By Ioan Lazar in Cannes
Romanian-born French film director Radu Mihaileanu received the title of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French minister of Culture, Aurelie Filippetti, in a ceremony held Saturday at Cannes.
“You are a militant artist at the heart of the community, a listener of opinions from the entire world, a great defender of cultural diversity and a model of French-style integration,” Aurelie Filippetti stated. As he received the medal, the Romanian-born director, visibly moved and with tears in the eyes, delivered a brief thanking speech, saying that he is – above all – “an Officer of those besides us and of the human being.” On the same occasion, the same award was granted to film director Jane Campion from New Zealand, chairwoman of the jury at this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival, and also to the owner of animation studios DreamWorks, Jeffrey Katzenberg.
A film by Mihaileanu, outside the contest
A usual presence of big festivals, author of films that entered the public conscience (The Concert, The Spring, The Train of Life), Radu Mihaileanu is present this year at Cannes in a new positions, that of producer. Set to run outside the competition on Monday, May 19, starting 7.15 PM, at one of the newer and very large cinema halls (Soixantieme), the film Caricaturistes – fantassins de la democratie (Cartoonists – foot soldiers of democracy) bears the signature of director Stephanie Valloatto.
This is a special kind of documentary, which features 12 cartoonists from all over the world, from France, Tunisia, Russia, Mexico, Burkina Faso, China, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Israel, Palestina. Pencil in hand, they act like true soldiers of the freedom of press, sometimes risking their lives in the fight for democracy. Like in almost all the films signed by Radu Mihaileanu, this too has humour as a main character, tonic and essential for human existence. It refers to a series of sensitive spots of today’s world: political and military dictatorships, economic pressure, mafia, religions. We are invited to attend a true lecture of the geopolitical map of the present, seen from the four corners of the continent.
Produced jointly with the Media Department of the UN, the film (one hour and 66 minutes) will enter cinema halls on May 28 this year.