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May 19, 2022

Cannes laureate opens intercultural festival today

The international festival “Anthropo art. Haide bre sa ne cunoastem” (Anthropo Art. Let’s get to know each other, mate) will be opened by a surprise event on Wednesday, June 23, starting 19:00, at the Romanian Director’s New Cinema. The event in question is the screening of the film “Cautare” (Quest), directed by Ionut Piturescu, the recent winner of the “Quinzaine des Réalisateurs” in the Cannes Festival. The screening will be followed by a dialogue with the public. Guests in the event, alongside the director, include the sociologist Vintila Mihailescu and film critics.

“The short feature film presents two characters in the Apuseni Mountains who travel in a covered wagon along the Transylvanian plain,” the director Ionut Piturescu sums up the plot. “One evening, as I was driving by at high speed, I could see a wagon, on a road in a village… I did a u-turn and I tried to get acquainted with the two old men’s activities, pretending to take pictures, although the light was too poor for that,” Ionut Piturescu remembers the moment he started, in fact, working on the project. “For eight or nine days, we were on a ‘Sherlock Holmes’-like chase. They would pop in and out of various villages, sometimes we would find them at night and it was too late to shoot. We tried to leave them a cell phone, but they didn’t know how to use it, so it wasn’t much help,” Ionut Piturescu recounts.

“’Cautare/ Quest’ is the story of two friends who have a wagon, for home, and a horse, for companion. They live a simple life, without anything which would burden them, they don’t even carry a watch. Yet they do have time on them, to quote an ancient Asian saying. No longer belonging in the places they travel through, looked down on, adept at things which are hardly needed these days, they are looking for meanings. Or the lack thereof.” (quoting from the “Quinzaine des Réalisateurs” catalogue, Cannes, 2010)

“Time is flowing measured by days and nights, but its meaning seems to have lagged behind: their time, the time of the two old stave-makers, is past. The film shows one of the faces of Time, of a time I could relate to and in which I found, also, the deep and ineffable reason for which I could never leave this country and I’ve always returned to it, gasping, from all my Western journeys,” the sociologist Vintila Mihailescu comments.

The short feature film was made in 2009, within the Aristoteles Workshop, and, alongside Ionut Piturescu, who acted as editor and cinematographer of the film, people involved in the making of “Cautare/ Quest” included Adrianna Dunin (Poland) – cinematographer, Bogdan Paulici – sound and production coordinator, and, in the post-production team, Vlad Voinescu and Filip Muresan – sound, Vlad Plaiasu, Cristian Nicolaescu and Eugen Kelemen – cinematography.

Ionut Piturescu is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology. He undertook field work in Mexico, Morocco, USA, Andalusia, the Arctic area and, above all, the Balkans. Ionut Piturescu also produced and directed “Prinde timpul/ Seize the time” (2008), “Balkan’s Digest” (Albania, 2008), “Sinele si Celalalt. Balkan love story” (Serbia, 2009). At present, Ionut Piturescu coordinates the Anthropoesis Intercultural Research and Development Centre.

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