Films al fresco: The festivals and caravans happening this summer in Romania
The season of festivals is in full swing, and film fans have a varied offer to choose from in various locations in the country, from the European Capital of Culture title-holder Timișoara to the Danube Delta and the Black Sea coast. More on some of the events announced for this summer below.
Ceau, Cinema!, the festival dedicated to European cinema, returns to Timișoara between July 12th and July 16th for a tenth edition that is part of the city's European Capital of Culture program. The festival has a competition section dedicated to European film; a selection of open-air screenings that include Paul Negoescu's Another Lottery Ticket, Jerzy Skolimowski's EO, and Quentin Dupieux's Incredible but True; a documentary section; one dedicated to the youngest public; and one for Films from Banat.
There will also be a Focus Spain section covering recent Spanish films that will be presented in open-air free screenings in Traian Square from Fabric area. The films presented are the 2022 Golden Bear winner Alcarràs by Carla Simón, Goya winners The Beasts by Rodrigo Sorogoyen and The Good Boss by Fernando León de Aranoa, Pedro Almodóvar's Parallel Mothers.
The event also runs a section dedicated to Norwegian cinema with a focus section organized in collaboration with Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF). It will include a cine-concert with a masterpiece of silent cinema, a series of new and classical films, and also meetings with Norwegian filmmakers and experts.
The festival will open on July 12th with a cine-concert in the Capitol Hall of Banatul Philharmonic. Timișoara musician Petre Ionuţescu will provide the live soundtrack especially designed for the 1926 film The Bridal Party in Hardanger by Rasmus Breistein, considered a silent masterpiece of Norwegian cinema.
Filmmakers Franciska Eliassen and Itonje Søimer Guttormsen will be present at the festival to introduce their films Sister, What Grows Where Land Is Sick? and Gritt.
Among other Norwegian films included in the program, the festival's closing night will bring a screening of Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken's Munch, about the painter Edvard Munch.
More on the program here.
In northern Romania, Filmul de Piatra takes place in Piatra Neamt between July 13th and July 16th, with a program that includes its core competition section for short films, seven concerts, nine special screenings, festival talks, the Midnight Shorts, a retro-disco-party, activities for children and more.
At this year's edition, 18 productions, selected from the 101 submissions, are in the race for the three awards and three mentions, and most of the filmmakers will be present at the event and take questions from the audience.
The films in the competition will be screened at Cinema Mon Amour on July 14th and 15th. Entrance is free.
The festival will open with a screening of Radu Muntean's David, where the protagonist is ultramarathon runner Tibi Useriu. Useriu will attend the screening alongside the film's editor, Andu Radu.
More on the program here.
Eforie Colorat, the multi-disciplinary festival that runs until September 10th on the Romanian Black Sea coast, has included in its program no less than 65 film evenings taking place at the Cinemascope Garden in Eforie Sud.
Every evening until the end of the season, open-air screenings of current productions are scheduled, from Hollywood blockbusters to European films, documentaries, shorts and experimental films. Every Tuesday evening, the CineShort section, developed in partnership with Short Film Breaks, brings the most exciting short films of the moment. Classic film is shown every Wednesday in the RetroCinema section, and documentary film in the Kinedok section. Thursday evenings are reserved for childhood stories, which have even more charm at the Black Sea. The CineKids section brings the most popular animations. Fridays and Saturdays are dedicated to European films, and the CineHit section offers international blockbusters every Sunday. The program is available here.
The Histories and Film Festival in Râșnov (FFIR) is gearing up for its 15th edition, scheduled to take place between August 13th and August 27th. The event covers a range of events held in Brașov, at the Artists' Bastion (August 13th to August 18th), in Feldioara (August 18th to August 20th), Codlea (August 18th to August 20th), and in Râșnov (August 18th to August 27th) at the Râșnov Fortress and the Amza Pellea Cinema.
As always, the program offers a mix of film screenings, debates, concerts, exhibitions and more, which this year tackles the topic of radicalization, trying to uncover some of the causes and factors that have shaped a society that "seems less and less open to balanced dialogue, where everyone defends and imposes their own truth and nuances disappear."
