FNE at TIFF 2020: Romanian Days: The Cardinal

    The Cardinal by Nicolae Mărgineanu The Cardinal by Nicolae Mărgineanu

    CLUJ-NAPOCA: The Cardinal, a new film by the veteran of the Romanian cinema Nicolae Mărgineanu, will screen in the Romanian Days section at the 19th edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF), running in Cluj-Napoca from 31 July to 9 August 2020. This Romanian production is based on the life of the Romanian Greek-Catholic bishop Iuliu Hossu (1885-1970).

    The story written by Bogdan Adrian Toma follows the Romanian Greek-Catholic bishop Iuliu Hossu, who remained a true leader to his priests when the Communist regime banned their church in an attempt to strengthen its power by forcing them to convert to the official Orthodox Church.

    Iuliu Hossu spent five years in prison (1950-1955) and the rest of his life in house arrest. Elevated by Pope Paul VI to the rank of cardinal in pectore (meaning “to be kept secret”) in 1969,  Iuliu Hossu was among the seven Greek-Catholic bishop martyrs of the Communist regime who were beatified by Pope Francis during his first visit in Romania in 2019.

    “I believe that, being as diverse as it is, the Romanian cinema can include a film dedicated to these martyrs. There is a part of history which is still ignored and which some would like us to forget”, Nicolae Mărgineanu said in a statement. The Romanian Orthodox Church still refuses to give back the churches and properties taken from the Greek Catholic Church in 1948.

    The main characters of the film are played by Radu Botar, Richard Bovnoczki, Cristian Iacob, Mircea Andreescu, Bogdan Nechifor, Radu Bânzaru, Ioan Andrei Ionescu and Maria Ploae.

    The Cardinal / Cardinalul is a Romanian production produced by Nicolae Mărgineanu through Ager Film and it was supported by the Romanian Film Centre.

    The film was shot in 20 days mainly on location, at the old prisons from Sighet, Jilava and Doftana among others.

    The film was released in Romania on 9 November 2019. It was nominated at the Romanian Gopo Awards (premiilegopo.ro) 2020 in the Best Leading Actor (Radu Botar), Best Supporting Actor (Richard Bovnoczki), Best Music (Cornel Țăranu) and Best Costumes (Luminița Mihai) categories.

    Production Information:

    Ager Film (Romania)
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    Director: Nicolae Mărgineanu
    Scriptwriter: Bogdan Adrian Toma
    DoP: Gabriel Kosuth
    Editor: Nita Chivulescu
    Original music: Cornel Țăranu
    Production design: Dumitru Nicodim
    Cast: Radu Botar, Richard Bovnoczki, Cristian Iacob, Mircea Andreescu, Bogdan Nechifor, Radu Bânzaru, Ioan Andrei Ionescu, Maria Ploae