The 31st edition of the International French-Language Film Festival ended on Friday evening at Namur. The Gala was held in the Cameo Cinema, recently recovered, in a special ambiance, meant to mark the entry in the fourth decade of the existence of the event. Almost as always, Romanian cinematography was present again, with two titles in the official competition, with several short films in various sections. The first one in the program was the feature “Two lottery tickets” by Paul Negoescu. In the penultimate day of the festival, “Illegitimate” by Adrian Sitaru (photo) was screened on the screens in the Eldorado Cinema. We mention that both of the filmmakers were present at Namur. At the previous editions, several films signed by Adrian Sitaru have entered on the record list, starting with “Waves”, his successfully debut in short films.
This time also, Adrian Sitaru’s film, “Illegitimate” (a Romania – Poland – France coproduction) enjoyed the jury’s appreciation; the film director and producer Tudor Giurgiu was also in the jury. He was the one who handed over the first of the two awards – the Bayard for the best screenplay (signed by Alina Grigore and Adrian Sitaru). The second award granted to the film was obtained by Adrian Titieni – the Bayard for the best actor. To hand it over, the French actress and film director Sandrine Bonnaire, a member of the main jury, came up on the stage. The rewarded actor couldn’t attend the ceremony, but he sent warm words of gratitude and appreciation for the festival in Namur.
“Illegitimate” is a mainly experimental production, performed with a modest budget, with a subject of an ancient extraction, shot in record time, as an exercise checked in a creation laboratory which combines the pre-existing screenplay with the improvisation in its data. Besides, the co-writer Alina Grigore is also an actress, playing the female lead, being in her turn highly appreciated by the audience and the jury,
At this year’s edition, there was also remarked the film “One night at Tokoriki” by Roxana Stroe, the film participating in the international competition dedicated to the short films, where it obtained the Prix Format Court, the only award of the section. To be mentioned that the other Romanian titles included in the festival’s agenda were appreciated at their right value.
In 2016, 156 films from the four corners of the francophone world were scheduled, 300 guests and 350 journalists being present in Namur. The total value of the awards granted is up to EUR 80,000. The festival was opened with the new version of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s film, “The Unknown Woman”, screened in May at the official section of the Cannes festival. The guest of the edition at the touching event “Coup de Coeur” was the Catalan actor Sergi Lopez. He met the spectators in Namur and the guests of the festival in a delightful Sunday afternoon.
Generally speaking, the edition was a success in the new formula of the festival, led with inspiration, determination and kindness by the same tireless Jean-Louis Close and the artistic director Nicole Gillet. On this new opportunity, Romanian cinematography has confirmed one again its value, which is anyway unanimously acknowledged.