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It was a pleasure to meet you and attend the opening night of the Romanian Film Festival. It is an essential showcase to raise awareness and audiences for the exceptional films being made in Romania. "Beyond The Hills" is a masterpiece and I can't get the images out of my mind. I've told all my friends and colleagues about it and they all said it's exactly the kind of film they'd love to see when it is released here in the UK. Keep me on your mailing list for future screenings & events. Many thanks. "
"'Beyond the Hills' is an extraordinary piece of work: beautifully directed and with two stunning performances at its heart. And “heart” is the right word, as it is a film that is full of compassion, as well as being a thoughtful criticism of the way the established institutions have dealt with the problem of Romania’s many abandoned children, whose problems do not go away simply because they are no longer 'children'."
"‘Beyond the Hills’ is a reminder that good film-making does not require the high production values that mainstream cinema has become saturated with; a reminder that we can be allowed to think without being sold an idea, a product or a set of values; a reminder that we need to see more films like this …"
"Congratulations on another fine festival.
Like the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the London Mime Festival, The Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, The Lord Mayor's Parade, and other major events, The Romanian Film Festival has become a warmly anticipated feature of London's cultural calendar.
Romania has always produced challenging, provocative, well made films but it takes a huge sustained effort to introduce these films to the cautious UK audiences that avoid foreign subtitled films.
Over nine years, The Romanian Film Festival London has triumphantly broken down these barriers of caution and found an enthusiastic audience for Romanian films.
Bravo to Ramona and her team for bringing great Romanian films to London."
"Thank you and the team for the excellent event. As always, it was very well organised and very interesting. I am happy to see that there is more interest in the Romanian culture, as more and more people are joining us for the Film Festival.
I have seen two of the films and it was great to have the opportunity to meet the actors and to discuss the films with them and with the other guests.
Good Romanian films are one of the best medium to promote Romanian culture in London.
I look forward to attending similar events in the new year."
"‘Everybody in Our Family’- by Radu Jude - is a thoroughly interesting film for a number of reasons. First of all, it breaks with the widely shared tendency of the so called ‘New Romanian Wave’ to concentrate on matters Romanian almost exclusively. A film like ‘4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days’ or – ‘The Death of Mr. Lazarescu’, for instance, both brilliant films, cannot avoid creating a certain ‘safety zone’ between their subject (out there, in the East, where these kind of things happen) and their Western audience, able to sympathise but also point a finger, if so inclined. Whereas a film like ‘Everybody...’ bypasses precisely that: it addresses us all in the same measure, whether from out there or from here, and invites all of us to self scrutiny. Secondly, the way the film was structured and framed - beginning with a few scenes taking place outside, on a busy morning and ending with the main character walking along the traffic and the noise again in the open space - I thought was really clever. It contained the main part of the action within the limits of a flat, suggesting the impression of a biopsy upon a paralysed body - that of a failed marriage.
Last but not least, the performing was a tour de force, dramatic by its directness, thoroughly sustained all through the long uncut scenes, and strangely personal - which, I suspect, is what any excellent acting feels like."
"Festivals act as a cluster, an opportunity to see a body of work and thus gain an all-round impression of a country's output - as opposed to 'catching' the odd Romanian film, for example, here and there.
But festivals, such as the recent Romanian film festival, offered more than just films: there was discussion, interview, the chance to meet actors and those engaged in the making of stories told through the lens: an unusual pleasure and opportunity. Who else does this?
For those who relate to a country or any 'body' for that matter through what is popularly evident: for example, the Russians are in London to build houses, the Bengalis to cook, the Romanians to?
Well, whatever your answer might be, they also make films and have film festivals. This is a way to find out what is going on, in the 'arts scene' if you like, of a country and if they make films, what are those films like... in Romania? Films serve also to keep those interested, abreast of political and cultural change... If a country does this it is itself aware of change and its consciousness reveals the tender heart of reception. It says: come and see us, see what we are doing."
"Firstly I'd like to thank you for all your effort in organizing the Romanian Film Festival and the connected event.
In my view such events are absolutely necessary to keep the Romanian community connected to the cultural beat of Romania. Not only it exports the new trends of the Romanian theatre and cinematography abroad, it also provides a good opportunity to gather as a community and share our thoughts, ideas or dreams with the organisers and the Romanian artists. We need to keep our culture alive wherever we are, whatever we do. We need to get more involved with such activities and support all the good initiatives aiming to promote our culture at all levels.