The program of concerts has already been announced, and it includes performances from Om la lună, Pasărea Rock, Robin and the Backstabbers, Mădălina Pavăl, Ada Milea, Nicu Alifantis & Fragile Band, and The Mono Jacks.
More on the program here.
In the Danube Delta, the Anonimul International Independent Film Festival welcomes the audience to a program that includes two competitions of Romanian and international films, feature film screenings and meetings between the filmmakers and the public between August 14th and August 20th.
It is the event's 20th edition, and it takes place in Sfântu Gheorghe at the Green Village Complex and Green Dolphin Camping.
Twelve productions, selected from more than 100 submissions by film critic Ionuţ Mareş, will compete in the Romanian shorts competition, which awards a EUR 1,000 prize designated through the public's vote. The selected films are listed here, and eight of them have been directed by women.
Besides the award for the best Romanian short film, the Anonimul Foundation will pick from the Romanian and international short film competitions the winner of the Ovidiu Bose Paştină prize, amounting to EUR 1,000.
Another nine feature and medium-length films will be screened outside of the festival's competition sections, and the public will have the opportunity to meet some of the teams who worked on them. The films to be screened are Sebastian Mihăilescu's Mammalia, Andrei Tănase's first feature Tiger, Castelul Crăiței/ Refuge by Liviu Mărghidan, Mihai Mincan's debut feature Spre Nord/ To the North, Arsenie. An Amazing Afterlife, the recent documentary by Alexandru Solomon, and Carla Maria Teaha’s De ce mă cheamă Nora, când cerul meu e senin/ Nora centered on the life of writer Nora Iuga.
The documentaries Între revoluţii/ Between Revolutions by Vlad Petri, Phoenix. Har/Jar, about the legendary Romanian rock band, directed by Cornel Mihalache, and Toate râurile se varsă în mare şi marea nu se umple niciodată/ All the streams flow to the sea, yet the sea is never full, an anthropological study of the small community in Sfântu Gheorghe will also be screened.
More on this year's festival here.
Another edition of Sunscreen Film & Arts Festival, organized by the team behind the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF), the largest film event in the country, is scheduled to take place in Constanța between August 17th and August 20th. A selection of films screened at TIFF can also be seen at TIFF Sibiu, scheduled for September 7th to September 10th and TIFF Oradea, from September 29th to October 1st.
In Bucharest, the Film Garden, in the city's Alexandru Lahovari Square, holds its tenth season until September 17th, with a program of film screenings, concerts, performances, Q&A sessions with local film professionals and more. The program includes Romanian Film Evenings, International Film Evenings, European Film Evenings, and more. The schedule of screenings and other events is available here.
The Metropolis Caravan, an initiative that brings outdoor film screenings to various locations in the country, has already kicked off this year's edition with a first stop in Tulcea. After this, the caravan will head to Făgăraș (July 18th – July 20th), Râșnov (July 21st – July 23rd), and Alexandria (August 1st – August 6th).
The event, which aims to bring European film closer to the general public, screens a selection of movies that were awarded or nominated at the film festivals held in Venice and San Sebastián, the Golden Gloves, or the BAFTAs.
Entrance to the screenings is free of charge, within the available seating. More details are available here.
Meanwhile, Orange Pop-Up Cinema will hold its fourth edition in Bucharest, București, Iași, Cluj-Napoca, Sinaia and Timișoara. The project brings open-air film screenings to venues across the country.
The caravan will first stop in Bucharest's IOR Park between July 11th and July 16th. The following stops are in Iași, between July 21st and July 23rd at Palas Garden; Cluj-Napoca between July 27th and July 30th at Iulius Park; Sinaia between August 11th and August 13th in Dimitrie Ghica Park; and Timișoara between August 24th and August 27th in Liberty Square.
The program includes screenings of productions such as Mark Mylod's The Menu or Ryan Coogler's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever but also films for the youngest audience members. The program is available here.
The proceeds from the sale of tickets go towards supporting the Orange Digital Center, a digital education hub for teenagers, young professionals or those seeking a career change with the help of digital skills. The center offers a range of free courses.