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5th Romanian Film Festival in NYC

December 3-5, 2010
All festival events at
TRIBECA CINEMAS
54 Varick Street (at Laight Street)
NYC, NY 10013

ADMISSION:
// General Screening Tickets: $12.00
// Student/Senior Discount for General Screening Tickets:$10.00
// 5-Ticket Package (5 tickets at discounted price of $10 p/ticket): $50.00
//Performances – Free, first-come-first-serve basis.

Tickets are now on sale at Tribeca Cinemas.

Recommended by the New York Times, Village Voice, Wall Street Journal, Artforum, and many others.

The ex aequo Winners of the Audience Award are: MEDAL OF HONOR, director Peter Calin Netzer, and the documentary THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ION B., director Alexander Nanau. 

Download Festival brochure [pdf format]

The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York,
in collaboration with Transilvania International Film Festival,
presents

A NEW BEGINNING
The Fifth Romanian Film Festival in NYC

Recommended by
A. O. Scott, The New York Times
J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Steve Dollar, The Wall Street Journal & more



RCINY is pleased to present 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. 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 Răzvan Rădulescu, as well as debut features from Constantin Popescu and Bobby Păunescu. And, the highly-anticipated new work from Andrei Ujică (Videograms of a Revolution), The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu, 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 in this year’s festival. The festival also features a special section entitled Women on the Move, focusing on the representation of women in post-communist society.

Festival curator Mihai 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. Lăzărescu, Cristi Puiu is back with his new and anticipated film, Aurora, the very title of which implies a new beginning. Andrei Ujică’s The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu, 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 Bârlădeanu (Francesca), Mariana Mihuţ (Carnival Scenes), Ozana Oancea (First of All, Felicia, Stuck on Christmas), director/producer Bobby Păunescu (Francesca, Aurora), producer Andrei Creţulescu (Merry Circus, The Shukar Collective Project, The World According to Ion B.), producer/director Tudor Giurgiu, director of Transilvania International Film Festival, Professor Vladimir Tismăneanu, and film critic Alex Leo Şerban.

The complete line up and schedule is as follows:



Fri, December 3
6:30 p.m.
Theater 2



The film also plays
Sun, December 5
11:00 a.m.
Theater 1


The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu

(Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceauşescu)
Directed by Andrei Ujică
Romania, 2010, 180 minutes
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Official Selection — Cannes Film Festival & New York Film Festival

Introduction by Professor Vladimir Tismăneanu, University of Maryland (College Park)

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu
is not a “documentary” or a “docudrama,” but rather a “fiction feature,” with real, historical characters. Ujică didn’t shoot a single frame of footage, because everything was already shot. He simply edited archival material of Ceauşescu and reconstructed his historical adventure – an adventure which, because we’re dealing with a head of state, formed the very destiny of this state itself.




Sat, December 4
2:00 p.m.
Theater 1

 

Portrait of the Fighter as a Young Man

(Portretul luptătorului la tinereţe)
Directed by Constantin Popescu – U.S. Premiere
Romania, 2010, 120 minutes
NEW FEATURES

Official Selection — Berlin Film Festival

Right after World War II, Romania fell under the iron fist of communist dictatorship. Over a thousand armed resistance groups took refuge in the inaccessible forests of the Carpathian Mountains. One was led by Ion Gavrilă-Ogoranu, and Constantin Popescu’s ambitious first feature depicts the daily existence of this hungry and emotionally withdrawn group, and their struggle that became an end in and of itself, as they faced constant pursuit by an enemy renown for torture and liquidation.




Sat, December 4
2:30 p.m.
Theater 2



 

Tuesday, After Christmas

(Marţi, după Crăciun)
Directed by Radu Muntean
Romania, 2010, 100 minutes – A Lorber Films release
NEW FEATURES / FOCUS VICTOR REBENGIUC
OPENS MAY 25, 2011 AT FILM FORUM
Official Selection — Cannes Film Festival, Un certain regard & New York Film Festival

An exquisitely crafted portrait of a married man who has fallen in love with another woman, Radu Muntean’s fourth feature is yet another urban story about thirty somethings. Tuesday, after Christmas starts off with a husband’s adulterous affair which turns out to be the spark that burns the illusion of the Perfect Family to ashes. The result is a truly powerful piece of cinema that feels so utterly human you can’t help but become completely immersed.

