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AdDOC – The Film Festival organised by teenagers – four recommendations

AdDOC is the first high school documentary festival organised by teenagers. During the month of May, the films will be screened in 25 high schools from 12 Romanian towns and will be followed by discussions with the directors and producers of the films or industry’s specialists. The festival started on May 2 at Caracal.

AdDOC Fest appeared thanks to the initiative of the One World Romania Film Club’s coordinators from several cities. The teenagers participated in an intensive training about the importance of social responsibility and learned about event planning mechanisms at a national level. Together, they selected ten recent Romanian productions which present the everyday society with the good and the bad and they divided them in three categories based on the subjects they approach and the questions they raise.

The fest was developed around the “Truth and dare” tagline. They changed “or” with “and” because our society has truths and if they cause pain, we are challenged to change them starting with the documentaries.

We asked the teenagers that organize AdDOC to recommend us their most beloved films from the fest’s program. They brought together four synopses and subjective stories about the four different films which the students and teachers will see in the Romanian high schools during this month:

Cinema, Mon Amour

The film “Cinema, Mon Amour” directed by Alexandru Belc is a documentary released in 2015 that follows the story of Victor Purice, manager of Dacia Panoramic cinema from Piatra Neamț, in their battle to preserve and rehabilitate the classical cinemas left in Romania. The audience is small and the authorities don’t have any interest in it. The conditions provided by the cinema are awful: there is no heat so sometimes he has to offer blankets and hot tea to the clients. Yet, he puts all his hope in the young ones for whom he declares in various situations his love and he continues to fight. He sells half-priced tickets, travels to Germany to find out how an „occidental cinema” looks like and lets the audience, if reduced in size, choose the screening film. For me, „Cinema, Mon Amour” and Victor Purice represent a big punch in the stomach. They opened my eyes on the deplorable situation of the Romanian cinemas which are not supported by anyone, which are swallowed and seized by the mall’s multiplexes and their capitalist principles of operation and which are starting to resemble more and more with an extinct animal. I cried like a baby and trembled for 72 minutes and I realized how sad it is to fight for your passion when no one supports, appreciates, understands or even sees you. Imagine yourself working your whole life for a thing that crashes in front of you every single day. Victor Purice declares himself insane and says that we, the ones who fight for the same cause as he does, are just as crazy as he is. I think this wonderful man has to be a role model for everyone who wants to follow their passion and to dedicate himself to a cause, so I want to thank him for thinking about us, those who come up and because he never stops giving us a solid dose of inspiration, kindness and hope. – Andreea Ștefania Ispas

The Brotherhood – Frăția

The first screening is scheduled for 2:30 PM. Don’t be late! I left home at the very last moment; I lost the bus and got honked at by three cars. The first film I had to judge as a member of the High School Jury was marked in red and underlined: The Brotherhood. I opened the One World Romania catalogue and started to read: “The Brotherhood is not about football, it is about life.” I wanted to find out if this is true. I smiled and quickly entered the Eforie cinema. The lights were already turned off so I had to fumble to the first row of seats. Somehow, I arrived on time. Maybe because it was the first film I saw as a member of the OWR jury or it was about the cinema’s mood, but one thing was certain: The Brotherhood was and is one of the movies I could watch forever and never get enough of it. I would not fast forward it, would not pause it, I would just watch it and I would rediscover and feel every character’s emotions. When I tell people about The Brotherhood, they are surprised that a girl wants to see a documentary about a football team from Berceni. But it is more than that. Believe me. It is a documentary about life, passions and the trials of life. It is a film about people. The Brotherhood presents the Romanian society through the eyes of a fifth league football team that has its roots in Berceni and managed to unite and change lives over the years. After the screening is over, you realize that the boundaries are just in your mind, that nothing is impossible. This is demonstrated by the one-handed goalkeeper, by the black coach and by the several Roma players. And as Constantin Zamfir, owner for 40 years and former football player who sacrificed everything for his love for football, said: “Forget the enmity and love the Brotherhood”.  That’s just what I would say, but: “Forget the enmity and love One World Romania” 🙂 – Ana Militaru

Toto and his sisters

I can say that this is my dearest film ever. There are a lot of documentaries that I like but for sure, this one impressed me the most. I saw it several times and every time it shakes me. The last time I saw it, I almost cried. The film presents the everyday and every night life of people who live in Ferentari. Together with his sisters, Toto is the boy that manages to build a positive future, one in which the drugs are not an obstacle for their health. The strength of character he develops is what helps him adapt from one environment to another and fight for his passion to dance. Toto and his sisters is a film makes you realize a bunch of things at once: makes you more grateful for the life you have, brings a smile on your face and tears in your eyes, it makes your heart thump and gives you goose bumps. It made me realize that life is not as beautiful as we thought and that it has many obstacles that we have to overcome. The film shows you how different people are and makes you understand how important is to fight for your dreams and to hold on to the passion that fulfils you. I was surprised how a film of one hour and a half can make you realize that so many things that represent the reality are not beautiful and make you want to change the society in which we all live. – Alexandra Vîrban

The Projectionist

The Projectionist is a film about passion. In the early stages of the struggle for the work that defines him, the main character gets over the disappointment and starts afresh. Whether we talk about art or other field, this film is like a wave that either reaches your ankles or makes you struggle to escape the current. In the beginning I felt disappointed and helpless just like the character; then all the emotions have turned into an impulse. I think the film teaches us to be braver. I saw the strongest motivation in the seeming failure of the protagonist. I am sure that every one of us has at least one thing or activity that defines him. I won’t say that the projectionist is an example because I think the word is too rigid, but he is a man of vision. The documentary outlines a part of his initiating journey during which he encounters obstacles and where the tests are not passed or failed, are just experiences. His persistence and determination put him in a maze through which we get to know him more on the outside, through contrasting feelings, from agony to sincere happiness. This happiness becomes obvious in the moments he makes music. The most beautiful story is life itself. – Adeline Sandu


AdDOC Selection:

BLINDMAN’S BLUFF

OUTSIDE | Andrei Schwartz | Germany, Romania | 2014 | 86 min

KAPITALISM, REȚETA NOASTRĂ SECRETĂ | Alexandru Solomon | Romania |2010 | 80 min

VARZĂ, CARTOFI ȘI ALȚI DEMONI | Șerban Georgescu | Romania | 2016 | 60 min

1, 2, 3 STOP

BALTA ALBĂ | Silviu Munteanu | Romania | 2015 | 60 min

CINEMA, MON AMOUR | Alexandru Belc | Romania | 2015 | 72 min

BROTHERHOOD | Cătălin Farcaș | Romania | 2016 | 53 min

THE PROJECTIONIST| Norbert Fodor | Romania | 2016 | 26 min

VIAL OF POISON

CITY TOUR | Andrei Nicolae Teodorescu | Romania | 2013 | 57 min

THE NETWORK | Claudiu Mitcu | Romania | 2015 | 59 min

TOTO AND HIS SISTERS | Alexander Nanau | Romania | 2014 | 93 min

Article by Romina Banu
English translation by Andreea Andrei

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