Conclusions about the festival - Interview with Manuela Cernat

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"This festival began a bit undecided, it did not find it's Northen Star.But now it found it  and I wish all  those leading  IPIFF  to hold on tight and stear ahead with the North Star as their guide "- Manuela Cernat


About the filmmaker ...

The Producer's status is not very well defined in Romania. Internationally there are two schools. There is the American school where the producer has absolute sovereignty and has the final say even on the film's montage and the European school that doesn't have such a great authority.

In Europe however the director has the final say.I'm beginning to understand that things are also changing in Europe and the risks exists for the producer to become the master of the film, which I think would be dangerous for creativity.

The producer must be a father, a godfather, he must be the omnipezent man whose mission it is to highlight the director's vision of the world, on the subject.

I believe that in this moment there are no producers that have such a high intellectual dimensin to face directors as Mungiu, Porumboiu, Mitulescu or scriptwriters like Razvan Radulescu, to refer only to the young generation.

On the other hand the role of the simple accounted should not be their idea. A producer, today, would  ideally  be an intellectual with a broad knowledge of film history, a man who has seen a huge amount of movies, who has a very safe tastes in movies and can be a guide, a travel partner.


How do you see the current market competition between producers? At IPIFF there was a friendly competition  by voting trough letters  in an envelope, but in real life it is a much tougher competition ...

In real life any competition is very tough but it is exceptional if by envelope voting,  a unaminmous  vote appears. If the producers are more confident in their consciousness,and  they really choose the best one I think it is a huge step forward. Subijectivism is exceeded, the group or mini group spirit is surpassed.

I think this competition has a  very precise record. I have only one sadness, that Adina Pintilie's "Oxygen" did not enter the competion.because she is, in my oppinion a strong name in the Romanian cinema today.


What would you say to future competitors in the next IPIFF editions?

I would tell them what i tell my students every year that it is important to have a local discourse  with a universal beat.

The best example is Cristi Puiu's, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu,  which speaks of a Romanian reality, but can make audiences on all meridians vibrate because of its actuality and universal theme.

I  am a bit afraid of minimalistic subjects who fail to have a long stroke, a universal beat. If you cannot talk to the world the people  will not understand or stop listening.

Here's an apparently very simple film, in a minimalistic fashion  " Felicia, above all", that has a tremendous outlet to the younger generation. Many young people were found in the conflict between generations, many parents were found in this movie and I hope that with a more appropriate translation, a more appropriate subtitle,it may also have an international trajectory as  it deserves.

Finally ...

I am delighted to see that this festival is meant for continuity. I think that Dinu Tanase  (no - IPIFF producer) makes a great job because he is equally a sensitive artist,a director with a great opera behind him, an operator with an opera behind him . He looks at  film through this double lens of director of photography and director and now as an official  UPFAR  representative.

He succeeded in giving the festival authority even if it's beggining was weary and it could not find itøs Northen Star. But now it found it  and I wish all  those leading  IPIFF  to hold on tight and stear ahead with the North Star as their guide "-  

Vlad Babenco

Photo: Cristian Radu Nema