Preceded by a brief presentation of the New Romanian Cinema issue of Film Criticism magazine.

Edited by Rodica Ieta and Ramona Uritescu-Lombard, and published in June 2010, this issue joins theoretical essays on Romanian cinema and on its engagement with realism, analyses of several films by the new wave of directors, in-depth discussions of the documentary phenomenon, and a comprehensive filmography.




Sat, December 4
3:30 p.m.
Lounge


Free admission, first-
come-first-serve basis

Polanski, Polanski

SPECIAL EVENTS: PERFORMANCE
A New Play by Saviana Stănescu
Performed by Grant Neale
Directed by Tamilla Woodard

See Polanski do battle with Polanski. What goes on with a brilliant, complex, and fabulously flawed human being when he is forced to take himself to task for his own misdeeds? Join us for a special performance, an excerpt from "Saviana Stanescu's fascinating new play [...] featuring a remarkable, compelling performance by Grant Neale and fluid and often surprising direction by Tamilla Woodard." (Martin Denton, nythatre.com).

 




Sat, December 4
4:30 p.m.
Theater 1

Kino Caravan

(Caravana cinematografică)
Directed by Titus Muntean – U.S. Premiere
Romania, 2009, 100 minutes
NEW FEATURES

Screening introduced by producer Tudor Giurgiu

In an isolated village in Transylvania, at the beginning of the ‘60s, the peaceful lives of villagers are disturbed by a mobile cinema led by the young and ambitious communist activist Tavi who has been assigned to screen Soviet propaganda films to this rural community. Beyond the burlesque humor and the naiveté of the situations, a sinister undertone gradually insinuates itself and the fundamentally good people from the village start to fear not only God, but also the new regime.




Sat, December 4
5:00 p.m.
Theater 2



The film also plays
Sun, December 5
2:30 p.m.
Theater 1

The World According to Ion B.

(Lumea văzută de Ion B.)
Directed by Alexander Nanău
Romania, 2009, 61 minutes
DOCS / FOCUS HBO ROMANIA
Official Selection – Telluride Film Festival & Winner of the 2010 International Emmy for Arts Programming

BREAKING NEWS: The World Accroding to Ion B. received the 2010 Emmy Award in the category Arts Programming.

Screening introduced by HBO producer Andrei Creţulescu


Ion B. is a 62 year-old homeless man living in Bucharest. As a young man, he had dreamed of becoming a film director. In the ‘70s he started creating collages that he refers to as “my films.” In 2008, he shows his almost 1,000 collages to a young art gallery owner in Bucharest and becomes one of the most important Romanian contemporary artists. Colorful, touching and credible, Ion Bârlădeanu is the embodiment of human dignity, which can be found even in the depths of poverty.




Sat, December 4
6:30 p.m.
Theater 2



The film also plays
Sun, December 5
3:45 p.m.
Theater 1

Medal of Honor

(Medalia de onoare)
Directed by Călin Peter Netzer – N.Y. Premiere
Romania-Germany, 2009, 106 minutes
NEW FEATURES / FOCUS VICTOR REBENGIUC
Official Selection — Palm Springs Film Festival

Screening followed by Q&A with actor Victor Rebengiuc

Out of the blue, a retired man of 75 is awarded a medal of honor for his heroic deeds during World War II. This proves to be the ideal occasion – though seemingly undeserved – to earn back the respect of his family and friends. Rarely if ever has there been a post-communist tragicomedy that breaks one’s heart with such delicate blows. Victor Rebengiuc is simply sublime in the part of the pathetic but infinitely empathic patriarch.




Sat, December 4
6:45 p.m.
Theater 1

Merry Circus

(Circul vesel)
Directed by Claudiu Mitcu – U.S. Premiere
Romania, 2009, 51 minutes
DOCS / FOCUS HBO ROMANIA

Screening introduced by HBO producer Andrei Creţulescu

It is the story of a family whose roots in the traditional Romanian strolling circus Globus begin back in the 1920s, when Toma Zdebschi traveled to Romania with the Globus Circus from Czechoslovakia and never went back. His son Carol is now 84, and together with his wife Mina, 75, they recall with nostalgia a life of great satisfaction, but also of sacrifices. Their passionate vocation is symbolized by the circus wagon, which will remain in the backyard of their home for as long as they live.

