NexT Film Festival, which has Yvonne Irimescu as its director, appeared in 2007 and was the first project of the NexT Cultural Society, a company founded by producer Ada Solomon to commemorate the life and activity of film director Cristian Nemescu and sound designer and composer Andrei Toncu. It has quickly gained international recognition and became a local benchmark for Romanian short film festivals. Over time, NexT has brought exceptional films to Romania, many of which have subsequently received awards in festivals such as Cannes, Berlinale, Venice International Film Festival.
As we’ve come to expect from it, the festival will bring to its 12th edition important short films that define the future of cinema. Besides the main competition, this year NexT is turning its attention to Portuguese cinema through the Focus Portugal programme. The films will be screened on December 15th and 16th and are divided into two sections: The Heart and the Body, which includes films of young directors who are at the beginning of their path, but have already won awards, such as Leonor Teles who received the Golden Bear for Batrachian’s Ballad at Berlinale in 2016, and On Politics, a section dedicated to well-known directors.
Miguel Valverde, the founding member of Lisbon Indie Film Festival, NexT Focus Portugal’s programmer and a jury member of the NexT competition, will be present in Bucharest for a Q&A session on Portuguese cinema.
Here are some of the films in Focus Portugal:
Batrachian’s Ballad (directed by Leonor Teles, Portugal, 2016, 11′) – Just like Roma people, the ceramic frogs do not go unnoticed by a careful observer. Batrachian’s Ballad appears in the context of ambiguity. A film that steps in the reality of Portuguese everyday life in the form of a fable on xenophobic behavior.
Flores (directed by Jorge Jácome, Portugal, 2017, 27’) – In a natural crisis scenario, the entire Azores is forced to evacuate because of an uncontrollable hydrangea pestilence, a common flower in these islands. Two young soldiers, attached to the landscape beauty, guide us through the sad stories of those forced to leave and through their fundamental desire to resist and continue living on the islands. The cinematic exploration becomes a nostalgic and political reflection on identity and belonging to a certain land and on the roles we take in our place of origin.
Paris 15/16 (directed by Teresa Villaverde, Portugal, 2016, 6’) – On December 1st, 2015, in front of the “Le petit Cambodje” restaurant, employees of the Paris City Council gather the commemorative flowers for the victims of the November 13th attacks.
NexT Cultural Society’s projects will continue to promote young and creative cinema, to educate the audience and bring them unique films. NexT Film Caravan is a project that takes place all over the country and is a summer of films under the open sky. NexT Film Education focuses on art film and includes cinema education programs for pupils and teachers such as Education à l’image and CinEd.
Between December 14th and 17th, the Peasant Museum Cinema in Bucharest will host the last edition of NexT International Film Festival. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbook. For more details about this year’s edition, follow the Facebook page and the NexT website.
NexT International Film Festival is an event organized by the NexT Cultural Society, with the support of the Romanian Film Center, the Romanian Filmmakers Union, and the Romanian Cultural Institute.
An article by Melissa Antonescu
English translation by Andreea Toader