Fiction films and documentaries from Banat, screened for the first time at Ceau, Cinema! Festival

Jun 9, 2024 | Episode 11

A fiction feature film and two documentaries, as well as eight short films are part of the non-competitive section “Films from Banat” within the 11th edition of the Ceau, Cinema! Festival, which will take place in Timisoara between July 17-21.

“Clara” (2023), directed by Sabin Dorohoi and with a cast mostly from Timisoara, led by actress Olga Török, will premiere in Romania at Ceau, Cinema! Also, the feature documentaries “The run of your life” (2024), directed by Mircea Gherase and Lucian Mircu, and “Un mal rebel” (2024), directed by Bogdan Puslenghea, will have their first screening at the festival. In addition, there are eight short films of different genres, made by filmmakers or with actors from Banat or filmed in the area. The screenings will be accompanied by discussions with the film crews. 

“We have tried since the first editions to encourage local film creators, showing their achievements at the festival. This section, not very big at first, has become more and more consistent over time. Proof of this is this year’s selection, when we have a record number of films from Banat, which is extremely gratifying. We are eager to show them to the public and discuss them with their filmmakers”, says the artistic director of Ceau, Cinema!, film critic Ionut Mares.

A Romanian-German co-production, “Clara” is the debut in the fiction feature film of director Sabin Dorohoi, known until now as a documentary filmmaker. The film focuses on Clara (Olga Török), a Romanian teacher who works as a babysitter for a family in Germany. When her son disappears from home, she returns to her native village in Romania, where she must face failure as a mother in an attempt to become a reliable parent. “Clara” had its world premiere last year at the Cottbus Festival. The screening will be attended by director Sabin Dorohoi, actresses Olga Török and Claudia Ieremia, as well as other members of the team. The film is brought with the support of the German Cultural Center in Timisoara.

After “Superhombre” (2019), directors Mircea Gherase and Lucian Mircu from Timisoara return in the same formula with a new documentary, “The run of your life”. The film follows Tibi Useriu, Corneliu Buliga, Eva Hochbauer, Toma Coconea and five other endurance runners, who start from the North towards the Danube, on Via Transilvanica, the longest and most beautiful route in Romania, recently arranged. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the film team.

“Un mal rebel”, made by Bogdan Puslenghea from Timisoara, has as its central character Doru Chirodea, the most unknown poet in Timisoara, whose activity began in the United States, in the second part of the ’80s. He became known in some underground, non-academic circles, in the niche world of fanzines and independent literary magazines. Back in his hometown, he makes periodic book launches, published on a personal basis, through obscure and ephemeral bars, but with significance for a certain local bohemian on the verge of extinction. The documentary will be screened in the presence of the crew and the protagonist. Bogdan Puslenghea was also present at Ceau, Cinema! in 2021, with the documentary “Swamp City”, made together with Ovidiu Zimcea, also a collaborator on the new film.

The “Films from Banat” section will also include a screening of eight short films, screened for the first time in Timisoara at Ceau, Cinema!, with the participation of some members of the teams.

These are “Perfect Two” (2022), which stars actress Ioana Iacob from Timisoara, and “Sentimental Stories” (2023, selected at the Venice Film Festival), both made by Xandra Popescu, an artist and director born and raised in Timisoara, but established in Germany several years ago.

Actor Ovidiu Mihaita from Timisoara has the central role in a new short film made by Ioachim Stroe, “Two Words, Three Lies” (2023, nominated for the Gopo Awards), which could not be missing from the festival’s program.

The well-known director Adrian Sitaru has made a hybrid short film partially filmed in Timisoara, “Claudia (Working Title)” (2023), whose protagonists are the actor from Timisoara Levente Kocsárdi and Claudia Maftei, a non-professional actress also from Timisoara.

Ioan-Alexandru Sîrbu is a young filmmaker born in Timisoara who studied directing in Cluj-Napoca, where he directed the student short film “Circus” (2023) and worked as an assistant director on another short film, “We light a candle when the power goes out”(2023), signed by Iriana Adnana. Both titles were also included in the “Films from Banat” section.

The program also includes the animation “The Boar with Silver Tusks” (2024), made by George Sorinca, a young filmmaker from Arad, as well as the fantasy short film “Still Life” (2023), by Sami Al Mouallem, made at the Faculty of Arts of the West University of Timisoara.

Ceau, Cinema! is a festival dedicated to European film, organized by the Pelicula Culturala Association.

The project is part of the national cultural program “Timisoara – European Capital of Culture in 2023” and is financed through the Legacy Timisoara 2023 program, carried out by the Project Center of the Municipality of Timișoara, with amounts allocated from the state budget, through the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

Sponsors: Groupama Asigurari, Vitas Romania.

International partners: Tribute to a Vision Film Festival (Slovenia and Italy), Floor Plan Croissant Project (Bulgaria).

Partners: Lipoplast, Italian Cultural Institute in Bucharest, German Cultural Center in Timisoara, Liszt Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center Bucharest, Spanish Embassy, Cervantes Institute in Bucharest, Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest, Polish Institute Bucharest, Czech Center Bucharest, French Institute in Timisoara, French Institute in Bucharest.

With the support of: Marele Ecran Association, Timisoara 2023 – European Capital of Culture Association, Cinema Timis, Cinema Victoria, Hungarian Film Archive, Ceva de Spus Association, Cartea Calatoare Foundation, Carturesti Timişoara, La Doua Bufnite, Cartea de Nisip, Animest, Ibis Timisoara City Center, Porsche Timisoara, Ovride, Faber, Timisoara la cutie, Casa Artelor – Timis County Directorate for Culture, West University of Timişoara (UVT), Social Fabrics Research Lab (FabLab), Faculty of Political Sciences, Philosophy and Communication Sciences within UVT, GIS Community Association of Timișoara, F-Sides Cineclub, Eventbook, Aualeu, House of Culture of Timișoara, Claudia Rosu.

Media partners: Gen, revistă, Zile şi Nopţi, Films in Frame, West City Radio, In Bine, Tributary Stu, CineFan.