Preceded by the short film Lord

directed by Adrian Sitaru
Romania, 2010, 23 minutes

An old, needy and noisy Pekingese dog is the latest victim of Tony the dog snatcher. The Pekingese is just bad business: the owner is too old to come pick up the dog, and too poor to pay the reward the dog-snatcher requests. Meanwhile Tony’s girlfriend starts complaining: the dog is a nuisance.

Preceded by the short film The Cage (Colivia)

directed by Adrian Sitaru
Romania, 2010, 17 minutes

A family’s everyday life becomes tormented when their son brings home an injured pigeon. The father dislikes the disease-carrying bird, but the son is firm in his determination to keep his new-found animal friend safe on the balcony of their flat. The mother finds herself in her usual role: mediating family conflict.




Sat, December 4
8:45 p.m.
Theater 1

Stuck on Christmas

(Captivi de Crăciun)
Directed by Iulia Rugină – U.S. Premiere
Romania, 2009, 39 minutes
WOMEN ON THE MOVE

Screening followed by Q&A with actress Ozana Oancea

It’s Christmas Eve in a small mountain train station and four people are waiting for a train that’s stuck in snow hundreds of kilometers away. Because of the holiday, no one knows how long it will take for the train to finally come. They don’t know each other and each of them only wants to reach his destination as soon as possible, be it back home or abroad. As hours pass and the train is evermore delayed, the four share hope, anger and despair – and the absurd.

Preceded by the short film Oxygen (Oxigen)

directed by Adina Pintilie
Romania, 2010, 40 minutes

During the communist period in Romania, thousands of people risked their lives attempting to flee the country. Despair required them to invent the most incredible methods of crossing the border illegally. This film is a reenactment of a real case: a man who tried to cross the Danube using an oxygen cylinder.




Sat, December 4
9:00 p.m.
Theater 2

Francesca

Directed by Bobby Păunescu – N.Y. Premiere
Romania, 2009, 96 minutes
WOMEN ON THE MOVE
Official selection – Venice Film Festival 2009, Orizzonti

Screening followed by Q&A with director Bobby Păunescu and actress Monica Bârlădeanu

Francesca is a young kindergarten teacher whose dream of a better life is to migrate to Italy. Her boyfriend, Miţă, plans to join her as soon as he concludes a pending business deal, but things take an unfortunate turn of events. Francesca is full of surprises, a mature debut (Păunescu was previously known only as the producer of Cristi Puiu’s films) with authentic dialogue and impeccable acting, featuring an engaging performance by lead actress Monica Bârlădeanu.




Sun, December 5
11:00 a.m.
Theater 1


The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu

(Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceauşescu)
Directed by Andrei Ujică
Romania, 2010, 180 minutes
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Official Selection — Cannes Film Festival & New York Film Festival

Details above.






Sun, December 5
2:00 p.m.
Theater 2


 
 

Aurora

Directed by Cristi Puiu
Romania-France-Germany-Switzerland, 2010, 181 minutes – A Cinema Guild release
NEW FEATURES
Official Selection — Cannes Film Festival, Un certain regard & New York Film Festival

“There is no such thing as a murderer, only people who kill.” With these words writer-director Cristi Puiu qualifies his careful study of contemporary Romanian society and fatal acts – such as murder. The film focuses on 42-year-old Viorel (played by Puiu himself) who is going through a gloomy period of life that leads him to kill. The director avoids psychoanalysis of his characters and doesn’t point to where they are heading, while an intentionally staid narrative contributes to the overwhelming suspense.




Sun, December 5
2:30 p.m.
Theater 1

The World According to Ion B.

(Lumea văzută de Ion B.)
Directed by Alexander Nanău
Romania, 2009, 61 minutes
DOCS / FOCUS HBO ROMANIA
Official Selection – Telluride Film Festival & Winner of the 2010 International Emmy for Arts Programming

Screening introduced by HBO producer Andrei Creţulescu

Details above.




Sun, December 5
3:45 p.m.
Theater 1

Medal of Honor

(Medalia de onoare)
Directed by Călin Peter Netzer – N.Y. Premiere
Romania-Germany, 2009, 106 minutes
NEW FEATURES / FOCUS VICTOR REBENGIUC
Official Selection — Palm Springs Film Festival

Screening followed by Q&A with actor Victor Rebengiuc

Details above.





