I see that film is alive and going strong”, declared Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Cannes Film Festival, at the press conference where he announced the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the pandemic generated by COVID-19. It was the first major interruption to the festival since 1968, when strong political protests led to the suspension of the event just a few days after it had begun. 2020 also marked the first cancellation of the festival since the Cannes Film Festival’s inauguration in 1939, which was cancelled due to the war. Nevertheless, optimism abounded at the press conference where Frémaux and festival President Pierre Lescure revealed a list of 56 films chosen for the Official Selection, bringing together the main competition and parallel sections together. Given that the pandemic restricted all public events in France in May, all 56 films received the “Cannes 2020” label, a medal of honour that accompanied the titles to festivals taking place later in the year, such as Telluride, Toronto, San Sebastian, New York, and now, Bucharest.

The 11th edition of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest will offer the Romanian public, this time privileged over those on the Croisette, the unique opportunity to watch the best of the Cannes 2020 selection. This year’s edition will be held indoors, respecting all sanitary and safety norms set forth by the authorities.  In Bucharest, the festival will be taking place between October 23rd and November 1st 2020, at the Elvire Popesco Cinema, the Romanian Peasant’s Museum Cinema, and Cinemateca Union. Around the country, a selection of films presented at Les Films de Cannes a Bucarest will be shown in Cluj-Napoca between October 23rd – 25th, with the support of the Cluj-Napoca City Hall and Local Council, in Iasi between October 23rd – 25th, and in Timisoara between October 30th and November 1st.

In the past, the poster of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest paid homage to the winner of that year’s Palme d’Or. In 2020, Carmen Gociu, graphic designer and creator of the festival’s visual identity for the past eight years, has reimagined the 1939 Cannes Film Festival poster which was then cancelled at the last minute due to tensions leading to the Second World War. It evokes the vital force of cinema and its capacity to evoke the most important facets of the human spirit over the past 125 years, despite world wars and other major events that have crossed modern civilisation.

The 11th edition of the festival in Bucharest will open with the films of two of the most celebrated contemporary auteurs, both present in this year’s Cannes Film Festival selection,

Thomas Vinterberg and Naomi Kawase. Druk | Another Round, which world premiered physically at the important Toronto International Film Festival, has been called not only one of the Danish director’s masterpieces, but one of the strongest performances of the main star’s career, Mads Mikkelsen, known in Romania for his famous one-liner “probably” from a well-known Danish beer commercial.

Thomas Vinterberg is part of the Danish school of auteurs who came into the limelight and received critical acclaim after the publication of their manifesto Dogma 95 (signed together with Lars von Trier, among others). Awards started pouring in for Vinterberg while he was still a student, winning Best Film at the Munich Student Film Festival in 1993, after which he became a consecrated auteur with Festen in 1998. Another Round sold like hot cakes in Cannes, having being acquired in over 30 territories for distribution, from the United States of America to Japan and all over Europe. In Romania, the film will be brought to the cinemas by Bad Unicorn.

Presented as the opening night film, Another Round tells the story of four Danish high-school teachers as they test the theory that you can live and work better if you have a constant amount of alcohol in your system. “From there,” according to Indiewire, “Thomas Vinterberg’s absorbing dark comedy turns into a lively and fascinating referendum on booze, with Mads Mikkelsen’s fierce and unsettling performance vibrating at its center.” With an impressive 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is, without a doubt, one of the most awaited titles of the year and many are of the opinion that the only reason Mads didn’t receive an award for Best Actor in Cannes following his win with The Hunt | Vânătoarea was due to its cancellation. Cinephile euphoria is on the house.

Following its physical world premiere in Toronto and its selection at the San Sebastian Film Festival, audiences in Bucharest will be among the first in the world to watch True Mothers, the newest film from Japanese auteur Naomi Kawase. Based on the 2015 novel by Mizuki Tsujimura, the film is built on the rich stylistic texture the director has become known for, weaving together the sensual cinematographic process with the vibrant and palpable reality of the story. True Mothers tells the story of a couple and their adopted 5-year-old, whose biological mother comes into their lives unexpectedly.

True Mothers centres around two strong main characters “who make a persuasive case that they are worth knowing” (Screen Daily): Satoko, the adopted mother and Hikari, the young and desperate biological mother who doesn’t want to disappear from her son’s life. Kawase, who, in turn, has an adopted son of her own, offers a new perspective around the notion of child adoption in her film, weaving different narrative threads and styles, from moral drama to adolescent romance – from social exposure to thriller – in an emotional, at times unsettling, cinematic experience.

Naomi Kawase sprang to the attention of audience and critics at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival when she became the youngest director to win the Caméra d’Or for her debut film Suzaku. In 2007, she received the Grand Jury Prize for The Mourning Forest and returned to the festival in the Official Selection in 2011 with Hanezu and Still the Water in 2014. In 2015, she presented Sweet Bean in Un Certain Regard and in 2016 she was selected as part of the Cinéfondation jury after having been in the jury of the Official Selection in 2013.

Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest will be screening over 50 films in ‘Selection Officielle, which presents the strongest films from the Cannes Film Festival, ‘Cinema du Monde’ bringing the most awaited films from major international film festivals to Romania, ‘Golden Day’ presenting the main festival award winners of the year, and, of course, the much awaited ‘Autumn Previews,’ which gives audiences the opportunity to watch the newest national films in the presence of the cast and crew, before their release in cinemas.

On this year’s selection where the most important film festival in the world continued to bring to light cinematographic masterpieces, Thierry Frémaux stated we’ve received magnificent films from all over the world and our duty is to help them find an audience.” In France, between October 27th and 29th, and at the same time as Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest, the Cannes Film Festival will present four of the titles previously announced in May within the 2020 Official Selection. At the same time, in Bucharest, national audiences will have the chance to discover an even larger selection.

The festival program, detailed film presentations and ticketing information will be available on the festival website soon, at www.filmedefestival.ro

Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest is presented by Orange Romania, traditional partner of the event.
With the support of: Catena, Apa Nova, Groupama Insurance
Inspired by: UniCredit Bank
The 11th edition of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest is organized by the Cinemascop Association and
Voodoo Films in partnership with the French Embassy and the French Institute of Romania
Project co-financed by: Administration of the National Cultural Fund
Cultural project financed by: the Romanian National Center for Cinematography
With the support of: Cluj-Napoca City Hall and Local Council.