Saturday afternoon, at the Ambassadors’ Hall of the Palace of Festivals in Cannes, the Jury of the International Federation of Critics, whose membership included cinema historian and critic Bujor I. Ripeanu, conferred its awards. The ceremony occasioned by the conferring of Un Certain Regard awards took place at the Debussy Hall, in the presence of Mr. Thierry Fremaux, the Festival’s General Delegate, starting at 7 p.m.
The film selected from the official competition was “Toni Erdmann,” directed by Maren Ade. We remind our readers that the action takes place in Romania, one Romanian being among the film producers. Of the films screened in the Un Certain Regard section, the best was considered Bogdan Mirica’s “Dogs,” which we widely presented in one of our previous articles. Film director Bogdan Mirica was present at the event.
“A promising first feature that skillfully mixes crime and western genres, giving us insight into conflicts of contemporary Romania, ” the critics jury motivated its choice of ‘Dogs’. The film actually delves into the issue of land property restoration, where Mirica finds a fable on the complexity of the human soul.
The audience ovation showed approval of the jury’s decision.
Bogdan Mirica, born in 1978, graduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Communication of the University of Bucharest. In 2008, he completed his studies in screenwriting and producing at the University of Westminster, London. He attended workshops held in London by film personalities such as Martin Scorsese, Paul Verhoeven and Kenneth Loach, etc., according to pro.arte.tv.
Until 2005, he worked as an editor, copywriter and writer. At 27, he was the youngest creative director in European advertising, according to www.cinemagia.ro.
He debuted as director with the drama ‘Junkie’ in 2010. As a screenwriter, he worked for ‘Ho Ho Ho’ (comedy, 2009) and ‘Las Fierbinti’ (TV series, 2012).
In 2010, he wrote and directed the short ‘Bora Bora,’ winner of Best European Short Film in the Premiers Plans festival of Angiers, France and of the Best Romanian Film at the Transylvania Film Festival, and also selected at other festivals.
Co-director (with Igor Cobileanski) of the TV series ‘Umbre’ (Shadows) in 2014; he also contributed as screenwriter.
He wrote and directed ‘Dogs’, starring Romanian actors Dragos Bucur, Vlad Ivanov and Gheorghe Visu, in 2016.
Two other sections (Quinzaine de Realisateurs and La Semaine de la Critique) came to the attention of the same jury. The award went to Julia Ducournau’s “Grave,” which ran in the La Semaine de la Critique section.
The Ecumenical Jury conferred an award and two special mentions. The award went to Xavier Dolan’s “Juste la fin du monde,” a Canadian film. Among other reasons, the jury appreciated how a young man, Louis, returning to his family to inform them of his imminent disappearance, “chose to impart his love and hopes to those close to him.”
One mention was conferred to Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey” (United Kingdom), a road-movie screened in the official competition, the story of a group of travelling hunters who, facing both richness and poverty, are trying to be inspired “by the capacity to dream and transform.” The second mention went to Ken Loach’s “Moi, Daniel Blake” (United Kingdom), which , apart from “the director’s great artistic quality,” marks a character’s capacity to be a Good Samaritan marked by suffering but not forgetting the needs of the others.
Sunday was the day of reruns. The films that took part in the official competition were rescreened in all of the festival’s halls. Cristi Puiu’s “Sieranevada” was screened at 9 a.m. at the Bazin Hall. Cristian Mungiu’s “Bacalaureat” was screened at 3 p.m. at the same hall.
Of course, everyone was waiting for the 7 p.m. festivity, when the awards of the 69th edition would be made known, followed by the screening of the film that wins the Palme d’Or.
On Sunday morning, we could take a look at the usual forecasts made by the representatives of large publications. It is somewhat risky to stake completely on them. As a detail, we note that “Sieranevada” fares better in the rankings posted by Screen, while “Bacalaureat” scores better in Film Francais. It will not take long until we will find out the “official” point of view of the jury. For the time being we can note that many Cote d’Azur journalists credit with chances the two Romanian films present in the competition. We will see whether the members of the jury share this view. At any rate, we will find out some explanations immediately after the ceremony, when the entire jury, led by George Miller, will be present at the press conference at 9.15 p.m., whose moderator will be the known French critic Henri Behart.