Romanian cinema amazes again – Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest Fall Previews

Open Casting for Managing Talents .7

At the end of the year, Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest takes stock of the many successes of Romanian cinema and brings to the Autumn Previews section a rich programme presenting the diverse cinematic visions of Romanian filmmakers, with films awarded in Cannes, Venice, Sarajevo, Annecy or Oberhausen. Fiction, documentary, animation, hybrid and experimental works reflect the admirable evolution of Romanian cinema which continues to stand out on the international circuit and amaze local audiences. We therefore invite viewers to explore the changing tides of Romanian cinema under the umbrella of Autumn Previews.

To the North, directed by Mihai Mincan, is inspired by real facts. In 1996, Joel, a faithful Filipino sailor discovers a Romanian passenger stowed away on the ship he is working on. Knowing that young Dumitru risks being thrown overboard if discovered by the captain and officers, Joel enters a dangerous game to save him, one involving his crew, his faith in God and the life of an innocent man. To the North is the director’s debut feature, which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival 2022 in the Orizzonti competition section, where it received the Independent Film Critics’ Award – Bisato d’Oro – for Best Film, awarded outside the section.

After a series of successful comedies, director Paul Negoescu returns to drama with Men of Deeds, selected for the Sarajevo, Namur, and Warsaw film festivals and awarded the Best Director prize at the LIFFE festival in Serbia. Ilie is a policeman in a village in the north of Romania. Surrounded by corruption (the mayor and the village priest smuggle cigarettes from Ukraine), Ilie has a moment of reflection and wants to do his duty, to settle down, to have a normal life. Following a series of violent events he witnesses, and the tensions that build up, he is forced to make important decisions at work and in his personal life. “What interested me about these characters was their inability to adapt, because they are all unable to connect with their emotions, running away from reality until fate forces a reality check on them,” the director told

The Island, the newest film from one of Europe’s most celebrated filmmakers, Anca Damian, is another stirring animation to add to the director’s growing list of original and challenging works. Here, she invites us to discover a musical fable inspired by the myth of Robinson Crusoe, as if the Little Prince were merging with Monty Python. Robinson is a doctor, and his solitude is voluntary on an island overrun by migrants, NGOs and guards. He rescues Friday, a castaway, the sole survivor of his illegal refugee boat. During his journey on the island, Robinson encounters extraordinary beings and events. He will confront current affairs through visual poetry and symbolism in a world where everybody looks for its own paradise.

“I was thinking about the story of Robinson Crusoe and knowing Alexandru Bălănescu and Ada Milea’s concert (based on a reinterpretation after the poet Gellu Naum), I had the idea to make a musical with the new Robinson, a doctor with the best intentions and a modern-day Friday, a modern-day refugee in a reality where the world is collapsing,” says the filmmaker. The film was presented at festivals such as Busan, Rotterdam and Gothenburg.

Presented in the Sarajevo International Film Festival selection, Too Close (directed by Botond Püsök) is about what happens when fear becomes a force. After a traumatic event in her daughter’s life, a mother struggles to heal the scars of the past in a small community of people who don’t want to understand what happened. Botond Püsök won awards in 2016 with his short film Angela for Best Director at the Astra Festival and DocuArt Film Festival. Too Close is his first feature-length documentary. “When I started making this film and talking about it with people I know, I was amazed to discover how people think about child abuse and abuse in general: they know it’s something terrible, but so remote at the same time that they would never imagine it could happen to someone close to them. So I knew from the beginning that one of the biggest challenges of this film would be how to tell a story about such a horrific issue that many people are reluctant to connect with,” says the filmmaker. 

Whose Dog Am I, directed by Robert Lakatos, is a satirical documentary essay about politics in a world where citizens are dogs, politicians are dog breeders, officials are owners, nations are national dog breeds, countries are national breeder federations, and the supreme international forum is the ICF, the International Canine Federation – the director being the one interpreting reality and manipulating public opinion. “I wanted to make a film that Caragiale would be envious of,” he confesses.

