ARTS & LEISURE

Two Romanian shorts selected for the Berlinale

23 other European productions compete for the Golden Bear.

The short films “15th of July” (15 iulie) by Cristi Iftimie and German- Romanian production “Silent River” (Apele tac) by Anca Miruna Lazarescu were selected to compete for the Golden Bear and the DAAD film scholarship in this year’s edition of the Berlinale.


Twenty-three other shorts will be competing in the same category, in the event running between February 10 and 20.


The winning films will be chosen by a jury made of US photographer and filmmaker Nan Goldin, Israeli filmmaker and director of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School Renen Schorr and Tunisian film-maker Ibrahim Letaief, with the awards gala taking place on February 19.


Last year a Romanian director, Adrian Sitaru was the winner of the DAAD Award and Scholarship offered by the festival.


“15th of July” is directed by 31 year old Cristi Iftimie, currently finishing an MD at UNATC (National Theatre and Cinema School). The short film is the director’s 4th year graduation exercise and is currently in post- production process for the Berlin version. “I knew I have done something good with this short one but I honestly did not expect the honour of being selected for such an important festival,” Iftimie told HotNews. “15th of July” looks at the troubled relationship between a father and his daughter, which along 24 hours gets to be even more aggravated by outside factors and lack of communication. Actors Adrian Titieni and Coca Bloss are part of the cast, while the script was written by a 1st year student, Anca Buja. Cristi Iftime debuted in cinema as a 1st production assistant in Corneliu Porumboiu’s “Police, Adjective”. He also has three other short films that received accolades at several student and professional festivals: “Four Instruments,” “Timi” and “You and I.”


The second short selected for the Berlinale, “Silent River’ is signed by Anca- Miruna Lazarescu and is a 30 minute fictional story about two youths looking to flee Communist Romania in the 1980s. The film was made in co-production with Filmallee Studios from Berlin and Strada Film and received a RON 100,000 sponsorship from the National Cinema Centre. Born in 1979, Lazarescu left to Germany in 1990 and studied Journalism and Cinema at the Munich Film Academy. Her first short, “Bucharest- Berlin” was nominated for a Berlin Today Award in 2005. According to Romanian producer Daniel Mitulescu, the Romanian production company got involved in the project after “being moved by the powerful, fully realistic and sensitive script.”


Strada Film has also produced another Silver Bear winner for short film : Bogdan Mustata’s “A Day at the Beach” that received the award in 2009.

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