Romanian Film Treat

17th October 2007

Related Events
Romanian Women | Smashing the Glass Ceiling The Discontented by Alan Ogden Old Crafts| New Forms Painters in Transylvania

5 Guests, 3 Films, 1 Panel Discussion at The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival 17 October – 1 November 2007 The Ratiu Foundation and the Romanian Cultural Centre in London invite you to a fabulous Romanian Film Treat in London in a month time: 5 Guests, 3 Films, 1 Panel Discussion at The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival! The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival's full programme was announced by BFI Director Amanda Nevill and LFF Artistic Director Sandra Hebron. The programme includes 184 features and 133 shorts, as well as a host of screen talks, masterclasses and live events. Details at This year’s programme includes, for the first time in the Festival’s prestigious history, three Romanian films (2 features and a short film: ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days’, ‘California Dreamin (Endless)’ and ‘Home’), as well as a dedicated panel discussion on Romanian cinema and its recent successes. ‘2007 is a benchmark year in the progress of Romanian art and culture abroad. The wonderful Romanian programme in The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival confirms this fully, and we are confident that we are going to see more Romanian films in the UK in the future. The Ratiu Foundation and the Romanian Cultural Centre in London are glad and honoured to work with The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival, the British Film Institute, Sight & Sound magazine and Artificial Eye, in order to help the promotion of Romanian film in the UK.’ (Nicolae Ratiu, Chairman of the Ratiu Foundation) ‘We have supported Romanian film in the past five years through our Romanian Film Club and the four editions of the Romanian Film Festival at Curzon Mayfair. Our festival was instrumental in showcasing a variety of Romanian films. ‘The Death of Mr Lazarescu’ (director Cristi Puiu – distributed by Tartan Films) opened our 2006 Festival, and ‘12:08 East of Bucharest’ (director Corneliu Porumboiu – distributed by Artificial Eye) opened the 2007 edition. We have screened Cristian Mungiu’s debut feature, ‘Occident’, in 2003, as well as many of his short films. We are delighted by the recent success of the Romanian cinema on the international film market. Today’s exposure and widespread recognition in the UK is also due to the efforts of our constant partners. Our special thanks go to: Verena Stackleberg, Michael Pierce, Melanie Crawley, Sylvia Stevens, Bill McAlister, David Parkinson, Eugen Serbanescu, Alina Salcudeanu, Raduta Matache, Mike Phillips, Kieron Corless, Rob Winter, Jessica Smith and Helen de Witt. As with anything worth fighting for, together with all our friends and supporters, after five years of work we can now celebrate.’ (Ramona Mitrica, Director of the Romanian Cultural Centre) The current October edition of Sight & Sound magazine features an extended piece by Nick Roddick on Romanian cinema, which sets out to find what has inspired the deadpan style and trademark humour of Romania’s New Wave. The success of new Romanian cinema is well deserved and hails from a long cinematic tradition that produced many great directors. Cristian Mungiu, the Cannes Palme d’Or winner of 2007, follows in the footsteps of other Romanian winners at Cannes, such as Ion Popescu Gopo (Palme d’Or for Short Film, ‘Short History’, 1957), and Liviu Ciulei (Award for Best Director, for ‘The Forest of the Hanged’, 1965. The film was presented in Cannes Classics this year). More recent Cannes winners include Cristi Puiu (Un Certain Regard, for ‘The Death of Mr Lazarescu’, 2005) and Corneliu Porumboiu (Camera d’Or for Debut Feature, ‘12:08 East of Bucharest’, 2006) – both films were screened in recent London Film Festivals. The 2007 Cannes edition also rewarded the late Cristian Nemescu, with Un Certain Regard Prize, for his debut feature 'California Dreamin'.

Romanian treats’ calendar

Thursday 18 October 2007

Part of ‘Cinema Europa’ - a cinematic journey across the continent California Dreamin’ (Endless) by Cristian Nemescu 20.30, Odeon West End 1, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LP. Tickets: £11.00

Friday 19 October 2007

A Sight & Sound Special Presentation 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu 18.00, Odeon West End 2, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LP. Tickets: £15.00

Saturday 20 October 2007

A Sight & Sound event Panel Discussion. Romanian Cinema: The Next New Wave? 18.15, BFI Southbank / NFT2, South Bank, London SE1 8XT. Tickets: £8.50

Sunday 21 October 2007

Part of ‘Cinema Europa’ - a cinematic journey across the continent California Dreamin’ (Endless) by Cristian Nemescu 13.00, BFI Southbank / NFT1, South Bank, London SE1 8XT. Tickets: £8.50

Friday 26 October 2007

Part of ‘Global Journeys in the 21st Century’ Home by Paul Negoescu 20.45, BFI Southbank / NFT3, South Bank, London SE1 8XT. Tickets: £8.50

Monday 29 October 2007

Part of ‘Global Journeys in the 21st Century’ Home by Paul Negoescu 16.00, BFI Southbank / NFT2, South Bank, London SE1 8XT. Tickets: £6.00 Tickets can be booked online at or by telephone on Tel. 020 7928 3232, from Saturday 29 September 2007. BFI members booking begins on Wednesday 26 September. Programmes are distributed throughout London from Monday 17 September.

