A new beginning – 5th Annual Romanian Film Festival in New York

21.11.2010 02:00

The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York is pleased to present the schedule of films and events at the 5th Annual Romanian Film Festival in New York City, this year entitled A NEW BEGINNING, to take place from December 3-5 at Tribeca Cinemas. Each year, the festival presents the best and most recent films from Romania’s unique and critically exalted national body of contemporary cinema to New York audiences. This year’s edition features new works from filmmakers who were at the forefront of the “Romanian New Wave,” such as Cristi Puiu, Radu Muntean and Razvan Radulescu, as well as debut features from Constantin Popescu and Bobby Paunescu. And, the highly-anticipated new work from Andrei Ujica (Videograms of a Revolution), The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, will be presented as the opening night film.

The festival will conclude with the landmark Romanian film Carnival Scenes by master filmmaker Lucian Pintilie, featuring legendary Romanian stage and screen actor Victor Rebengiuc (Medal of Honor, Tuesday, After Christmas), who is also the honored guest is this year’s festival.

This year, Festival curator Mihai Chirilov has created a special section entitled Women on the Move, focusing on the representation of Women in post-communist society. The complete line up is as follows:

Features

  • The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu), 2010, directed by Andrei Ujica
  • Aurora, 2010, directed by Cristi Puiu
  • Kino Caravan (Caravana cinematografica), 2009, directed by Titus Muntean – U.S. Premiere
  • Medal of Honor (Medalia de onoare), 2009, directed by Calin Peter Netzer – N.Y. Premiere
  • Portrait of a Fighter as a Young Man (Portretul luptatorului la tinerete), 2010, directed by Constantin Popescu – U.S. Premiere
  • Tuesday, After Christmas (Marti, dupa Craciun), 2010, directed by Radu Muntean, OPENS MAY 25, 2011 AT FILM FORUM

Women on the Move

  • First of All, Felicia (Felicia, inainte de toate), 2009, directed by Razvan Radulescu & Melissa de Raaf – N.Y. Premiere
  • Francesca, 2009, directed by Bobby Paunescu – N.Y. Premiere
  • Stuck on Christmas (Captivi de Craciun), 2009, directed by Iulia Rugina – U.S. Premiere

Docs / Focus HBO Romania

  • Merry Circus (Circul vesel), 2009, directed by Claudiu Mitcu – U.S. Premiere
  • The Shukar Collective Project, 2010, directed by Matei-Alexandru Mocanu – U.S. Premiere
  • The World According to Ion B. (Lumea vazuta de Ion B.), 2009, directed by Alexander Nanau

Closing Night

  • Carnival Scenes (De ce trag clopotele, Mitica?), 1981, directed by Lucian Pintilie

Shorts

  • The Cage (Colivia), 2010, directed by Adrian Sitaru
  • Lord, 2010, directed by Adrian Sitaru
  • Oxygen (Oxigen), 2010, directed by Adina Pintilie
  • Trolleybus 92 (Troleibuzul 92), 2009, directed by Stefan Constantinescu
  • Urban Groove, 2010, directed by Ruxandra Ghitescu.

Chirilov states, “New Romanian Cinema was born in 2001 and as of 2005 became the thing on the international film scene. So, 2010 is a natural time for a new beginning. After a 5-year gap since his worldwide breakthrough with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Cristi Puiu is back with his new and anticipated film, Aurora, the very title of which implies a new beginning. Andrei Ujica’s The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, is closing a chapter of the recent Romanian history, offering a brand new, hotly debated and much-needed perspective on the national anti-hero. Most of the new films’ characters are longing for a new start, be it the unfaithful husband in Tuesday, After Christmas, the guilty father in Medal of Honor, or the women challenged by the contexts of their lives in both Francesca and First of All, Felicia. Challenging the aesthetic of the Romanian New Wave as we know it, with a focus on characters stuck in limbo, this year’s abundant crop of New Romanian Cinema is the perfect mirror of a society at a crossroads desperately looking for a new path to follow.”

Also in attendance at the festival will be actresses Monica Barladeanu (Francesca), Mariana Mihut (Carnival Scenes), Ozana Oancea (First of All, Felicia, Stuck on Christmas), director/producer Bobby Paunescu (Francesca, Aurora), producer Andrei Cretulescu (Merry Circus, The Shukar Collective Project, The World According to Ion B.), producer/director Tudor Giurgiu, director of Transilvania International Film Festival, Professor Vladimir Tismaneanu, and film critic Alex Leo Serban.

Special events at this year’s festival include a presentation of a special issue of Film Criticism magazine focusing on New Romanian Cinema, and two one-man shows staged in the Tribeca Cinemas lounge bar: Polanski, Polanski, a Nomad Theatrical Company production, written by Romanian-born and New York-based playwright Saviana Stanescu and performed by Grant Neale; and, The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor, a performative reading based on a chapter in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and delivered by this festival’s special guest, Victor Rebengiuc (in Romanian).

The Romanian Film Festival in New York Citywas initiated in 2006, and is a partnership of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York (RCINY) with the Transilvania International Film Festival and Tribeca Cinemas.  Initiated and chaired by Corina Suteu, director of RCINY, the festival selection committee also includes Mihai Chirilov, curator, and Oana Radu, RCINY deputy director. Since its inception, the festival has featured great works of contemporary Romanian cinema such as The Death of Mr. Lazarescu by Cristi Puiu; 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu; California Dreamin’ (endless) by Cristian Nemescu; and, 12:08 East of Bucharest by Corneliu Porumboiu. The Festival is also devoted to revisiting landmark Romanian films, and has presented great works such as Reenactment and The Oak by Lucian Pintilie.

The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York (RCINY) aims to promote Romanian culture throughout the U.S. and internationally, and to build sustainable, creative partnerships among American and Romanian cultural organizations. The Institute acts as a catalyst and proponent of initiatives across artistic fields, striving to foster understanding, cultural diplomacy, and scholarly discourse by enriching public perspectives of contemporary Romanian culture. RCINY is currently the president of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) network in New York City. For the past five years, RCINY has been an active enabler and supporter of the presentation and promotion of Romanian cinema in the U.S.