One World Romania #14 will frontally address the issues concerning women’s position in front of and behind device which shaped and distorted her image dramatically, but which also served as her instrument for liberation: the camera.
Women have always been very present in the selections of the previous years, but in 2021 we choose to highlight the way in which they transcend the schematic status within which the traditional narratives often enclose them, and manage to formulate their own versions on these subjects, inspired by their direct experience of inequity, marginalization, and underrepresentation.
Most of the films included in this year’s selection were made by women, which is only partially intentional: for decades now there have been many more documentary women directors than fiction women directors. Why is it that the documentary film format has been one in which women could work better? Which were and which are the conditions which predisposed them to have a career in this field, rather than in fiction, which is still dominated by men? These are some of the questions which this year’s selection, as well as the numerous debates and special events will try to answer.
The visual materials series, created by Maria Drăghici, start from images from German filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger’s impressive oeuvre, to whom we dedicate the main retrospective of the festival. Moreover, the celebration of yesterday’s and today’s feminist struggles will be an occasion to make known the militant activity of the great actress Delphine Seyrig, and of the Simone de Beauvoir Center, which she founded together with Carole Roussopoulos and Ioana Wieder, as well as to revisit famous Czechoslovakian director Věra Chytilova’s filmography.
However, like every year, One World Romania also aims to take a tour d'horizon of the most remarkable efforts in contemporary documentary film. The Competition will be comprised of nine of some of the most exciting films in the selection, which will be evaluated by two juries: one made up of professionals from the international film industry, and one made up of high school students from all around the country.
We will also find the already classic sections dedicated to justice, immigrants, and refugees from all around the world. The varied geographical origins (from Martinique to the seas of Papua New Guinea) passing through the United States of America, Argentina, the Middle East, Romania, and Russia), and the vast temporal landscape that the films in the “When the Tanks Cry for Us” section cover show us not only that the peace and the democracy which rule in one part of the world are never guaranteed, but also that they shouldn’t act as an anesthetic of our empathy and our concern for the less privileged. The films in the “All together” section set out to prove to us that the margin and the center are concepts which are fully dependent on the viewer’s position: it only takes one step sideways to embrace a whole other perspective. The refugee crisis, prolonged and aggravated by the new global context caused by the pandemic, is the subject of the “No place like home” section, wherein cinema, which turned into a counterattack weapon, becomes a loudspeaker for the untold stories behind these people.
Last but not least, the 14th edition of the festival also puts forward two of the most recent Romanian productions, one newly awarded at Berlin - “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn,” directed by Radu Jude, and an international premiere, “The Certainty of Probabilities,” Raluca Durbacă’s feature-length documentary debut. Four short student films which resulted from the “Make a film with a refugee” program, coordinated by filmmakers Adina Pintilie, Ivana Mladenovic, and Vanina Vignal, which unfolded during the last two years, in collaboration with UNHCR Romania, will also be screened in a special event. And the national history of documentary will be represented through six screenings from the cycle dedicated by the OWR Film Club to the revisitation of some of the most important Romanian authors of the genre: Paul Călinescu, Jean Mihail, Ada Pistiner, Florica Holban, or the writers Geo Bogza, Nina Cassian, and Radu Cosașu. The completion of Civil Society Pitch’s 4th edition (2020-2021), dedicated to the development of documentary projects based on the collaboration between filmmakers and NGOs, and the launching of a new season of the alternative documentary film distribution program Kinedok will complete the edition.
We are most happy that we can meet again, after so many months, in cinemas, as well as in other outdoor spaces, to experience the festival together. If you’ll miss some of the films, or you’re not in Bucharest during the festival, you will get the chance to recuperate a significant part of the selection online, from anywhere in the country, between June 21 – 27 2021.