Between September 25 and 27, American Independent Film Festival organizes for the first time an edition at Ion Besoiu Cultural Center in Sibiu, with a cinema weekend full with recent American independent films, release at major international festivals like Sundance, Venice, Berlinale.

Moviegoers are invited to watch on the big screen the adventure of the children from Wendy, directed by Benh Zeitlin, the discovery of one’s own voice in My Salinger Year, directed by Philippe Fallardeau, and the journey of The Sisters Brothers in search of a criminal, directed by Jacques Audiard.

American Independent Film Festival program in Sibiu

Friday, September 25
20:00 – Wendy, by Benh Zeitlin (2020, 111 min). Premiere, Sundance 2020.

Saturday, September 26
20:00 – My Salinger Year, by Philippe Falardeau (2020, 101 min). Opening film, Berlinale 2020.

Sunday, September 27
20:00 – The Sisters Brothers, by Jacques Audiard (2019, 122 min), Venice 2019

Seven years ago, Beasts of the Southern Wild, his dizzying debut, brought him the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, the Camera d’Or for best debut at Cannes and two Oscar nominations. A success all the more surprising, as it was made with a minimal budget and with non-professional actors, mostly children. What followed was even more unconventional. Instead of capitalizing on the spot from the wave of admiration, Zeitlin slowed down: he got to work, and only stopped after seven years. Wendy, his second film, is a free reinterpretation of the Peter Pan fairy tale, with a cast full of children making their acting debut. “Filmed at the foot of an active volcano in the Caribbean, the film once again combines haunting and awe-inspiring rhythms to convey a child’s view of the world”, writes IndieWire.

n New York City’s late nineties, Joanna, a young aspiring writer, lands a day-job at J.D. Salinger’s literary agency. Joanna’s main task is processing Salinger’s voluminous fan mail, but as she reads the letters, she becomes reluctant to send the agency’s impersonal reply and impulsively begins personalizing the responses. The results are both humorous and moving, as Joanna, while using the great writer’s voice, begins to discover her own. The refusal to play by the rules of the cultural establishment turned the reclusive writer JD Salinger, the author of The Catcher in the Rye, into a literary myth and the most influential author in the history of American cinema, although (or precisely because) he always rejected Hollywood’s demands to film his works. And the legend goes on: only in the last 7 years there were made a documentary (Salinger) and two fiction features: Rebel In The Rye (2017) and My Salinger Year (2020).  The latter – (the opening film of this year’s Berlinale) – you can watch on Saturday, September 26, from 20.00, at Terasa cu Flori of Ion Besoiu Cultural Centre.

The Sisters Brothers is a co-production France – Romania – Spain – Belgium – United States that brought to Romania the multi-award winning French director, but also some of the most popular Hollywood actors, such as John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed, who are part of the cast. The film is distributed in Romania by Voodoo Films. On February 22, 2019, The Sisters Brothers claimed 4 César Awards – for Best Direction, Best Cinematography (Benoît Debie), Best Production Design (Michel Barthelemy) and Best Sound (Brigitte Taillandier, Valerie de Loof, Cyril Holts), after being recognized earlier that month by the Académie des Lumières (the equivalent of the Golden Globes), which awarded the film with Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography. Coming after the international success of Deephan (Palme d’Or, Cannes 2015), The Sisters Brothers is Jacques Audiard’s first English-language project and is based on Patrick deWitt’s 2011 novel of the same name. The western tells the story of brothers Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix) and Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly) in a continuous hunt and, at the same time, an initiatory journey that tests the special bond that unites them. In a wild and hostile world, they have blood on their hands: the blood of criminals and innocent people alike. Charlie, the younger brother, was born to kill and Eli dreams of living a normal life. They are hired by the Commodore to find and kill a man. 

Tickets will be available on Eventbook.ro. Details regarding the access and health and safety rules and regulations that must be observed during the whole duration of the screenings and events within the festival can be accessed here https://filmedefestival.ro/american-independent-ff/en/safety-rules/

The American Independent Film Festival Sibiu is organized by Ion Besoiu Cultural Center in partnership with Cinemascop Association, endorsed by Catena, with the support of Banca Transilvania. A cultural project funded by the National Center of Cinematography. Partners: Europa Cinemas, Eventbook, Voodoo Films. Main media partner: Radio Guerrilla. Media partners: Radio Romania Cultural, Agerpres, SensoTV, IQads, Smark, AaRC, MovieNews, Cinefilia.ro.