Romanian director presides the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury at Cannes festival

Romanian director Cristian Mungiu will preside the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury at this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival, taking place between May 17 and May 28.

Mungiu, a 2007 Palme d’Or winner, was also part of the Cannes main competition jury in 2013. Steven Spielberg’s presided over the jury that year. Previous jury presidents of the Cinéfondation and Short Films section, which looks at and supports the new generations of filmmakers, include Naomi Kawase, Abderrahmane Sissako, Abbas Kiarostami, and Jane Campion.

Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar is this year’s president of the jury of the Cannes International Film Festival.

Besides the Palme d’Or won for the film 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, Mungiu landed several other awards in Cannes. In 2012 he won the Best Screenplay award for Beyond the Hills, while the leading actresses in the film shared the Best Actress award. Last year, he got the Best Director award for the film Graduation

“Value and originality have never achieved easy recognition in the cinema. And it’s even harder to recognize the value and originality of very young directors. But the Cinéfondation is known for having succeeded in doing just that to great effect. The Cinéfondation has always given young directors the help and recognition they needed at the very outset of their career, so that they could express themselves with courage and find their own voice. Long may that continue to achieve the same impact. It’s an endeavor in which I’m proud to be playing a part,” Mungiu said of his appointment.

The Cannes press release announcing Mungiu will preside over the Cinéfondation jury describes the Romanian director as “an eminent representative of the Romanian New Wave,” who “enjoys a long and glittering history with the Festival.”

“The filmography of this demanding and socially engaged director has been widely acclaimed by successive juries because it offers such an uncompromisingly sharp and exacting view of Romanian society, but packs a universal message. His ambitious works take a scalpel to human nature and treat it with rare intelligence: a gentle satire on the dreams of young Romanians in the post-communist period (Occident, 2002); a chilling tale of a clandestine small-town abortion (4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, 2007); surreal and  deadpan urban legends under the Ceauşescu system (Tales from the Golden Age, 2009); exorcism against a background of religious fundamentalism and communist heritage (Beyond the Hills, 2012); and a moral tale of dishonest compromises and corruption in Romanian society (Graduation, 2016),” the release reads.

“Cristian Mungiu is a glorious member of that Romanian school showcased by Thierry Frémaux in the 2000s,” said Gilles Jacob, president of the Cinéfondation. “Just to look at the intelligence and interactive ramifications of a screenplay like Graduation is to understand that Cristian is the dream examiner for the big Festival exam – the Cinéfondation and the short films. I wonder who will pass? Good luck to all the candidates!”

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