Initiated and co-presented by the Romanian Film Initiative, in partnership with the Jacob Burns Film Center, MAKING WAVES is the only comprehensive US festival dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the best in Romanian contemporary cinema as well as rarely seen classics.
From its start in 2006, the Romanian Film Festival in New York was nourished by the belief that the Romanian cinema deserves to be exposed on a sustainable basis to American audiences.
Under the leadership of cultural entrepreneur Corina Suteu, with Mihai Chirilov as artistic director and Oana Radu as festival manager, the festival has been growing by leaps and bounds, becoming a fixture on the city's cultural scene. It has been endorsed by the community of Romanian filmmakers including Tudor Giurgiu, Cristian Mungiu, Radu Muntean, Corneliu Porumboiu, Cristi Puiu, and Andrei Ujica, among others. With each edition it attracted a larger and dedicated following and built a strong recognition among US film professionals. The festival has also enjoyed a consistent coverage in the media, from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, through Variety to Indiewire.
“Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema is the annual weeklong survey that has helped define and establish the southeastern European country as a stronghold of socially incisive, independently minded personal cinema."
- The Wall Street Journal
MAKING WAVES returns for its 10th edition from December 2-7, 2015 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and from 3-8 at the Jacob Burns Film Center, featuring a cross section of narrative features, documentaries, and shorts. Titles fresh from Cannes and Berlin lead the slate of features: Corneliu Porumboiu's crazy fairy tale, The Treasure; Romania’s unorthodox answer to 12 Years a Slave, Radu Jude’s Aferim!; Radu Muntean’s subtle morality play, One Floor Below; and Why Me?, the Sidney Lumet-esque political thriller by Tudor Giurgiu, based on outrageous real events.
Another highlight will be a special tribute screening of Cristi Puiu’s The Death of Mr Lazarescu (2005), commemorating the 10th anniversary of MAKING WAVES. A seminal title of the Romanian New Wave, this dark comedy was presented at the first edition back in 2006 and took American critics by storm, helping to establish Romania as a major player in the contemporary landscape of international art cinema.
The series will also feature panels, special guests, and a continuation of last year’s Creative Freedom Through Cinema program, examining the relationship between art and politics in Eastern Europe and spotlighting work from Georgia and the Republic of Moldova.
The raw survival documentary Toto and His Sisters by Alexander Nanau, a selection of short films (including the newest from Puiu and Ramona, the noir revenge tale that won a prize in Cannes), and a tribute to one of the greatest Romanian filmmakers, Mircea Daneliuc - whose work inspired the Romanian New Wave - complete this exciting lineup.
This year, we aim to further grow the Romanian film festival, presenting a diverse and compelling 9th edition and also launching new initiatives that advance our mission of promoting Romanian contemporary filmmaking in the US.
MAKING WAVES 2014 will continue, from December 4-8, the leading partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, bringing a surprising lineup of new releases and classics, compelling special programs, hot debates, and talented artists from Romania to the heart of New York City. A selection of the festival program will travel to the Jacob Burns Film Center in Westchester County from December 5-10.
The festival will also continue its critical address of the relationship between arts and politics in Romania and Eastern Europe, through its special program "Creative Freedom through Cinema," and will focus this year's screenings and panel conversations on the topic of human rights.
The 2014 line-up will include, among many other films, Vlad Petri's Where are You Bucharest?, a poignant documentary about the 2012 street protests; Andrei Gruzsniczki's Quod Erat Demonstrandum, a feature about treason, compromise and human resilience facing the Securitate's insidious controlling practices; and The Japanese Dog, Tudor Cristian Jurgiu's delicately observed tale about family and globalization.
The screenings will be complemented by special events and galas, conversations with award-winning filmmakers and actors, meetings, and industry events, continuing the tradition of the festival as both a joyful celebration of Romanian cinema, and an important platform for encounters between Romanian and American film professionals.
In 2014 we plan to launch a series of new initiatives that will expand the festival's impact for both American audiences and the Romanian film community. These include the development of a VOD platform, which will make titles featured in past editions of the festival available in the US for online viewing, bringing previously unavailable films to American audiences.
This year we also aim to consolidate our dedicated community of supporters by launching THE FESTIVAL CLUB.