Sun, December 5
5:30 p.m.
Theater 2

First of All, Felicia

(Felicia, înainte de toate)
Directed by Răzvan Rădulescu & Melissa de Raaf – N.Y. Premiere
Romania-The Netherlands, 2009, 121 minutes
WOMEN ON THE MOVE
AFI Los Angeles 2009

Screening followed by Q&A with actress Ozana Oancea

Co-writer for most of the recent landmarks in Romanian cinema, Răzvan Rădulescu makes his directing debut, alongside Melissa de Raaf. Felicia is a youngish woman who left her home some 20 years ago, made a career abroad, but faithfully returns to Bucharest every year to see her parents. Every visit is a wrenching emotional experience that reaches a climax on the day of her departure. As moving and as painful as it can be, the film possesses a striking lucidity that borders on cruelty.




Sun, December 5
6:15 p.m.
Theater 1

The Shukar Collective Project

Directed by Matei-Alexandru Mocanu – U.S. Premiere
Romania, 2010, 75 minutes
DOCS / FOCUS HBO ROMANIA

Screening introduced by HBO producer Andrei Creţulescu

This documentary explores the friction between two different worlds – an instinctual and a conceptual one – experienced when the band Shukar Collective came together in an attempt to combine electronic and gypsy music. Alternating between close ups of the gypsy artists with “electro guys” in wide shots, the film beautifully underlines these discrepancies. Yet still, music can reconcile even the irreconcilable.

Preceded by the short film Trolleybus 92 (Troleibuzul 92)

directed by Ştefan Constantinescu
Romania, 2009, 8 minutes

He sits next to an old lady in a trolley bus.  In his mid thirties, middle class, he’s practically an anonymous guy. His voice shows no emotion as he relentlessly menaces someone on the phone. No one around him pays attention. A brief moment of insanity and indifference points to deep flaws in Romanian society.

Preceded by the short film Urban Groove

directed by Ruxandra Ghiţescu
Romania, 2010, 7 minutes

Two teenagers from the ‘hood go wild in front of the camera. The show starts off brutally, and then gets worse. After beating homeless people and picking fights with a flock of transvestites, the dynamic duo encounters a “new challenge.” A raw piece of faux-cine-verité from the underbelly of contemporary Romania.






Sun, December 5
6:30 p.m.
Lounge


Free admission, first-
come-first-serve basis

The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor
A Performative Reading by Victor Rebengiuc

SPECIAL EVENTS: PERFORMANCE
Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov
In Romanian only

This outstanding one-man-show rounds up the tribute paid by the festival to its special guest, legendary thesp Victor Rebengiuc. The legend of the Grand Inquisitor is a story within a story, first published as a chapter of Fyodor Dostoevsky's masterpiece, The Brothers Karamazov. Jesus returns to Earth during the Spanish Inquisition and is arrested. The Grand Inquisitor visits him in his cell to tell him that he is no longer needed on Earth. The Church, which is now allied with the Devil, is better able than Jesus to give people what they need. Clocking in at less than an hour, Rebengiuc's reading is a masterful lesson in subtlety, further proof that he ranks among the greatest Romanian stage and screen actors.




Sun, December 5
8:30 p.m.
Theater 2

Carnival Scenes

(De ce trag clopotele, Mitică?)
Directed by Lucian Pintilie
Romania, 1981, 119 minutes
CLOSING NIGHT FILM

Screening followed by Q&A with actors Victor Rebengiuc and Mariana Mihuţ

Directed by one of the most celebrated Romanian filmmakers, Lucian Pintilie, and based on the works of Ion Luca Caragiale, Carnival Scenes was banned by Communist authorities in 1981 and was released only after the revolution of 1989. Just like Pintilie’s The Oak, this delirious adaptation is a portrayal of a Romanian society walking a tightrope between promiscuity and self-pity, a society that is turbulent and non-resilient, falsely joyful and possessed by endemic sadness.



All films will be screened in the original language with English subtitles, introduced by Romanian film critics

The Romanian Film Festival in New York City was 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 Şuteu, director of RCINY, the festival selection committee also includes Mihai Chirilov, curator, and Oana Radu, RCINY deputy director.

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