Latest Romanian Cinematic Crop at the BFI’s 59th London Film Festival

07 - 18/10/2015 @ London cinemas

Our collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI) hits the six-year mark, giving us the opportunity to shine a spotlight on 2015’s most acclaimed Romanian films at the BFI London Film Festival.

Make sure you don’t miss a darling of international festival circuits, Radu Jude’s Silver Bear-awarded 'Aferim!'. The programme’s must-see list also includes 'One Floor Below' by Radu Muntean and 'Box' by Florin Șerban.

Directors Radu Jude and Radu Muntean will be in London for Q&A sessions, offered with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute.

 

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'Aferim!' stands out as one of the best film projects of the past years’ Romanian cinema. This historical film is set in early 19th century Wallachia and tells the story of a local policeman, Costandin, hired by a nobleman (boyar Iordache) to find a runaway Gypsy slave. The protagonist and his son begin an adventurous journey to find the fugitive, the action thus unfolding the endemic racial problems of the time, traces of which are still relevant in Romanian contemporary society.

“Contemporary anti-Roma racism in Eastern Europe has inspired a crop of powerful movies in recent years. But ‘Aferim!’ digs deeper into the historical roots of this timely subject as Jude and his co-writer, novelist Florin Lăzărescu, draw on real accounts of gypsy slavery for inspiration. Crucially, they also manage to make this grim topic both funny and personal, not a dour social-realist sermon.”
Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

Radu Jude, director of 'Aferim!', is an accomplished Romanian film director and screenwriter. Prior to winning the 2015 Silver Bear Best Director award, Jude directed international award-winning short films ('The Tube with a Hat' - 2006), 'It Can Pass Through the Wall' - 2014) and two feature films: 'The Happiest Girl in the World' (2009) and 'Everybody in Our Family' (2012).

'Aferim! screenings:

Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1, Friday 09 October 2015, 6:20 pm (Tickets)
Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1, Saturday 10 October 2015, 1 pm (Tickets)

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'One Floor Below' is a slow burning psychological drama, that plays around a tragic domestic violence murder, through the eyes of the unwanted and unobserved witness Pătrașcu (Teodor Corban), the couple’s neighbour upstairs. After being the sole unfortunate witness of the couple’s quarrel that ends up in a murder, Pătrașcu finds himself at odds with two very close neighbours: one is the bizarre murderer, the other one his very own conscience. The film follows the protagonist’s tight-lipped reaction and uncertanties regarding the event, as his daily activities and mundane interactions with his neighbour Dima (Iulian Postelnicu), the potential murderer, are unraveling. Moreover, the whole production is pregnant with Romanian naturalism, the action mostly happening subtly, between the lines.

“So many of the great recent Romanian films like The Death of Mr Lazarescu, Beyond The Hills, Everybody In Our Family, Child’s Pose work so well because of black humour, nonstop talking and an unbearable, increasing vice-grip. One Floor Below is a break from this formula. It really isn’t up until the very end of the film that any of the characters’ feelings are on the screen in a flagrant manner.”
Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian

Radu Muntean has a pivotal role in the Romanian New Wave, receiving national and international awards. He debuted with the 2002 film 'The Rage', and has since continued directing iconic Romanian films, such as 'The Paper Will Be Blue' (2006), 'Boogie' (2008), and 'Tuesday, After Christmas' (2010). 'One Floor Below' was premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, the Un Certain Regard section.

'One Floor Below' screenings:

Cine Lumiere, Monday 12 October 2015, 9 pm (Tickets)
BFI Southbank, NFT2, Wednesday 14 October 2015, 12:45 noon (Tickets)

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'Box' is Florin Șerban’s second film, an 'alluring oddity' that defies categorisation due to its drama/romantic comedy genre clash. The action follows the unlikely love story between 19-year-old boxer Rafael and a married actress, 34-year old Cristina.

A tight-lipped curiosity that vacillates between class-conscious social realism, brawny boxing drama and exceedingly dry romantic comedy, Florin Șerban’s stylish sophomore feature shows significant formal progression from the Romanian helmer’s 2010 debut, If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle.” 
Guy Lodge, Variety

Colombia University graduate Florin Șerban was awarded at many international festivals for his debut 'If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle' (2010). Previously, he wrote and directed short films and documentaries and won numerous scholar awards.

'Box' screenings:

Cine Lumiere, Friday 16 October 2015, 9 pm (Tickets)
Vue Cinema Islington, Screen 1, Saturday 17 October 2015, 1 pm (Tickets)

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The films will be screened in the 'Journey', 'Dare' and 'Love' strands of the BFI London Film Festival 2015.

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