossil fuels, GMO crops and corrupt elections all get a look-in.

Finally, the Plovdiv Façade Video Festival comes to Berlin for the first time, with a selection of previous festival winners (screening Sept 6, 18:00). The programme bulges with films from all over Europe, none longer than nine minutes, and offers everything from nightmarish video-glitch confections (Pussykrew’s Welcome to Your Life and Thomas Darby’s I’ve Got A Lover Way Over There) to dreamlike reflections on merry-go-rounds (Thiago Parizi’s The Steamroller and the Plumbers) and scribbled meditations on female sexuality (Stephanie Katja Ernst’s Adveniat Regnum Meum). The festival proper will take place on September 11-15 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

German speakers should catch the discussion of films from Bulgaria’s Cold War secret service, the Committee for State Security, never before shown to the public (showing Sat Aug 24, 20:00).

Bulgarien in der Brotfabrik | Brotfabrik Kino Caligariplatz 1, Pankow, Tram (M2) Prenzlauer Allee/Ostseestraße, S-Bhf Prenzlauer Allee.