BUCHAREST: Nine Romanian features made by Corneliu Porumboiu, Tudor Cristian Jurgiu and Bogdan Mustaţă are opening in Romanian theatres this autumn. Romanian film has been a big prize winner at international festivals over the past few years but until recently with a few exceptions this has failed to translate into local box office success but the large number of autumn releases signals that this is set to change.
Most of them have already had their world premiere in festivals. Seven of them are debut features, and two are independent productions distributed by a local big distributor usually entangled with its own productions. The films are investigating new genres from a gothic and surreal love story to films spoken in dialect.
After launching Iulia Rugină's ultra-law independent debut feature Love Building on September 13, setting an opening record for a local indie production, MediaPro Distribution is launching another independent debut feature. I Am Not Famous, but I Am Aromanian/Nu sunt faimos, dar sunt aromân/ Nu hiu faimos ama hiu arman is a romanticised story about the origins of Aromanians, spoken in Aromanian. The film was made by Toma Enache with a budget of 360,000 EUR raised exclusively from private investors, and it will hit the cinemas on 25 October.
Corneliu Porumboiu's third feature, When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism/Când se lasă seara peste Bucureşti sau Metabolism will be launched in the Romanian cinemas by Independenţa Film on 20 September. The film is produced by 42km Film and the French company Les Films du Worso, and had its world premiere in Locarno.
Bogdan Mustaţă's awaited debut feature, Wolf/Lupu will be launched domestically on 4 October. This surreal love story is produced by Romania's Strada Film in coproduction with the German Neue Road Films, and it will be distributed in Romania by Metropolis Film.
Alexandru Maftei's gothic love story Miss Christina, adapted after Mircea Eliade's novella will open 1 November. It is a Romanian production of Abis Studio.
Selected in Locarno, Vali Hotea's debut feature Roxanne will be launched domestically on 11 October. The story of a man who cannot live in the present because of his past is produced by HiFilm in coproduction with the Hungarian Cor Leonis.
Japanese Dog/Câinele japonez, the debut feature of Cannes's Cinéfondation 2nd prize ex-aequo winner Tudor Cristian Jurgiu opens in Romania on 18 October. It investigates the gap between generations through the story of an elderly widowed man visited by his émigré son. Libra Film Production is producing, and Transilvania Film will distribute it in more than 20 copies.
Igor Cobileanski's debut feature The Unsaved/La limita de jos a cerului opens in 27 September. Written by Corneliu Porumboiu the film captures the lack of prospects in contemporary Moldova through the bitter sweet drama of two young friends. The film had its world premiere in Karlovy Vary. Doru Niţescu's Carmen, a contemporary drama shown in Sarajevo (the same as Wolf/Lupu), will also hit the local screens in October. It is produced by Filmex Romania.