Film director Cristian Mungiu at ‘Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest’ festival opening gala: I never expected France to play such a role in my life

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Film director Cristian Mungiu considers that the New Romanian Cinema generation of filmmakers owes much to the Cannes International Film Festival, which has played a key role in their asserting themselves internationally.

“One thing we have to say: we owe a lot to Cannes. (…) I think this festival has helped us have 10 years of good work, 10 years during which this generation of young people has become the pride of the country to a certain extent, and this thanks to them gaining international recognition. And the Cannes Film Festival has played the greatest role in this recognition. I never expected France to play such a role in my life. The only little thing I am trying to do is this festival which honors France and speaks out for my endless respect for this country, but is also a festival for the Bucharest public,” Mungiu said in the opening of ‘Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest’ on Friday at the Peasant’s Museum Cinema.

The festival opened with the screening of Mungiu’s “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”, presented in a remastered version, marking the 10th anniversary of the film director’s winning the highly coveted Palme d’Or.

Actors Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu and Vlad Ivanov of the cast were also present and recalled for the audience the joy wherewith they were on the set for shooting the movie that helped them get to international attention and was a springboard for their career.

The Bucharest leg of the event – ‘Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest’ – runs between October 13 – 22; screenings are also scheduled in Brasov (Oct. 13 – 19 at Cinema One), Cluj (Oct. 13 – 15 at Cinema Victoria), Timisoara (Oct. 20 – 22 at the Banatul Philharmonic House), Arad (Cinema ARTA), Iasi (the Iasi Atheneum) and Suceava (Nov. 10 – 12 at Cinema Modern).

In an entwined approach, ‘Les Films de Cannes’ and the ASTRA Sibiu festival will simultaneously screen between October 16 – 22 in Sibiu and Bucharest documentaries presented in a first this year in Cannes, under the logo “Les Films de Cannes @ Astra Film Sibiu”.

Famous Hungarian director Bela Tarr, whose work includes movies like ‘The Turin Horse’ and ‘Satantango’, and French Laurent Cantet, winner of the 2008 Palme d’Or with the drama “Entre Les Murs”, are two of the honorary guests of the festival this year.

‘Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest’ also features a retrospective of the Chinese cinematography with six movies.

The festival’s ‘Romanian film week’ includes a special screening with 2005 winner of the ‘Un Certain Regard’ award, “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu. The “Golden Film” section has a bunch of top-award winning movies at international festivals on the bill.

There is also a “Managing Talents” workshop for Romanian actors seeking an international career.

Cristian Mungiu said that proceeds from the anniversary screening of “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” will be donated to the Ovidiu Ro Association that supports the schooling of children from an early age, those from the movie “The Hunt” will be directed to the ‘Dog Rescue’ Animal Rights Association, those from “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” will go to the ‘Give Life Association for the project of the first integrated oncology and radiotherapy clinic at the Marie Curie Children’s Hospital and proceeds from the Oct. 22 special screening of “Golden Age Memories, Part 1” will go to the ActivRandom Association for the support of refugees.

Initiated in 2010 by Cristian Mungiu with support of Cannes Festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux, “Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest” (now in its 8th year) is organized by the Cinemascop Association and Voodoo Films in partnership with the French Embassy and the French Institute in Bucharest.

“Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest” is a project financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, the National Centre of Cinematography and the Bucharest City Hall through ARCUB, under the Bucharest – a Participatory City cultural program, with the support of Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques and the Romanian Cultural Institute.

 

Cristian Mungiu to be awarded French Legion of Honor

 

Film director Cristian Mungiu will be presented next week with France’s top honor, the National Order of the Legion of Honor, the director of the French Institute in Bucharest Christophe Gigaudaut announced on Friday.

“This year, France has the pleasure to award one of the loveliest ambassadors of the French-Romanian collaboration, as it celebrates Cristian Mungiu. Dear Cristian, you have already obtained the title of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture for your work and your action in the service of the French filmmaking industry, next week French Ambassador to Romania Michele Ramis, whom I represent this evening, will hand you the National Order of the Legion of Honor in the rank of knight,” Gigaudaut said at the opening ceremony of the ‘Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest’ festival, now in its 8th year.

He praised Cristian Mungiu’s contribution to promoting the French film worldwide by organizing the festival.

The ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 19, at the seat of the Embassy of France in Bucharest.

Cristian Mungiu is the 2007 Palme d’Or winner with his movie “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” and received the same year the “Best European Director” award.

On May 27, 2012 Cristian Mungiu received the ‘Best Screenplay’ award at the Cannes Festival for “Beyond the Hills”. The film was Romania’s proposal for best foreign language Oscar award in 2013 and made it to the shortlist, but failed the nomination.

A member of the jury at the 66th edition of the Cannes Festival in May 2013, Cristian Mungiu was awarded the Order of Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti, who described him as “the leader a new generation of Romanian and European filmmakers (…), determined to definitively turn the page of cinematography on the Ceausescu era.”

 

Photo: Ionut Dobre