The Eagles of Țaga (directed by Iulian Manuel Ghervas and Adina Popescu) follows the team’s development during a championship in Romania and an international tournament in Slovakia, using football as a pretext to explore the life stories of the players, with their personal hopes and failures, as well as the story of a rural community trapped in a small, anonymous and hopeless world. The documentary takes a realistic approach, using an observational filming style, and the story is told in a wry but tender and empathetic manner.

Again this year, the audience of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest .13 will be able to talk to the film teams in the programme and vote for their favourite film, the above-mentioned titles being part of the competition, which will be awarded a distribution support of 2500 euros by Dacin Sara. The discussions after the Autumn Previews films are presented by the Romanian Cultural Institute. The section is completed, by two other feature films and seven short films grouped in two groups, in the Out of Competition section.

Alis (directed by Clare Weiskopf and Nicolás van Hemelryck) is a Colombia-Chile-Romania co-production that was presented at this year’s Berlin Film Festival in the Generation competition section. The film aims to answer the question of how can one imagine a future when one is born without opportunities? Two teenage girls living on the unforgiving streets of Bogotá close their eyes and dream of Alis, a fictional classmate. Their soulful narrative reveals an amazing power to break the cycle of violence and embrace a brighter future.

Reflections on Romania – 5 Faces of Identity, by Andrei-Nicolae Teodorescu, invites viewers to discover a different Romania through five personalities working in five different fields, each of them adding to the cultural, ecological, traditional, scientific, technological and artistic heritage of a country with an extremely rich potential. “The idea for the documentary came from discussions with my producer, Dan Dimancescu – an American citizen of Romanian origin, and the Honorary Consul of Romania in Boston. He has been coming to Romania more and more often, and when I asked him why he likes it here so much, he said it has been amazing for him to see how this place has come back to life after ’89. The documentary tries to capture precisely these changes through the eyes of 5 characters who did something tangible, pragmatic, after ’90 in Romania and somehow contributed to what could become a brand, an iconic image for the new Romania.” explains the director.

Romanian film continues to prove, through international awards and a wide range of original visions, the potential of the short film format in all its possible variations – fiction, documentary and animation. In the animation Sasha, directed by Sergei Chiviriga, a teenage snail, confused by the world and his own body, is forced to discover in a strange way the truth about his sexual identity. Hidden Places by Teona Galgoțiu observes with emotional intimacy a teenager’s relationship with her mother, following an overwhelming revelation. Inspired by Derek Jarman’s installation Section 28, Bogdan Balla’s I Was Sleepwalking When I Saw All Those Colours compares stories from recent community history with personal experiences in the present, distilling the distance between the silent realities of queer love and the hysteria of its public representation. This year’s winner at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Sarajevo IFF, Balázs Turai’s Hungarian-Romanian animation Amok depicts the story of Clyde who is forced to confront his inner demon after losing his fiancée and beauty in a freak accident. Flying Sheep, directed by Alexandra Gulea, is an experimental documentary that cultivates the memory of the passage of the Aromanians in permanent exile between mountains and seas inhabited by echoes of voices echoing loudly yet unheard. The Romanian-German co-production was awarded Best Film in the German competition at the famous Oberhausen festival. Another short documentary film – May the Earth Become the Sky, directed by Ana Vîjdea, captures Maria caught between two worlds – one guided by asceticism, the other by the need for family communion. Through carefully composed shots and a minimalist soundscape, the film takes us through Maria’s everyday life, her thoughts and emotions. Roxana Stroe’s new film, Appalachia, is set in a deeply religious community in provincial Romania, where two marginalised teenagers fall in love – but everything around them falls apart. The short film recently premiered at the Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur.

Open Casting at Managing Talents .7

At the 13th edition of Les Films de Cannes à Bucharest, the already well-known programme dedicated to the Romanian acting community – Managing Talents – returns to provide them with training, contacts and facilitate opportunities for their film careers in Romania and abroad. During the 7th edition, an open casting will take place to select actors and actresses for the main roles in a Romanian film to be shot next year. The film will be directed by Teodora Ana Mihai, who was present in 2021 at Cannes, in the Official Selection, with her first feature film entitled La Civil, for which she was awarded the Prix de l’Audace in Un Certain Regard.

All Romanian or Romanian-speaking actors and actresses aged between 18 and 48 are eligible. Applicants are invited to submit a self-tape (video recording) with a pre-established text by October 15th. Full details can be found on the event website, in the Managing Talents section.

