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December 10, 2022

Director Roberto Minervini, guest of honour at the American Independent Film Festival

  • Masterclass to be held on April 16th
  •  Carte Blanche “AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES CURATED BY ROBERTO MINERVINI” at the Cinema Muzeul Țăranului

Radical, poetic, realist: these are the qualities associated with the works of Roberto Minervini, guest of honour at the 3rd edition of the American Independent Film Festival.

What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?, premiered in Competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2018 where it won numerous accolades, and The Other Side (2015), selected in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, will be presented in Romanian premiere, in the presence of Roberto Minervini on the 15th and 16th of April, during the festival.

The Other Side

As special guest, the Houston-based director of Italian origin has also been invited to curate a carte blanche selection for the Romanian public of the most interesting American productions in recent history from his point of view. Entitled AMERICAN PERSPECTIVES CURATED BY ROBERTO MINERVINI, the section will present films by Roger Corman, Barbara Loden, and Bill & Turner Ross at the Cinema Muzeul Țăranului. The section is organized in collaboration with Film Menu.

Known for his unconventional documentaries which propose a visionary and poetic understanding of mankind and an analysis of the current American socio-political landscape, Minervini shoots solely low-budget films, rarely funded through state financing, and works with nonprofessional actors. Skilled at winning over the trust and friendship of his subjects throughout the filming process, Minervini uses the proximity of the camera to the subject both stylistically as well as thematically. In this way, he achieves truly authentic scenes; a rarity in contemporary cinema.

His humanitarian vision and the subtle telling of the characters’ stories are evident in the films which will be presented at the American Independent Film Festival, in Minervini’s presence: The Other Side and What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire?.

Like a real “chronicler of the American margins,” according to Variety, Minervini structures The Other Side as a heart-breaking portrait of the white working class, overwhelmed by drugs, and impregnated by racism and violence. These subjects, contextually presented in his other works, are presented here with an undeniable urgency, in the absence of a real solution to these issues. In an intimate and lyrical way, and using sequence shots, Minervini focuses his lens on Mark and Lisa, a couple hooked on drugs on the outskirts of Louisiana, where more than 60% of the population is unemployed.

What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire? is also set in the South, from Louisiana to Mississippi, and takes place in the period immediately following Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. With over 150 hours of filmed footage, the film combines artistic images from Mardi Gras Parade prep in New Orleans with three African American stories. The first follows Renaldo and Titus, two young brothers who live with their mother in Mississippi. The second focuses on Judy Hill, a Louisiana bar owner, and a victim of domestic violence. The third brings the spectator into the world of the New Black Panthers, a group in the midst of protesting against the authorities that condemned three innocent civilians to death – Alton Sterling, Phillip Carroll and Jeremy Jackson.

What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire? is considered Minervini’s most politically charged film to date; a harsh commentary on the general experiences of the African American population in the United States. The director will be present following the screening to hold a Q&A with the audience.

American Perspectives by Roberto Minervini will present The Intruder (1962), directed by Roger Corman, Wanda (1970), the only feature-length film by Barbara Loden, now considered a feminist masterpiece and Tchoupitoulas (2012), a provocative hybrid of documentary and fiction featuring dramatic elements, by brothers Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross.

The Intruder, starring William Shatner and Frank Maxwell, is considered one of the most brutally honest studies on American racism, and will be presented at the American Independent Film Festival in a digitally restored version. Tchoupitoulas explores the border between innocence and experience on the New Orleans night scene. Kentrell, one of the protagonists of the film declares, towards of the end of the film, that „tonight we became men,” in a film written by brothers, about brothers.

In 1970, Barbara Loden’s film Wanda took the American public by surprise. They weren’t ready for such a progressive vision, about a strong woman from the working class who leaves an unhappy marriage. The film found its fame half a century later and has been since revered by critics as a major piece of American cinematography from the last decades.

Roberto Minervini’s selection, like that of Kent Jones at the 2nd edition of the American Independent Film Festival, brings to Bucharest audiences the rare essence of radical American indies, which play an important role in auteur cinema. Local audiences will have the unique opportunity to hear a cultured, profound, and subtle director, who has already won a special place in cinematic history, introduce a number of films from his selection.

The American Independent Film Festival will hold an inaugural local edition in Iasi, from April 11th-12th, at Cinema Ateneu. More details on https://bit.ly/2WKMv9n .

The screening program and news about the festival and its events will be posted on filmedefestival.ro, on the American Independent Film Festival Facebook Page and on Instagram (@AmericanIndependentFilmFest). Tickets will be available soon on eventbook.ro and through the Eventbook network.

Press Accreditations: Journalists wishing to be accredited at the American Independent Film Festival are asked to send a request to filmedefestival@gmail.com. More information on filmedefestival.ro.

The American Independent Film Festival is organized by Asociația Cinemascop, with the support of Catena, financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, and the National Center of Cinematography. Official Car: BMW. Partners: American Chamber of Commerce in Romania – AmCham Romania, Boarder’s Shop, UPS Romania, CinemaPRO, Muzeul Țăranului Român, Cinema Muzeul Țăranului, Voodoo Films, Eventbook. Main Media Partners: Pro Cinema, Radio Guerrilla. Media Parteners: Radio România Cultural, Agerpres, Zile și Nopți, Decât o Revistă, AList Magazine, Cinemagia, Newsweek, Business24, Nine O’Clock, Senso TV, Glamour, The Institute, Ziarul Metropolis, Liternet.ro, Ziare.com, IQads, Smark, Film Menu, Films in Frame, ADFR – The Association for the Development of Romanian Films, AaRC – All about Romanian Cinema, CineFan, Cineghid, Movienews.ro, News.ro, Scena 9, Verbs Describe us. Communications Partner: PiArt Vision.




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