Romanian cinema continues to attract plenty of interest. According to film critic Mihai Fulger, Director of the National Film Archive and coordinator of the Romanian stand at the event, the fact that in the past years Romanian films received several awards at the Berlin film festival, such as Calin Peter Netzer’s “Child Pose” – Golden Bear (2013) and Radu Jude’s “Aferim!” – Silver Bear for Best Director (2015), has fuelled interest in Romanian films.
“I had contact with producers, directors, distributors, exhibitors, each interested in certain aspects of our cinema. For instance, there are foreign producers who are looking for Romanian co-producers or festival curators who need Romanian films for their programmes or even aspiring actors who are after roles in Romanian movies because Romanian cinematography is pretty well known right now,” Mihai Fulger told Agerpres.
Speaking of director Adrian Sitaru’s feature “Illegitimate” (2016), screened in the Forum section, Fulger said the director and the film’s producer Anamaria Antoci had attracted the participants’ interest. The only Romanian film included in the official selection of the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival, “Illegitimate” was very well received by the audience.
“This is a very useful meeting place and, even if contracts are not signed necessarily, fruitful contacts between Romanian producers and filmmakers and their foreign colleagues can be established,” the critic said.
In reference to the current edition of the Berlinale, Mihai Fulger stated that, in his opinion, “the competition’s level is rather low, compared to Cannes”, adding that “the parallel sections, such as Forum or Panorama – which are giving one many more chances to be surprised or have cinematic revelations – are more interesting”.
There are seven Romanian films participating in this year’s edition of the European Film Market (EFM) through the Romanian stand, coordinated by the national Centre of Cinematography: “The world is mine” (“Lumea e a mea”) (director Nicolae Constantin Tanase), “Cinema, mon amour” (Alexandru Belc), “The Eastern Affair” (“Afacerea Est”) (Igor Cobileanski), “Aliyah DaDa” (Oana Giurgiu), “Back Home” (“Acasa la tata”) ( Andrei Cohn), “The Miracle of Tekir” (“Miracolul din Tekir”) (Ruxandra Zenide) and “The self-portrait of a dutiful daughter” (“Autoportretul unei fete cuminti”) (Ana Lungu).
Featuring around 500 exhibitors and attracting visitors from 100 countries, including 1,568 international buyers, and offering 1,014 screenings for a total of 748 movies, the European Film Market is the first important film trade event of the year. Producers, distributors, buyers, financers and representatives of TV networks, home entertainment industry and the new media attend the event with the purpose to get introduced to the latest films, follow new developments in world cinema and initiate business contacts. In addition to the exhibition space offered by EFM’s home at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, since its inauguration as the Market’s second location in 2009, the Marriott Hotel has been offering additional exhibition space.
Producer Anamaria Antoci: Growing interest in ‘Ilegitim’ from international distributors
The movie ‘Ilegitim’ (Illegitimate), directed by Adrian Sitaru has stirred the international distributors, producers’ interest, after it was screened on Saturday night at the Berlin International Film Festival, Berlinale 2016, according to Agerpres.
“From the very beginning of the festival, several international distributors expressed their interest in purchasing our film. Certainly in the next period we hope to reach many places of Europe and around the world, because there is an interest in the Romanian movie,” the film’s producer, Anamaria Antoci (photo) told Agerpres.
The independent feature ‘Ilegitim’ was received with applause on Saturday night at the world premiere within the 66th edition of the Berlinale.
The rd 57,000 euro-budget fourth feature of the Romanian director is telling the story of a family united at the beginning, of four brothers and a father, their mother being deceased two years before. When learning that their father, a physician, used to rat on women who wished to make an abortion during the Ceausescu regime, one of his sons starts asking his father about that, in the end the father being blamed by his entire family. He defends himself, saying that he believes in life and that he is against abortion and if he weren’t, the two twins would have never existed, and accusing him. The father left his home for good, the family starts to tear apart, and problems are there to start.
‘Ilegitim’ was selected among the 44 productions with the Forum non-competitive section, dedicated to documentaries and experimental movies by young filmmakers, which presents annually a selection of movies focused on the avant-garde, experiment, essay or political feature or the unearth of some unknown yet cinemas.
The Romanian participation in the Berlinale 66 is supported as usual in the past years by the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR).
Director Sitaru: ‘Illegitimate’ was quite belaboured; there were no retakes, it was like a documentary
Film director Adrian Sitaru said Friday, before leaving for the Berlinale 2016 film festival that his “Ilegitim” (Illegitimate) – the only Romanian film selected for the prestigious festival – was “quite a belaboured film,” for the making of which actors even used their own money; there were no retakes and the work was similar to shooting a documentary.
“I guess it is very important to the whole crew that we go to Berlin. Ours was quite a belaboured film, without any official backing; the fact that it will be screened to the world in Berlin is very important to the life of the film,” Sitaru told Agerpres.
He added that running in the Berlinale is a joy to the entire crew, who overexerted themselves and even brought their own money that the film can be completed.
To the director, the film was a challenge. “I wanted to make this film different from my others, which had a legible script with lines that the actors said while shooting, and even retakes. There were no retakes in this film and the work was similar to shooting a documentary. (…) For one year (…) we kept trying various settings, ways of getting together a story that will be credible in the end. (…) That was more of a research than anything else,” Sitaru explained.
Actor Robi Urs said working on “Illegitimate” was “a very hard, yet pleasurable process.”
To Alina Grigore, part of the crew and also a co-writer of the film, the making of the film and its selection for the Berlinale is by far the best thing that happened to her in her career. “Going there is a huge reward,” said Grigore.
In his turn, actor Bogdan Albulescu said the selection of the “Illegitimate” for the Berlinale is proof to the fact that an independent film can stand the same chances as one on a huge budget.
“Illegitimate,” is one of the most controversial films of the last years in Romania that tells the story of two brothers (played by Alina Grigore and Robi Urs) and their illegitimate love.
Also starring are Adrian Titieni, Bogdan Albulescu, as well as amateur actors of the InLight acting school.
The screenplay was written by Adrian Sitaru and Alina Grigore; photography by Adrian Silisteanu and Alexandru Lorian Timosca, montage by Mircea Olteanu and Theo Lichtenberger, sound by Ioan Filip and Dan-Stefan Rucareanu, producer Anamaria Antoci.
The film is a Domestic Film production, co-produced by Film Produkcja of Poland and Damned Films of France.
The Romanian premiere of Sitaru’s “Illegitimate” is scheduled for March 18.