Last Sunday concluded the Romania Film Festival in Bucharest where I was a jury member. There were two different sections — CineBlackSea and Women in Cinema. We gave out awards for best overall film between the categories, best actor and a best director in each category.
The best film was Attenberg by Athina Rachel Tsangari. This film has been in festivals across the world and is starting to roll out into distribution. It will be Greece’s entry to the Academy Awards this year.
An interesting note is that Attenberg was the best film on the jury I participated on in Germany last spring. This just shows the resonance of this film and how it is touching people not only because it gets programmed in so many festival, but because it wins awards in very different kinds of festivals. Attenberg was not in the women directors category, it was in the CineBlackSea category. We gave it the awards for a variety of reasons including: “for pushing the boundaries of Greek culture.”
The best director in Women in Cinema the award went to Celine Sciamma for Tomboy. That movie is in release in Europe and will open in the US next month. It’s just an extraordinary movie with an amazing performance from Zoe Herran who we gave an honorable mention acting award to.
the young actress demonstrated incredible courage on taking the lead role of the film. She shows a level of comfort in her acting choices that depicts great maturity to free her from any prejudgment and pre-concepts that sways over today’s society. It is an absolute joy to see such a young actress clearly in control of her action
The best actor of the festival went to Zrinka Cvitesic for her work in On the Path directed by Bosnian (female) director Jasmila Zbanic. This was the first film I saw about Bosnia that talked about how people are working to create a life after the war. It is the first film that is not focused on the atrocities.
Here’s what we said about Zrinka’s performance:
…for her depiction of a Muslim woman struggling to forge her way in her marriage and in the culture against repressive religious traditions. It is a much nuanced performance (…) and there is freshness in her portrayal of a contemporary Bosnian woman that allows one to feel her struggle to remain equal
Emre Sahin won best director in CineBlackSea for his work on 40.