Six European films on migration compete for Ceau, Cinema! Trophy

May 30, 2023 | Episode 10

Six feature films which focus on the migration in Europe and which had their world premiere at Berlin and Venice festivals are in the competition of the 10th edition of Ceau, Cinema! Festival from Timişoara, which will take place during July 12th – 16th.

The films will compete for the Ceau, Cinema! Trophy „Răzvan Georgescu” and for a special prize determined by the jury made up of actress Ioana Iacob and directors Paul Negoescu and Vlad Petri, and for the Audience Award as well, decided by the votes of the audience.

„On this anniversary edition, the red thread connecting the six films – made by male and female directors from Austria, the Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, Poland and Slovakia –  is migration. Such an important subject, frequently approached in present-day debates, could not miss from the filmmakers’ concerns. The theme asserted by itself, indicating that cinema is mindful of the changes that societies experience, including Central European ones. The Ceau, Cinema! 2023 competition takes the pulse of the moment, through strong stories, narrated in surprising styles”, says the artistic director of the festival, the film critic Ionuţ Mareş. 

Winner of the Best First Feature Award at the last year’s edition of Berlin Festival and nominated at the European Film Awards, ”Sonne”, the production of the Austrian director of Iraki origin  Kurdwin Ayub, follows three teenagers who film themselves seductively dancing while wearing the hijab and singing a pop song, without anticipating the consequences of their playing. ”Sonne” will have its Romanian premiere at Ceau, Cinema!, with the support of the Austrian Cultural Forum from Bucharest.

Also from the Berlinale 2022 comes ”Somewhere Over the Chemtrails”, the debut of the Czech director Adam Rybanský, who will come to Timişoara. When a villager is injured by a car during a party, a local fireman is immediately convinced that an ”Arab” committed an attack, but one of his colleagues has different opinions. The presence of the film and of the director at the festival is made possible with the support of the Czech Center from Bucharest.

The other four films had their world premiere within the Orizzonti and Orizzonti Extra sections of the 2022 edition of the prestigious Venice Festival.

”Princess”, directed by the Italian Roberto De Paolis, follows a young female immigrant from Nigeria who sells her body at the outskirts of a big Italian city and whose destiny is about to change when she meets a man willing to save her. However, the woman finds out that she has to save herself first. The screening is supported by the Italian Cultural Institute from Bucharest.

Debut of the Polish director Damian Kocur, inspired by real events and played by non-professional actors, ”Bread and Salt” tells the story of a young and gifted piano player, student at the Music Academy from Warsaw, who returns for the holiday in his small hometown, where he witnesses a dispute, which grows in intensity, between the Arab employees of a Shawarma stand and his fellows from the neighborhood. The film screening is possible with the support of the Polish Institute from Bucharest.

”Valeria Is Getting Married”, of the Israeli female director Michal Vinik, focusses on two Ukrainian sisters who decide to marry Israeli men by means of online marriage arrangements. One of them already did that and is now living in Israel, and the other wishes to follow her, only that reality proves to be more complicated.

When the son of a Ukrainian immigrant from the Czech Republic is assaulted, the entire town stands with her family and blame their Romani neighbors, who seemingly committed the offence. But soon, a different truth begins to come out. This is the story of ”Victim”, the debut of the Slovak director Michal Blasko, which will also have its Romanian premiere at Ceau, Cinema!

The Ceau, Cinema! Trophy „Răzvan Georgescu” is in value of €1.000, and the Audience Award is €500, both of them offered by Groupama Insurance.

The trophies are hand crafted by the artist Lia Pfeiffer.

Ceau, Cinema! Competition section provides a setting for the cinematographic expression of film makers from countries which have been represented by minorities in the Banat region.  

More information is available on, and on the festival Facebook and Instagram profiles.

Ceau, Cinema! Festival is dedicated to European cinema and is organized by the Association Pelicula Culturală and founded together with the Association Marele Ecran.

The project is part of the National Cultural Programme „Timișoara–European Capital of Culture in 2023” and is funded through the programme European Echoes, conducted by the Center for Projects Timișoara, with amounts allotted from the state budget, through the Ministry of Culture budget.

Sponsors: Vitas Romania, Groupama Insurance.

Funded by: the Romanian Film Center.

Partners: Marele Ecran Association, Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF), the German Cultural Center from Timişoara, the Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest, the Polish Institute Bucharest, the Liszt Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center Bucharest, the Czech Center Bucharest, the Embassy of Spain, Cervantes Institute from Bucharest, the Italian Cultural Institute from Bucharest, the French Institute from Timișoara.

Cu sprijinul: Asociaţia Ceva de Spus, Fundaţia Cartea Călătoare, Cinema Victoria, Animest, Ibis Timisoara City Center, Faber, Timişoara la cutie, Casa Artelor – Direcţia Judeţeană pentru Cultură Timiş, Claudia Roşu.

With the support of: Ceva de Spus Association, Cartea Călătoare Foundation, Cinema Victoria, Animest, Ibis Timisoara City Center, Faber, Timişoara la cutie, The House of Arts– the County Direction for Culture Timiş, Claudia Roşu.

Media partners: All about Romanian Cinema (AaRC), West City Radio, Ziarul Metropolis.