Six films proposed this year for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film will be presented during January 8 – 10 at Union Cinema in Bucharest. The Oscar-dedicated weekend includes two of the films recently shortlisted for the respective award of the American Film Academy, with further chances to a nomination: “Mustang”, proposed by France, and the comedy “Le tout nouveau testament”, that represents Belgium. The other films in the programme won multiple awards in festivals before being proposed for the Oscars by their countries. They are “Aferim!” (Romania), “The Assassin” (Taiwan), “Rams” (Iceland) and “Arabian Nights” (Portugal).
Except for “Aferim!”, the winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlinale, the rest of the films were selected at Cannes and screened in Bucharest this autumn, at Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest.
One of the most acclaimed films of the year, by critics and the audience alike, is the Turkish – French co-production “Mustang”, directed by Deniz Gamze Erguven and proposed by France for the Oscars. It is an Oriental “The Virgin Suicides” about five teenagers whose instincts were crushed by their relentless families, in a profoundly patriarchal society. “Le tout nouveau testament”, directed by Jaco Van Dormael, is the “most amusing, delirious and inventive” film at Cannes 2015, and its cast includes Benoit Poelvoorde, Yolande Moreau and Catherine Deneuve.
“The Assassin”, Taiwan’s proposal for the Oscars, won the Award for Best Director at Cannes. The film by Hou Hsiao-hsien is a superb exploration of the history of martial arts, received with standing ovations by the international media. It tells the story of a female assassin ordered to kill an aristocrat she had loved once. Iceland sent to the Oscars its multiple award-winning “Rams” by Grimur Hakonarson, the touching story of two brothers that live very close to one another, yet they are separated by 40 years of silence. The film won the Grand Prize of the “Un Certain Regard” Category in Cannes.
“Aferim!”, directed by Radu Jude, is the most viewed film in cinema theatres in 2015. The story is placed in Wallachia, in the nineteenth century. An officer and his son go seeking a fugitive slave.
“Arabian Nights: Vol. 2 – The Desolate One” is the second episode of Miguel Gomes’ trilogy and represented Portugal at the American Film Academy awards. The trilogy is a cinema adventure of over six hours, as the stories of Sheherazade, from “One Thousand and One Nights” are transplanted in today’s Portugal.
The programme of the event may be found on the website www.filmedefestival.ro.