The tenth edition of Transilvania International Film Festival will pay homage to one of the most outstanding and well-known Romanian film & theatre actors from the last half century, George Motoi, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a personality from local cinema.
Born on January 22, 1936, at Arman (Caliacra, now Bulgaria), George Motoi graduated the Film & Drama Institute in Bucharest. He is one the most prized Romanian artists, which a career that spans over almost 50 years, during which he played in countless theatre plays, films and TV productions. Throughout the years, George Motoi has also become known as a theatre director.
He made his debut in film in 1962, with Lupeni '29, directed by Mircea Drăgan. Important parts followed, such as: Magellan’s Return (d. Cristiana Nicolae), July Light (d. Gh. Naghi), Evening (d. Malvina Urşianu), Fleeting Loves (d. Malvina Urşianu), The Jderi Brothers (d. Mircea Drăgan), For Your Country (d. Sergiu Nicolaescu), The Inquiry (d. Constantin Vaeni), The Silence of the Deep (d. Malvina Urşianu), The Silver Mask, (r. Gh. Vitanidis), The Turquiose Necklace, (d. Gh.Vitanidis), Pacific Storm (d. Nicu Stan).
In 1985 he played an exceptional part in Mircea Veroiu’s Adela, for which he was awarded the Grand Prize at San Remo Film Festival.
One of the most important performances of his career remains that of ruler Alexandru Lăpuşneanu in The Return of King Lapusneanu, by Malvina Urşianu. The film presents the second rule of the king, returned on the Moldavian throne in 1564, after an exile imposed by influent noblemen. Lăpușeanu was the most important role I played in cinema. Parts like this one appear only two or three times in an actor’s career, favored only by the cyclical chance, I would call it, of the appearance of exceptional works, said Motoi in his essay book, Under the Actor’s Mask, published in 1989.
His filmography includes working with some of the most important directors of his generation, such as Sergiu Nicolaescu, Mircea Drăgan, Elisabeta Bostan, Mircea Moldovan, Gheorghe Vitanidis and Malvina Urşianu.
His theatre debut took place at the State Theatre in Piatra Neamț, in 1958, with Love Story by Konstantin Simonov, directed by Cristian Munteanu. He later on played on various important stages, such as the ones in Bacău, Cluj and ultimately Bucharest.
His artistic activity was rewarded with several honors: the ACIN Award for Best Male Performance for Andrei in Fleeting Loves, by Malvina Urșianu, The Excellency Award granted by CNC for Special Contribution to Romanian Cinema, and, in theatre, The National Theatre Festival Award for Victor in Cat on New Year’s Eve, by D.R.Popescu, directed by Vlad Mugur are a few of them.
Notwithstanding the Lifetime Achievement Award, TIFF 2011 will pay homage to George Motoi through a special screening of The Return of King Lapusneanu, scheduled on Saturday, June 11, at Arta Cinema.