MAKING WAVES 2013 will take place at the Film Society of Lincoln Center from November 29 to December 3. The festival offers the best selection of contemporary Romanian filmmaking, including features, documentaries and shorts, along with retrospectives of Romanian filmmakers, special programs, panels and a book launch. This year the series will expand with a selection of the lineup screening at the Jacob Burns Film Center from December 5-10, and continue the partnership with Transilvania International Film Festival.
“From its rich and underexplored past to its still-thriving present, Romanian cinema remains among the most vital in the world," said Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Cinematheque Programming. “We are very pleased to welcome back our Romanian showcase MAKING WAVES for one of its strongest editions yet."
This year's edition includes exciting and critically-acclaimed new works including the World Premiere of the U.S.-Romanian production Closer to the Moon by Nae Caranfil as the opening night film, a true account of high-ranking Jewish members of the nomenklatura, who robbed the Romanian National Bank making it look like a film shoot, the Romanian selection for the Oscar® for best foreign film, Child's Pose by Calin Peter Netzer, and the NYFF51 favorite When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism by Corneliu Porumboiu which is the closing night film. Equally new are Domestic, Adrian Sitaru's third and most accomplished film yet, box-office hit Love Building, directed by first-timer Iulia Rugina and two feature-length documentaries: the bittersweet Here... I Mean There by Laura Capatana-Juller (Best Romanian Film at the Transilvania International Film Festival) and the highly provocative The Bucuresti Experiment by Tom Wilson.
Corina Suteu, President of MAKING WAVES, states, “This year, MAKING WAVES represents for its initiators a landmark, as a Romanian film season striving to make a strong statement about the absolute need for freedom of artistic expression in times when propaganda is more than exclusively the instrument of authoritarian systems. The 2013 edition of MAKING WAVES is also modestly dedicated to the Save Rosia Montana movement of peaceful protests all over the world."
For the second consecutive year, MAKING WAVES is now a fully independent festival of Romanian contemporary cinema and culture, made possible solely through the support of private founders and individual donations, including a large number of Romanian artists who believe that audiences at home and abroad deserve unfettered access to the best of Romanian contemporary culture. The series receives no public funding from Romanian state institutions.
Initiated in 2006 and chaired by reputed cultural entrepreneur and cultural policy expert Corina Suteu, MAKING WAVES has become a fixture in New York City's cultural scene. In an inventive selection made by artistic director Mihai Chirilov, MAKING WAVES also introduces American audiences to films and filmmakers who laid the ground for the new Romanian cinema long before Cannes or Berlin discovered “The Romanian New Wave." The festival has grown every year, attracting a larger and dedicated following and building a strong recognition in the US media and among film professionals, both Romanian and American.
Mihai Chirilov, Artistic Director, adds, “This is our most surprising edition yet. Next to sure bets like Cristi Puiu and Corneliu Porumboiu's newest films, there's the top winner at this year's Berlinale, the world premiere of a Romanian film shot in English with an stellar international cast, a triple dose of genre cinema from the ‘80s, and last but not least, a provocative documentary that dares to investigate a strange experiment from Romania's recent history."
The 8th edition of MAKING WAVES includes a retrospective of the work of Corneliu Porumboiu. In a recent article flagging “20 Directors to Watch" in The New York Times, A.O. Scott wrote, “Mr. Porumboiu is a master of the long static shot, the weary argument and the deadpan existential joke. He fixes his camera on the struggles of minor potentates and midlevel functionaries — a TV host in “12:08"; a detective and his bosses in “Police, Adjective"; a movie director in “Evening Falls on Bucharest, or Metabolism" — and divines the secrets of his society, and of our vain, pathetic species, in the smallest details of speech and behavior."
MAKING WAVES continues its special program "Creative Freedom through Cinema" about the relationship between arts and politics, focusing on film as a propaganda tool then and now, inviting the Czech Republic and Slovakia to join in the conversation. Special screenings of landmark films by Dan Pita, Mircea Veroiu, Stefan Uher and Jiri Menzel will be accompanied by a panel conversation with filmmakers, film historians and curators from the guest countries. Presented in partnership with the Romanian National Film Center, Czech Center New York and the Slovak Film Institute, and with leading support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Included in this program is the Transylvanians Trilogy, a compelling incursion into the “Red Western" (or “Eastern") genre, produced in Romania in the ‘80s and directed by reputed filmmakers Dan Pița and Mircea Veroiu. This popular trilogy tells the story of two Transylvanians who go to America to persuade their brother to come back home, and will be presented for the first time to US audiences in its entirety, with brand new prints.
