(article about the Romanian programme curated for ŻubrOFFka International Short Film Festival 2011)
Over the last decade, festival audiences all over the world have become accustomed to the sheer and uncomfortable realism of the New Romanian Cinema. However, the special programme I’ve prepared for ŻubrOFFka is meant to prove that the New Romanian Cinema’s diversity defies any restrictive label. Certainly, there are realist short films that we cannot ignore, such as Oli’s Wedding [Nunta lui Oli, 2009] by the sensitive and gifted director Tudor Jurgiu, in which a widowed father can witness his son’s wedding only through the webcam.
In Radu Jude’s medium-length A Film for Friends [Film pentru prieteni, 2011], the mentally unbalanced protagonist, also frustrated by his loneliness, resorts to technology (a video camera, in this case) to leave a farewell message, in which he involuntarily displays his unbounded narcissism.
But the New Romanian Cinema does not exclude genre short films, such as the first zombie movie ever produced in the country, in fact a parody in which product placement is cleverly woven into the plot (Zombie Infectors 3, 2008, by Nicolae Constantin Tănase). Another relevant example for the diversity of filmmaking in Romania is Cecília Felméri’s Cuckoo [Kakukk / Cucul, Romania-Hungary, 2008], with its highly erotic, apparent folk tale involving a forbidden love and a dumb husband.
If Romanian animation has suffered a lot after 1989, in recent years (especially after the Anim’Est festival was founded in Bucharest, in 2006), we could notice a growing interest in this field, coming particularly from young and passionate filmmakers, who have produced – mostly independently – many worthy shorts. Two of them are included in this special programme: My Friend is a Cloud  by Anton Octavian is an emotional sci-fi-like film about childhood and music, dream and reality, while White Noise  by Marius Pandele is a graphically crafted animated allegory.
So, the New Romanian Cinema is not limited to a quasi-dogmatic realistic formula, which is said to ensure selections and awards in major festivals, and I’m sure that the talented young filmmakers with personal visions and styles will produce many pleasant surprises in the years ahead.