#intothespotlight: HipTrip Film Festival, the only travelling film festival in Romania

Hop on with us on an thrilling adventure, where you will meet film selectioner Catalin Olaru, which will takes us to the 4th edition of HipTrip Travel Film Festival and will share with us lots of insights along the way!

Films and travelling may be two of the most amazing things in the world, as they both have the ability to take you far away from your everyday life and worries; and if you combine them, there is no way you won’t get a winning recipe. That’s how HipTrip Travel Film Festival was born four years ago, the only traveling film festival in Romania and one that surprises us every year with national premieres, worldwide acclaimed films that have so much colour and personality and take us beyond our imagination, to the most unique destinations all around the world. Imagine our desire to want to know more about this amazing film festival, especially about the 4th edition which starts today, 23rd of November and will take us on a journey throughout the weekend.

In an exclusive interview for us, Catalin Olaru, the selectioner of the festival, has responded to all of our interviewers’ curiosities, Romina and Laura, that are both huge fans of films and traveling.

Laura’s curiosities about HipTrip Film Festival:

  1. Who are the team members behind every edition of the festival?

It all starts with me and the extended film list I select every year. Then, the Festival Coordinator Mădălina Matei, who tolerates me patiently, obtains a lot of screeners and negotiates the contracts. Together we create a final schedule and that’s when Monica Felea (Communication Coordinator) and Roxana Bursuc (Online and Social Media Manager) come in. Finally, the festival’s director is Cristian Curus and the president is Ovidiu Ioan Dumitru; he is the man behind the Ovi Foundation.

  1. What are the long-term objectives of HipTrip Film Festival?

HipTrip is already where it is supposed to be; in the long run, we want to consolidate the festival’s image. This is why, every year, we put our effort into trying to make HipTrip an event awaited with the same eagerness both by travel enthusiasts as well as film lovers and to be one of those autumn film festivals that should not be missed.

Romina’s curiosities about the 4th edition of the festival:

  1. HipTrip Film Festival launched in 2014 in the Bucharest cinemas, and this year we mark its 4th edition. How does HipTrip stand out from other film festivals from Bucharest?

Firstly, by its theme. HipTrip is a festival dedicated to traveling, to people behind the travels and to the subtle changes that traveling has on them. Then, just as any holiday suspended in time, when worries are fewer or totally disappear (best case), our main goal is to discover every year films that bring the same feeling in our audience. Films that request the audience’s curiosity and help us better understand the world around us whether we talk about landscapes or cultures or, best case scenario –  both, but also about particularities of the cinematographic language.

  1. Every year HipTrip film selection gathers films from all over the world. What are the selection criteria for this year’s edition?

The criteria are always subjective. No matter how scientifically I try to explain why I choose a film and not any other, the main criterion remains: I have to like it. Simple as that. If any other artistic director from any other festival in the world would have to sincerely answer this question, he will tell you the same thing. It’s a matter of taste and there is no accounting for tastes. Why we like a specific film and not any other, a specific novel or a poem and not any other? It is hard to discover and it is also useless. Therefore, my personal taste is the first criterion. Not the only one because the festival does not exist only for me or for the team. It takes place for a loyal public that grows from one year to another. The perfect frame: a festival film that also is liked by the public and that has its premiere in Romania. This year we are happy to have 13 films of this kind.

  1. The fourth edition of HipTrip starts with the film Pop Aye, directed by Kirsten Tan. What does the public have to know about it?

That the film is Singapore’s submission for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards and that it already won the grand prize at Zurich. It’s a road movie that takes place in Thailand in which the road comrades are a man and an elephant. The film tells a simple story with which is impossible not to resonate with.

  1. Director Frédéric Favre will be this year’s festival guest in Bucharest. What film screenings and events will he attend?

The Swiss filmmaker Frédéric Favre will be present in Bucharest and will attend the Q&A sessions that will take place after the screenings of his two films, which are part of the festival’s schedule. The films are Cyclique (2015) and Encordés (2017), two documentaries that present us the unique universe of an extreme competition of climbing and skiing and the world of parcels transported by bicycle. But, even more important, the documentaries reveal us the inner feelings of those who devote themselves to such demanding hobbies. Their story is universal and so are the questions that Cycling and Encordés raise regarding what to do to be fulfilled or what is the level at which the passion stops being fascinating (and becomes a routine)

HipTrip Film festival will be held in Bucharest between the 23rd and 26th of November. Tickets for the 4th edition can be found and the following link:

An interview by Romina Banu & Laura Mușat

English translation by Andreea Andrei


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