The Film Festival was a success and gave us the opportunity to meet the new generation of artists and especially to meet the one and only Victor Rebengiuc, one of the veterans of the Romanian cinematography and the exponent of the golden generation of actors. As a side note, I would like to take this opportunity to suggest for future film festivals to present at the beginning of each screening a short memento of the magnificent actors Romania had and still has especially that this year we lost few of the best actors, Emil Hossu, Ion Lucian, Iurie Darie, Serban Ionescu.
The best award for the organisers of the Romanian Film Festival this year was to see that the Opening Gala and the closing event were sold out quickly. This proofs once again the immense interest this event brought amongst the Romanian community and not only. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of British viewers who attended the event, one more reason to make our culture well known across borders.
Congratulations and keep up the good work!"
"The festival was a great chance to view the latest cinema offerings from Romania. The festival is very important, as it profiles new and important talent and highlights their films. With the state of UK distribution at present not all films produced in Romania will be guaranteed a UK release, so it is key that these films are spotlighted in the festival showing the diverse filmmaking in the territory. This is also a high cultural benefit as it helps show how advanced the country's cinema is, the breath of subjects, genres and the outstanding talents involved.
Mungiu, Porumboiu and Puiu have been lucky to have a theatrical and home ent release of their amazing films in the UK, however many have been unable to see ‘The Paper Will Be Blue’ and have only been able to see it due to the good work of the festival. This is why the festival is important as it shows the whole scope of the current Romanian cinema, not just the films which are popular to UK based film distributors/bookers."
"It was a great pleasure to attend the Film Festival.
I was most interested in ‘Dupa dealuri’ and wondered if this will be made into a DVD. I liked the film for its more general theme and wider emotional scope. I am so pleased it was recognised at the Cannes Festival, deservedly so.
I was also taken with ‘Periferic’ and the fact it was a debut feature film. This is one of the reasons I am so interested in the Romanian Film Festival - that it introduces new and exciting directors and new young actors/actresses, as well as bringing Romania's own distinguished directors and actors to us in the UK.
I am always excited being a participant in the Romanian Film Festivals and wish you even greater recognition in the future. Many congratulations!"
"Think to date I have taken part in seven out of the nine editions of the Romanian Film Festival in London. This year’s edition ‘The Other Side of Hope’ had a particularly interesting and artistically intriguing programme. Unfortunately I missed the opening evening of the festival that presented Cristian Mungiu’s ‘Beyond the Hills’ which I read about in the British press, but I did see two other wonderful films: ‘Everybody in our family’ and ‘Periferic’. Here is what I liked about the festival: it offered a glimpse into the contemporary Romanian society, it displayed new creative cinematic talent of an international standard and it had an intense cultural atmosphere created by the organisers and their artists’ guests. The fact that the festival is usually hosted by an art cinema attracts a lot of viewers that are not necessarily Romanians and this is an excellent opportunity to present a new country and its cultural heritage. My favourite film this year was ‘Periferic’ directed by Bogdan Apetri, a film about the human condition, alienation, the margins of society, failed relationships and resilience. People who would have seen any of the films I saw would have understood something about Romania and its people: portraying Romanians and their current hopes, desires and interests as part of the larger European cinema tradition that makes every viewing a profoundly enriching experience. My friends and I enjoyed the whole event – the screenings, the Q&A session, the party at the Ambassador’s residence, the glass of wine at the meeting with the actors and directors, the new people we encountered and the opportunity for cultural and business contacts. We took home unique cinematic memories and we hope that the festival will continue in the same professional and artistic manner. "
"As a Romanian living abroad, I was extremely pleased to see the Romanian film festival continuing (as a now modern tradition) promoting talent from the country I was born in. The quality of films and the calibre of guests was (as usual) second to none, and the overall organisation of the suite of events was spotless. I was most impressed and am therefore grateful to you and your team for putting all the time and effort into organising the festival. A big and heartfelt thank you."
“In the five or six years I have now been attending it has always provided a compelling selection of Romanian films that appeals both to those familiar with the country and to those with a love of cinema. And more than the movies themselves, the Festival provided me with the rare opportunity to meet the actors and directors involved. I have come to think of it as one of the cultural highlights of my year, an event made possible through the dedication of its organisers and the generosity of its sponsors.”
Dr David Webster
During the Romanian Film Festival in London 2012, I have thoroughly enjoyed the film ‘Medal of Honour’ which had the award-winning actor, Victor Rebengiuc , as the main character. The Q&A session which followed the screening offered me the opportunity to discover a great side to the well-known actor; he was extremely witty and charming answering questions on a range of topics. Thank you Ramona Mitrica for organising this festival for both Romanian and English film lovers!”