Feature Films:

4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu

Romania / 2007 / 113 min / Romanian with English subtitles Cast: Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov ‘Screen realism rarely achieves such a vivid texture of a country and a time as this excruciatingly tense drama, the Palme d'Or winner at Cannes this year, about two young women living in an all-female dorm in 1980s Romania. The story takes place over one long night. Vague Gabita is pregnant and wants an illegal termination, but she has been dilatory about arrangements with the criminal abortionist. When her staunch friend and room mate Otilia tries to straighten things out she is made to pay her own price to make sure it happens. An extraordinary odyssey of desperation and terror ensues, against a grim environment of quasi-Soviet officiousness. Nearly every scene is a harrowing standout, but the one in which Otilia is obliged to attend her boyfriend's parents' dinner party while Gabita is in a hotel waiting for the treatment to take effect, is particularly brilliant. Director Cristian Mungiu's superb arthouse nail-biter is convincing in every way, especially in the piercing performance of Anamaria Marinca as Otilia.’ (Nick James) Biography Cristian Mungiu: Writer / Director / Producer. Born in 1968, Cristian Mungiu studied English and American literature. A graduate of Bucharest film school, he worked as assistant director on some 15 features from 1994 to 1998. A journalist for various magazines, he has published short stories in literary periodicals and directed several prize-winning shorts. ‘Occident’ was his first feature. He co-founded Mobra Films in 2003. Filmography: 1996 ‘Horia Viorel Brief’ (short film documentary), 1997 ‘Mariana’ (short), 1998 ‘The Hand of Paulista’ (short), 2000 ‘Nothing by Chance’ (short), 2000 ‘Zapping’ (short), 2000 ‘The Fireman’s Choir’ (short), 2002 ‘Occident’ (feature), 2005 ‘Turkey Girl’ (short), 2007 ‘4 months, 3 weeks & 2 days’ (feature). The film presentation will be followed by a reception (admittance by invitation only). ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days’ will be released in UK cinemas on 11 January 2008, through Artificial Eye ( You can read more about the film (including Director’s notes and blog, in Romanian and English) at

California Dreamin’ (Endless) by Cristian Nemescu

Romania / 2006 / 155 min / English, Romanian with English subtitles Cast: Armand Assante, Razvan Vasilescu, Jamie Elman, Maria Dinulescu ‘Hard to believe this is a first feature: the ambition is huge, the degree to which it is fulfilled almost as great. But California Dreamin' will be Cristian Nemescu's only feature: he and his sound engineer were killed in a car crash while still working on the film, hence the 'Endless' (which should really be 'Unfinished'). In 1999, a secret NATO train filled with US Marines is halted by a bolshy local station master-cum-black marketeer. What follows is a rambunctious Balkan farce which shades inexorably into tragedy as the soldiers and the townspeople try to fraternise. A happy outcome was never possible and, as the town implodes, the Americans move blithely on to Kosovo, unaware of the violence they have unleashed. Winner of the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes this year, California Dreamin' is an epic satire, with both modern-day Romania and US foreign policy firmly in its sights.’ (Nick Roddick) Biography Cristian Nemescu: Born in 1979 in Bucharest. Graduated in 2003 from the National University of Drama and Cinematography in Bucharest. In August 2006, Nemescu (27) died in a car crash together with his sound engineer Andrei Toncu (28). Nemescu’s producer started a short film festival in Bucharest, called NexT, in memory of Nemescu and Toncu. More info on the NexT Festival at Filmography: 2000 ‘In Apartment Buildings People Are Crazy About Music’ (short), 2000 ‘Kitsch Witches 2FM’ (documentary), 2001 ‘Mihai and Cristina’ (short), 2002 ‘C Block Story (short), 2006 ‘Marilena from P7’ (medium length feature), 2006 ‘California Dreamin’ (Endless)’ (feature). California Dreamin’ (Endless) is on the shortlist for the 10th FIPRESCI International Critics Award in The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival. More on FIPRESCI at

Short Film

Home by Paul Negoescu

Romania / 2007 / 14 min / Romanian with English subtitles Cast: Gabriel Spahiu, Marian Ralea, Monica Mihaescu This presentation is part of the Global Journeys in the 21st Century programme, which screens selection of short films from all over the world. A taxi driver collects a businessman from the city's international coach station. Biography Paul Negoescu: Paul Negoescu, although being only 23, is regarded as one of the interesting new voices of Romanian cinema. His short films were well received both in Romania and abroad. Filmography: 2004 ‘Tobacco seriously damages health’ (short), 2005 ‘Hunger Circus’ (short), 2006 ‘Exam’ (short), 2007 ‘Radu + Ana’ (short), ‘The Fabulous Destiny of Toma Cuzin’ (short), ‘Home’ (short), ‘Late’ (short).

Panel Discussion

Romanian Cinema: The Next New Wave?

‘Following in the footsteps of Mexico, Korea, Brazil and Germany - all recently lauded for their notable film exports, Romania has emerged as the new 'it' country on the world stage of cinema. With films like Cristi Puiu's The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Corneliu Porumboiu's 12:08 East of Bucharest, and from this year's Festival selection, Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, and Cristian Nemescu's California Dreamin' (Endless), award-winning Romanian films have been consistently turning the heads of critics, cineastes and festivals. There's no denying that Romanian films are in vogue, but do they add up to equal a 'national cinema'? Is national cinema anything more than happenstance: a number of buzz-worthy films made within a short span of time which share a country of origin? Or is there an identifiable trend which distinguishes a new wave of films from earlier ones? If so, might filmmakers repeat certain styles and subjects to perpetuate a celebrated film movement or is their work intuitively shaped by a shared culture and history? The following prestigious panel will debate these questions and offer an unrivalled insight into Romanian film production: We welcome Cristian Mungiu, director of ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days’, Andrei Boncea, producer of ‘California Dreamin' (Endless)’, Adina Bradeanu, film journalist, Ada Solomon, film producer and Executive Director of NexT Cultural Society & NexT Film Festival (Bucharest), and film journalist Nick Roddick, who will chair the panel.’(Jessica Smith) The Romanian guests’ attendance in this year’s The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival is supported by the Ratiu Foundation. This event is presented in association with Sight & Sound, the Ratiu Foundation and the Romanian Cultural Centre in London. Details at .