On November 6th we turn our attention to Romanian documentary film, an area perhaps not so much explored by the public as it should be. Docuart Fest aims to change this through a festival dedicated to this genre, from which no viewer will leave unchanged or without a story resounding in his mind long after the films have ended.
Founded in 2012, the main goal of the festival is to promote the Romanian documentary film by bringing the films out front, as well as the people who created them. The festival is divided into three sections: the main competition, the student section, and the television documentary section.
Over 100 films have been submitted for the competition, and 28 of them were selected by the three jury members: Anca Grădinariu, Cristi Mărculescu, and Max T. Ciorbă.
“I was again thrilled by the quality of the student films which gave me a visual and thematic feast. Much genre diversity and formal innovation, captivating characters, subtle emotion, as well as enlightenment. It seems to me that many of these debutants are already skilled directors”, says Anca Grădinariu, screenwriter and film critic.
We mention some of the films in the main competition:
Caisă (directed by Alexandru Mavrodineanu) – Many have passed through coach Dobre’s training, including champion Vasile Dragomir, who turned his back after winning the World Championship. His next student, Caisă, was only 13 when he was discovered by Dobre. His natural talent helped him win the National Championship in 2013, proving that Dobre’s intuition was right. Two years later, however, he gave up, leaving Dobre in search of a new disciple.
Oameni și vaci (directed by Vargyasi Levente, T. Bányai Péter) – The film tells the story of cattle breeders in Covasna, providing information on farmers’ lives and their struggle for survival among the big companies. When farmers focus purely on profit, the spiritual link between man and animal tends to be lost.
In the student section:
Zâmbet din mâhnire (directed by Diana Zaharia) – It’s the story of a man who leaves the orphanage child stigma and pursues his dream of being a clown in a circus where he gets to live freely in a van.
Tatăl meu, Imre (directed by Andreea Stiliuc) – The film presents the story of Imre Kinszki, a Holocaust victim, and his daughter Judit, who survived the tragedy. According to connoisseurs’ opinion, Imre Kinszki’s art is of similar caliber as Brassaï’s, Kertész’s or Moholy-Nagy’s. However, his photos are still unknown to the public.
And in the television documentary section:
Etnic Road Movie (directed by Dan Curean) – There are over 20 different ethnic communities in Romania. Each community has its own identity, but also a tragic past of conflicts, wars, deportations or famines. The film presents the life stories of 6 individuals coming from some of the most representative ethnic communities, set on a path between two of the Romanian borders.
Povestea unui om obișnuit (directed by Diana Deleanu) – The film tells the story of the last Jew living in Gherla, looking over his memories from the concentration camp in Auschwitz.
Furthermore, Docuart Fest will host non-competitive sections, debates, and masterclass sessions which are to be announced on the official website.
An article by Melissa Antonescu
English translation by Andreea Toader