The Romanian Film Initiative, BAM and the Jacob Burns Film Center are pleased to announce the 13th edition of MAKING WAVES: New Romanian Cinema, to take place November 26-December 5, 2018.
Following last year’s focus on Anca Damian, who returns this year with her latest mystery puzzle Moon Hotel Kabul, the 13th edition of Making Waves gives space to the brand new wave of female directors in Romanian cinema, with a program that opens the festival at BAM from November 26-29. Including two of the most controversial films of 2018—Adina Pintilie’s bare exploration of intimacy Touch Me Not and Ivana Mladenovic’s harsh gay drama Soldiers: A Story from Ferentari—the program also features three illuminating documentaries on Romania’s history: Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan’s mordant satire about the rise of nationalism (Free Dacians), Ana Dumitrescu’s touching portrayal of a centennial man who has seen it all (Licu, A Romanian Story), and Mona Nicoară and Dana Bunescu’s personal account on art and politics, fuelled by the convoluted destiny of dissident poet and icon Nina Cassian (The Distance Between Me and Me).
The only Romanian director to receive an award at Sundance (for The Tube With a Hat, one of his numerous shorts), Radu Jude (b. 1977) took a spectacular turn with his extremely popular third film Aferim! After two contemporary family dramas that employed the trademark stripped-down social realism of the RomanianNew Wave (the darkly funny The Happiest Girl in the World and Everybody in Our Family), Jude went far back in time to tell this Western-like tale of Gypsy slavery in the 19th century. His interest in the darkest pages of Romania‘s history—and specifically the issue of anti-Semitism—grew with his subsequent works (the essay-doc The Dead Nation and his literary adaption of Max Blecher‘s Scarred Hearts), reaching an almost climactic conclusion with his extravagant new work, “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, which kicks off this focus showcasing all Jude’s feature length films to date at BAM, playing November 30-December 2.
Featuring top festival winners Touch Me Not (Golden Bear in Berlin) and “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” (Crystal Globe in Karlovy Vary), the Best of the Year showcases at the Jacob Burns Film Center, from November 29-December 5, the ever-growing diversity of New Romanian Cinema: from Constantin Popescu’s slow-burning thriller Pororoca, and its maddening quest for a missing child to Andrei Crețulescu’s strange mix of black comedy and retro melodrama Charleston; from Daniel Sandu’s autobiographical coming of age story, the box-office hit One Step Behind the Seraphim (winner of several Gopo Awards, the Romanian Oscars), to Paul Negoescu’s light-hearted rom-com, The Story of a Summer Lover; and last but not least, veteran Alexandru Solomon’s fascinating and multi-layered documentary, Tarzan’s Testicles, set in a primate-breeding institute, about man’s animal nature and the divide between science and faith.
This year’s festival also focuses on the intersection between film and literature. Following the screening of “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, Romanian and Romanian-American writers Andrei Codrescu, Andrei Crăciun and Carmen Firan will be in conversation with Corina Șuteu to discuss how fiction interprets historical events, and the manipulations and revelations that can occur as a result.
For the second year running, an industry event will also accompany the festival screenings and gala events, helping Romanian filmmakers connect to, and network within, the American film industry.
Guests of this year’s festival include directors Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan, Ivana Mladenović, Paul Negoescu, Mona Nicoară, Adina Pintilie, Alexandru Solomon, and director of photography Ana Drăghici. Special guest of the festival is Ada Solomon, producer of no less than ten films in this year’s lineup, including all films of director in focus Radu Jude, with whom she developed a strong creative collaboration.
The full program is listed below. Tickets are now on sale!