The festival will also present its annual series of short films that will run for free throughout the festival. These include a crop of the best recent Romanian short films highlighting directors to watch, along with a selection of the shorts by Corneliu Porumboiu.
Other special screenings include Cristi Puiu's Three Exercises of Interpretation, which emerged from an acting workshop led by the director of The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu, and the unusual visual campaign of the 2013 Transilvania International Film Festival which includes 20 clips directed by Puiu starring Luminița Gheorghiu.
Luminita Gheorghiu, winner of the 2006 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, is this year's special guest. She delivers a pitch perfect performance in Child's Pose, and will take questions from the audience after the screening. Director Nae Caranfil (The Rest is Silence) will join the festival opening for the World Premiere of his latest film, Closer to the Moon. Corneliu Porumboiu, subject of a festival retrospective, will return to New York for the closing night screening of When Evening Falls on Bucharest, or Metabolism. Other guests include Tom Wilson, writer and director of The București Experiment, Eugen Lumezianu and Oana Rasuceanu, actor and screenwriter, respectively, of Love Building.
Stepan Hulik, screenwriter of Agnieska Holland's Burning Bush and author of Cinema of Forgetting on Czechoslovak cinema, and film curator Irena Kovarova will join the conversation about film and propaganda.
Dominique Nasta, Professor of Film Studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, will join the festival for the launch of her recently published book – Contemporary Romanian Cinema. The History of an Unexpected Miracle, the first in-depth analysis of many essential films ranging from the silent period to the present day.
MAKING WAVES 2013 is made possible with the leading support of the Trust for Mutual Understanding, Alexandru Almajeanu and the Genitica Foundation, Serban Savu, Adrian Porumboiu, and more than 200 private donors, find out who they are in our Supporters Section.
Romanian Wines are courtesy of Terra Firma USA, Inc. Introducing New Wines from the Old World, Cramele Recas S.A., Cramele S.E.R.V.E. S.A. The continuation and expansion of MAKING WAVES has also been supported by an Honorary Board which brings together Scott Foundas, Senior Film Critic, Variety; visual artist Adrian Ghenie; documentary filmmaker and human rights activist Mona Nicoara, and visual artist Dan Perjovschi.
Photo Lucien Samaha | Julie Cunah | David Godlis
MAKING WAVES: New Romanian Cinema continues, in a new configuration, the Romanian Film Festival in NYC, initiated in 2006 and chaired by reputed cultural entrepreneur and cultural policy expert and trainer Corina Suteu, under the artistic direction of Mihai Chirilov. The NYC festival came as a natural acknowledgment of the opportunities of the acclaimed Romanian New Wave's talent and aimed to promote it to both New York audiences and American film professionals.
The festival grew every year, attracting a larger and dedicated following and building a strong recognition in the American media and among film professionals, providing not just a showcase of the best in Romanian cinema, but also a meeting place for Romanian and American filmmakers, actors and industry professionals.
After a very successful five-year collaboration with Tribeca Cinemas, in 2011 the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) invited the Romanian Film Festival to be part of its distinguished lineup of events, and become one of the Film Society's annual series (joining long established programs such as Rendez-vous with French Cinema, New York Jewish Film Festival, or Spanish Cinema Now).
Learn more about MAKING WAVES.
“Regardless of how the New Wave's role in the world of cinema will be chronicled in the long-term, the annual Romanian Film Festival in New York is a rare jewel that gets us up to speed on the fresh and gripping cinema that's breaking boundaries and inventing some new ones in Romania." - Ryan Wells, Romanian Cinema, Awakened and Reawakened, Cinespect, November 28, 2011
“This year's annual Romanian Film Festival, which runs all weekend at Tribeca Cinemas, shows that triumphs of movies like “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu," “12:08 East of Bucharest" and “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" were hardly anomalies." - A.O. Scott, A Tough History Begets Unsentimental Films, The New York Times, December 2, 2010
"Now the three-day Romanian Film Festival will try to bridge past and present, not just with its title, “4 Years, 3 Days and 2 Decades Later," a play on both the Mungiu movie and the two decades since the 1989 revolution that toppled Nicolae Ceausescu, but also in its programming which highlights the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism. In addition to a number of new films by young directors, the festival also includes a special retrospective section." - Julie Bloom, UrbanEye, The New York Times, December 4, 2009
Film ETC. is launching a series of interactive training sessions in Bucharest on CROWDFUNDING: more information and how to apply.