The registered actors are invited to participate in several events during the festival. On Saturday, October 22nd, at 10:00, they are expected at the Peasant Museum Cinema for a practical work session on text with the director of the project, Teodora Ana Mihai – starting from the viewing of the submitted self-tapes. Before the session, which can be watched live 

online, Dr. David Zitzlsperger, CEO of the German company Denkungsart GmbH, will give a presentation about the Castupload platform, with which Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest is partnering for this year’s Managing Talents programme. 

Denkungsart licenses its SAAS to Film Commissions, regional Film-Offices, and large Production Companies. Key customers are UFA, Beta Film with subsidiaries as Seapoint, Bantry Bay, Brot&Butter; All3media with subsidiaries as filmpool, Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Berlin Brandenburg Film Commission, Constantin Entertainment and SevenOne Media.

Denkungsart runs its own SAAS “Castupload” ( and “filmmakers” ( These networks are exclusive for professional filmmakers especially catering to actors, agents, and casting directors. Together they represent the largest pool of professional actors, agents, and casting directors in the EU. Most of the relevant EU based roles are cast directly or indirectly through filmmakers or Castupload. The networks are used for productions ranging from small local student-films all the way to feature films. They are vetted for use by international studios, production companies and streamers as Netflix and AMAZON Studios. Recently ARDA (the French Casting Directors Association) announced to officially work with Castupload.

Key for Denkungsart is the direct partnership with the regional associations of actors, agents, casting directors and producers. The software offering to local film-commissions/offices, allows smaller regions also outside the EU to integrate directly into the established network of filmmakers working with the systems on their film, TV, Theatre, and advertising projects.

Totodată, masterclass-urile susținute de regizorii invitați la Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest .13 vor avea o componentă anume legată de lucrul cu actorul, iar actorii vor avea ocazia să intre în dialog cu realizatorii și să le adreseze întrebări legate de profesia lor și oportunitățile de a evolua spre o carieră internațională.

Over the past six editions Managing Talents has facilitated in-person meetings with Romanian and international film directors, actors and casting agents. Participants had the opportunity to discuss and work with international agents: Avy Kaufman, Richard Cook, Debbie McWilliams, Anja Dihrberg, Frank Moiselle, Vicki Thomson, Nathalie Cheron, Elizaveta Shmakova, Victor Jenkins, William Conacher, Manuel Puro, Romanian casting directors: Viorica Capdefier, Domnica Cîrciumaru, Cătălin Dordea, Floriela Grapini, actress Anamaria Vartolomei, as well as director Cristian Mungiu, the founder of the programme. 

Managing Talents is a program presented by Apa Nova.

Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest is presented by Orange România, traditional partner of the event.

Inspired by: UniCredit Bank

With the support of: Catena, Apa Nova, Groupama, Sun Wave Pharma,

A cultural project financed by: Romanian National Center of Cinematography, SACD / Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques, French Embassy in Romania and the French Institute in in Romania, the Romanian Cultural Institute, Dacin Sara, Italian Cultural Institute, Embassy of Sweden in Romania

Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest is a project co-financed by the Bucharest City Hall through ARCUB within the Bucharest – Affective City 2022 programme. For more detailed information about the financing program of the Bucharest mayorship through ARCUB, please visit

Partners: Cinema Muzeul Țăranului, Arhiva Națională de Filme – Cinemateca Română, Mercure Hotels, Avanpost, Abator, Aparterre, Europa Cinemas, Air France KLM DELTA,


Main media partners: Radio Guerrilla, TVR, Agerpres

Media partners: Cinemagia, Zile și Nopți, Cinemap, Libertatea,, Films in Frame, Ziarul Metropolis, Film Menu, iQAds, Smark, A List Magazine, Igloo,, LiterNet, Elle, The Institute, Vice, Observator Cultural, AARC – All About Romanian Cinema, Movie News, CineFan, Munteanu, Cinefilia, CineGhid, Radio România Cultural, Senso TV, Tonica, Antena PLAY.

Cultural Partner: RFI România

**The content of this material does not necessarily represent the official position of the Bucharest City Hall or that of ARCUB.