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The Belarusian short film and animation festival goes for a strong critique of contemporary film consumption.

Self-described as an event that promotes independent film-making throughout the world, and searches for new forms and solutions in cinematography, the Belarusian short film (and animation) festival, published on their Facebook page a "Mobile Manifesto".

It states that the audience is now getting bored at the cinemas, which have become commodity centres - and compete with the more obvious commodity attractions of  department stores.

In the consumerist society, the festival is considered to be a commodity or an institution that serves this commodity. The evidence of this is a great number of festivals of cheese, sausages, beer, smoked meats and rodents, springing up like mushrooms after the rain. The main function of an ordinary festival is to produce entertainment and happiness. Festival turns into building of the citadel of hedonism. Entertainment, happiness and hedonism are perceived as legitimisation of consumption and dominant idea of commodity. We live in the epoch of Neo-Hellinism, when circuses once again become the ideological basis for the absolute authority and, in our case, economic system - Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Fest

Mounting criticism on a pathetic post-modern reality, which works as a circus society, the festival goes on to lament the 'false consciousness' view of what happiness is.

Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Fest works as platform for both short film, experimental filmmaking, and includes a separate animation competition. Its  2017 animation line-up featured works by Danijel Šuljić (Transparency), Chloé Lesueur (TIS) and Britt Raes (Catherine). In its 2018 edition (28 Apr - 1 May), it also included a competition section on "Documentary in the post-truth era".

Read the whole festival Manifesto (via Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Fest)

In the consumerist society, the festival is considered to be a commodity or an institution that serves this commodity. The evidence of this is a great number of festivals of cheese, sausages, beer, smoked meats and rodents, springing up like mushrooms after the rain. The main function of an ordinary festival is to produce entertainment and happiness. Festival turns into building of the citadel of hedonism. Entertainment, happiness and hedonism are perceived as legitimisation of consumption and dominant idea of commodity. We live in the epoch of Neo-Hellinism, when circuses once again become the ideological basis for the absolute authority and, in our case, economic system.

Belarusian cinemagoers, as members of the consumerist society, assess the quality of a commodity, voting with a ruble. Now we can see the results of this vote – the audience is getting bored at the cinema. They no longer feel happy to encounter the sublime on the screen and find no savour left in the magic of a cinema hall. Disappointed and frustrated, they try to find their happiness in other places. Standing in a queue to the unemployment centre, going to the sale of household goods at the department store or a local job fair – those and other ‘festivals’ of our age deprive us, the true representatives of the festival movement, of well-deserved laurels and reverence.

However, we are not afraid of hardships and ready to sacrifice the most precious for the sake of people's happiness. Let the hamster wheel of our perpetuum mobile machine fall on its side and turn into something that fully corresponds to the people’s aspirations and ideas of the sublime – into the circus ring. And the bedsheet we used to project films gets distorted under the pressure of market demands and turns into a chapiteau tent.

Let the famous acrobats impress us with their tricks and the lions trained by some famous tamers demonstrate their surprising sense of duty and gentle character. Everything is made for your pleasure: transgender midgets, muscular clowns, and an old bear with an accordion. We live in the era of the circus society and this show must go on. So you are welcome to take your seats, relax and sink into the world of happiness. Happiness that is honest and truthful! Happiness that fits our pathetic postmodern reality!

Let’s feed Achilles with turtle soup! Belarusian draniki will be the second course and kompot by Cinema Perpetuum Mobile the third! Here it is, pleasure for the eye. Here it is, our last performance!

The 7th edition of Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Fest takes place 28 Apr - 1 May 2018 in Minsk, Belarus.

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