Romanian Film Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

FOCUS ON ROMANIA: Fort Lauderdale/Miami Waves 2014

Between October 10th and 16th almost 1,000 film fans came to Cinema Paradiso, in Fort Lauderdale and to Coral Gables Art Cinema in Miami to meet a group of Romanian filmmakers and to enjoy the best of contemporary Romanian cinema. First of its kind for South Florida, “Focus on Romania: Ft. Lauderdale/Miami Waves” was an initiative of Miami based Romanian director/producer Andrei Zinca and his partner in Bucharest, cinematographer/producer Florin Paraschiv. With the financial support of the Institute for Romanian Culture and of the National Center of Cinema in Romania, Zinca and Paraschiv got Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival’s Cinema Paradiso and Coral Gables’ unique art house interested to host the event, sponsored by The Romanian American League, by dr. Albin Morariu of Deerfield Beach and by the Miami production house High Hill Entertainment.

English, Romanian and Spanish speakers filled both theaters to watch 6 award winning feature films, 2 documentaries and 7 student short films from UNATC, Bucharest, presented by prof. dr. Copel Moscu. All movies were screened in Romanian, with English subtitles.

The week opened in front of a packed house with Andrei Zinca’s own moving love story “Puzzle for a Blind Man”. Besides the director, composer Daniel Manoiu, and Mario Diament, the author of the play that inspired the film, were present to answer questions from the audience. During the weekend the award winning actress Maria Dinulescu presented two movies in which she starred: “ Hooked”, directed by Adrian Sitaru and “ California Dreamin’ ( unfinished)”, directed bu Cristian Nemescu. The Cannes’ “Palme d’Or” “ 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days”, directed by Cristian Mungiu was introduced by Florin Paraschiv, Vice President of the Romanian Association of Independent Film Producers. The talented lead actress Monica Barladeanu entertained the audience after the screening of her delightful comedy “ Of Men and Snails”, directed by Tudor Giurgiu. The veteran film, theater and TV director Radu Gabrea and his producer Victoria Cocias were present at the screening of their “Romanye, Romanye!” and “ Goldfaden’s Legacy”, two excellent documentaries about Jewish culture in Romania. The week closed with the entertaining “Silent Wedding” a tragic comedy directed by Horatiu Malaele, who conquered the audience with his unique personality. Those who wanted more of Horatiu could also enjoy his One – Man Show, “ Sunt un orb”, presented at Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood, in Romanian only, or his caricatures and graphic exhibition “ Cuget, deci exist”.

“Puzzle for a Blind Man” and “Silent Wedding” were also screened at Coral Gables Art Cinema.

The good time continued after the movies, on Cinema Paradiso’s terrace, with Romanian wine and food, and the promise of a next year come back, with more movies, art and music.