Second Edition of B-Est Festival in Preparation
This year’s edition will have as guests names of the worldwide cinema
Nine O'Clock - January 25, 2006

Harvard Professor to be Honored at Festival

BUCHAREST - Scheduled to begin on March 27 and run for a week, B-Est 2006 will focus on European filmmaking and will include a selection of 12 films in the official competition. Big names of the European cinema such as Pupi Avati, Mika Kaurismaki, Danis Tanovic and Manoel de Oliveira have already announced their presence in the festival; they will present their latest creations and meet resounding the Romanian public. The international jury including specialists of the film world, will be headed by Polish director Krzystof Zanussi.

The off-competition selection, Panorama, will include 40 films mostly made in 2005 and which have already toured most of the film festivals, some of them entered the Cannes competition or have been awarded in Berlin, San Sebastian or Karlovy Vary. As of this year, the event’s coordinators have initiated a new section of the festival, that will present the graduation films made by famous European and Romanian directors, and the selection includes Emmir Kusturica, Alain Chabat, Ridley Scott or Mircea Daneliuc.

The festival’s retrospective will honor director Hal Hartley, one of the most controversial independent directors. A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art , Hartley made a lot of films and won the Young Filmmakers Award at the 1994 Tokyo International Film Festival for his film “Amateur“ (1994), which was also premiered at the Cannes Director’s Fortnight of that year. Retrospectives of his work have been presented at The Rotterdam Festival in 1992 and Gijon, Spain, in 2003. He won the Best screenplay award at Cannes in 1998 for his film “Henry Fool” and, later that year staged his play, “Soon,” at the Salzburg Festival in Austria and at the de Singel Theatre in Antwerp. Hartley was made a Chevalier of arts and letters by the Republic of France in 1997 and taught filmmaking at Harvard University from September 2001 until May 2004.

More recently, he was awarded a fellowship by the American Academy in Berlin for the fall of 2004, where he worked on his as yet untitled script for a film on the life of the French social activist and educator Simone Weil. Hartley, who has lived in New York City since graduating college in 1984, has recently relocated to Berlin, Germany. He will be shooting his newest film, Fay Grim, in early 2006 throughout Europe and Southern Asia with Parker Posey, Tom Ryan and his favourite actor Jeff Goldblum.

Also for the first time this year, the organisers of B-Est Festival will include a special selection of films on Israel, most of them in absolute premiere on a Romanian screen. All the events of the festival will be hosted by the two Cinematheque halls in Bucharest Union and Eforie and by Cinema Studio.

by Anamaria Flora