Focus Romania

Special activities, projections, focus on new talents, schools, and other festivals – this is Focus Country, our program that highlights contemporary cinematographic culture by bringing the cinema circuit of a Central and Eastern European country to Portugal. In 2021, BEAST IFF is pleased to bring Romania as the focus of the festival through Focus Romania.

Composed of the Doc Highlights and School Visit programs, the section pays homage to long and short films of the new wave of Romanian cinema, which has been attracting the attention of the international awards circuit since the early 2000s. Its realistic tone – sometimes acid, sometimes sensitive – is one of the hallmarks of the works of the country’s contemporary wave, led by great talents of Eastern European cinema.

Opening Film

In this year’s edition of BEAST IFF, the Focus Romania section will highlight documentaries and the power of storytelling through a special line-up of feature films. The program will debut at the Opening Session one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of last year: “Ivana The Terrible”, director Ivana Mladenović’s second feature.

The film challenges audience expectations with a documental narrative that tests the boundaries between nonfiction, drama, and comedy by following the protagonist, who lives in Bucharest, during a visit to her small hometown, located on the Serbian side of the border with Romania. In “Ivana The Terrible”, Ivana Mladenović proves herself to be an accomplished director, actress, screenwriter and producer, ensuring her place among the newest and most interesting faces of Eastern European cinema.

Doc Highlights

The Doc Highlight program encompasses three feature films and positions itself at the centre of this year’s Focus Country section, serving as a window into Romanian culture through its directors’ attentive eyes. This special program aims to highlight the power of a narrative based on real events, as well as the talent and creativity of the region’s directors.

School Visit

The Faculty of Theater and Film is part of Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca), the largest and the highest-ranked university in Romania. The central mission of the faculty is to train professionals at the highest level in the performing arts and film, who can practice in an increasingly dynamic and globalized cultural context.

The faculty aims to form creative thinking and to develop skills for both classical media techniques, and experimental and alternative ones, to achieve innovative artistic products. Also, the faculty follows the university’s goals for multicultural and international-level programmes, offering courses in Romanian, Hungarian and English.