Homelands reflects on this year’s current events, while celebrating the power of film to map out new meanings into a world where people have been displaced by wars, economic crises, political instability, and natural disasters. As Daniel Ursache’s poster above illustrates: movies remain, year after year, our main path and answer, when everything else seems out of place.
After a successful virtual edition in 2021, the festival continues to showcase the best of the newest film productions from Romania and Europe in a hybrid program, promoting outstanding directors, both established and up-and-coming. As you will see from the lineup, we included a significant number of directorial debuts that were well-received if not awarded in prominent European festivals. They might sketch an answer to the question: what comes after the Romanian New Wave? Or, perhaps, they could already constitute Romanian New Wave 2.0. Festival highlights include:
Cannes-awarded “Metronom,” directed by Alexandru Belc, will give the start of this edition at Majestic Tempe 7. The stunning drama is set in Bucharest 1972, and follows a group of teenagers who, while at a party, decide to send a letter to Metronom, the musical program broadcast clandestinely in Romania by Radio Free Europe. But then the Securitate, Ceaușescu’s secret police, arrives. This is Belc's fiction feature directorial debut.
The program at Majestic Tempe 7 will continue with "The Island," the newest creation of Anca Damian, the director of Marona's Fantastic Tale and Crulic. Nominated for Best Feature at Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2022, the film is a modern reinterpretation of Robinson Crusoe, in a manner that brings the Little Prince to meet Monty Python. Robinson is a doctor and his solitude is voluntary on an island invaded by migrants, NGOs and guards. He saves Friday, a castaway, the only survivor of his illegal refugee boat. During his journey on the island, Robinson encounters extraordinary beings and events.
Finally, Majestic Tempe 7 will also host the screening of "Things Worth Weeping For," the directorial debut of Hungarian-Romanian Cristina Groșan. The movie was nominated for Best Film at Sarajevo Film Festival 2021.
Online program highlights include:
The US premiere of "Immaculate," the impressive directorial debut of Monica Stan, which is also Romania’s pick for the Best International Feature Film Award at the 2023 Academy Awards. The film also offers a stellar performance by new-comer Ana Dumitraşcu. This film is about how a young girl's perceived innocence gains her the protection of the mostly male junkies inside a rehab facility, but she soon finds out that this special treatment comes at a great price.
Another notable directorial debut comes from Raluca Durbacă with "The Certainty of Probabilities." This documentary, made entirely from archival footage, is an exploration of the year 1968 in socialist Romania. There will also be a Q&A with Raluca following the film.
Two creations from Romanian New Wave master Radu Jude whose versatility is forever surprising: Semiotic Plastic (2021), which explores what it looks like when human existence, from birth to old age, is reenacted by toys; and The Marshal's Two Executions (2018), an examination of the demise of Marshal Ion Antonescu, Romania's right-wing leader during World War II.
Tickets are now available via Majestic Tempe 7 and Northwest Film Forum IN-PERSON TICKETS $10.81 General Admission | $8 Student/Senior ONLINE TICKETS $10 per film | Passes also available for full online program Filmmakers from most of the movies will join the festival audience via virtual Q&As. So, please stay tuned for more information. As part of the festival, viewers 18-25 are invited to participate in a film essay contest with chances of winning a $250 and a $150 prize. For college students, there are 30 free tickets available for each screening; they can be picked up at the door before each show, on a first-come, first-served basis.
The festival is organized by American Romanian Cultural Society (ARCS) Arizona and the result of a wonderful collaboration with our parent-organization, American Romanian Cultural Society and the Romanian Film Fest Seattle in partnership with Northwest Film Forum. With the participation of our sister-organization, ARCS Detroit. The Romanian Film Fest Arizona is made possible in part by generous support from the Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies at Arizona State University. This project is partially funded by a City of Tempe – Community Arts Grant.