The New Romanian Cinema is known for artistic diversity, a frontal point of view that, through unusual camera work, unveils the world’s beauty and ugliness, vulnerability and cruelty, without following clear cut patterns or recipes, Instead it uses honesty which explains the interest in lingering over details of everyday life that sometimes become more significant than the plot.
The roundtable on the New Romanian Cinema, moderated by Monica Filimon, a film critic based in New York, offers students and faculty the opportunity to talk about this 21st century artistic phenomenon with Oana and Tudor Giurgiu, one of the most influential couples in Romanian cinema today.
Their company, Libra Films, founded by Mr. Giurgiu in 1994, has produced over thirty films, many of which have been awarded important prizes at international film festivals (among these, one can list Alexandru Solomon’s The Great Communist Bank Robbery , Peter Strickland’s Katalin Varga , Tudor Jurgiu’s The Japanese Dog , and Tudor Giurgiu’s Why Me? ). Mr. Giurgiu’s other features—Love Sick (2006) and Of Snails and Men (2012)—were box office hits in Romania, appreciated for their controversial subject matter, as well as for their wit and humor. Mrs. Giurgiu ‘s first feature, the documentary Aliyah DaDa (2015), has been received with enthusiasm in Romania and Israel by many interested in recuperating a part of their common history. Oana Giurgiu is also one of the most active and successful Romanian producers, involved in projects such as Calin Peter Netzer’s Child’s Pose (2013), Why Me?, and, more recently, Cristi Puiu’s Sieranevada (2016).
Tudor and Oana Giurgiu have been very effective promoters of the New Romanian Cinema. In 2002, Mr. Giurgiu and artistic director Mihai Chirilov founded the Transylvania International Film Festival, probably the most successful film festival of its kind in Eastern Europe. Mrs. Giurgiu is the executive producer of the festival. TIFF has been a platform for most Romanian directors, who were able to share and discuss their latest features with the public. Mr. Giurgiu is also one of the founders of the Romanian Filmmakers’ Association (ACRO), which was established in 2003 and fought for a fair and equitable funding process that would allow the rising New Romanian Cinema directors to produce and distribute their films.
Monica Filimon has published various articles, interviews and reviews in the Cineaste Magazine as well as in many other peer-reviewed journals and anthologies. Her book Cristi Puiu: Ineffable Experiences of the Profane World will be published by the University of Illinois Press in 2017. She is currently an assistant professor of English at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY.