The Arizona American-Romanian Cultural Collaborative (ARCC) started in 2019 from a desire to showcase and promote the Romanian culture in the communities where its founders and fellow Romanians live and work. This desire emerged from the strong confidence – reinforced by the worldwide recognition of Romanian arts – that the culture of Romania can constitute an inspiring and powerful presence in Arizona, one of the most diverse states in the US.

The approximately 85,000 ethnic Romanian who nowadays call the Grand Canyon State home come from a beautiful country, with a lively and influential culture. Arizona ARCC wishes to feature Romanian culture and the variety of its art forms, from theater, literature and visual arts to traditional crafts, food, music, photography, and more.

The Collaborative wants to be an energizing participant in the vibrant multicultural scene of the Phoenix metropolitan area, by infusing it with the fascinating art produced by Romanians. One of our major aspirations is to weave more deeply and substantially the Romanian cultural spirit into the fabric of Phoenix artistic life, by engaging local cultural and educational communities and institutions in collaborative events and programs.

Arizona ARCC also wants to serve as a dynamic connection between the Arizona Romanian community and Romania’s contemporary artistic movements, other like-minded diasporic communities, and, more generally, all the people of Arizona.

We are hoping that our work will be especially appealing to those who love to be surprised, those who like to explore fresh perspectives, those who are eager to discover new worlds of meaning and experience, and those who constantly need unique formulas to nourish their minds and souls.

For our first event, The Arizona Film Festival, we partnered up with the Making Waves festival to introduce you to The Romanians: 30 Years of Cinema Revolution. The retrospective invites you to discover and examine the emerging forms of filmic expression that followed the fall of Communism.

Dubbed by the international critics as the New Romanian Wave, the movies created during the last 30 years share a minimalist approach peppered with a quirky black humor that will captivate your imagination. We expect you to experience what the New York Times film critic A. O. Scott did when he noted, “After a while, you feel you are living inside these movies as much as watching them.

The Team


Marie-Louise Paulesc
Marie-Louise was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, where the 1989 revolution inspired her to become a communicator. After graduating as a journalist, she worked for the Romanian Ministry of Culture, the National Theatre in Cluj, HBO Romania, and Europa FM Radio Station.
Since 2005 she calls Arizona her home and since 2008, she is teaching at Arizona State University, where she got a master’s and a doctorate degree in Communication. Her involvement with Arizona ARCC is a labor of love; she wants the people around her to get richer by experiencing the Romanian art and culture that is such a big part of her soul.


Julie Paulesc
In November 1994, Julie quit her job at the French Cultural Center in the beautiful, vibrant Timisoara, in Western Romania to begin her American journey. Deeply in her heart, packed away, were experiences and memories, along with the sounds and smells of the city. In her suitcase, she carried masterpieces of Romanian literature. She also brought along the desire to share her culture, values and beliefs cross the ocean with the same fervor the French were sharing theirs in her native Romania.
After several years working in bilingual departments at Western Union and IBM, Julie earned her Master’s in French and Comparative Literature and PhD in English (Applied Linguistics) at Arizona State University. Since 2003 she has been teaching Romanian language and culture at ASU. For the past two years, Julie has been also teaching a course on digital storytelling with focus on issues of migration and identity. Her goal for partaking in the creation of AZ ARCC is to facilitate the spread of a love epidemic for Romania and its culture, and the understanding of the experiences and values of the Romanian-American diaspora.

Mircea Goia
Once a miner back in Romania, he became a self-taught web programmer who got to work remotely for a German company. He was also involved in the non-profit organizations scene in Romania for several years in his native small mining town of Lupeni, helping local kids achieve a higher status of knowledge.
In 2005 he immigrated to United States thanks to the Diversity Lottery Visa (which is a US government program). After wandering around in Washington DC and West Virginia he settled in Phoenix-Arizona because the job market was better and a warmer climate.
Here, while still working in the IT industry, he got involved in the local film industry scene helping several productions.
But he didn’t forget his native country and because his involvement in these two industries, IT and filmmaking, he tries to help Romania and Romanians from abroad to get more recognition of their work. That’s why he established RomanianStartups.com (an aggregator of the Romanian tech scene) and helped several Romanian film productions. That’s why he got involved in Arizona Romanian Film Festival too.


Razvan Rotaru
Răzvan Rotaru is an actor, a dancer, a puppeteer, a human being and last but not least a performer who is permanently curious and amazed. He likes playing and acting, he believes very much in the very moments taking place here and now, while constantly looking for new feelings and senses. He combines acting with movement, juggling theatrical performances (“Super OK”, “Masa Puterilor Noastre” [The Table of Our Strenghts]), contemporary dance shows (“Moving Fields”, “Basma Curată” [Clean Wrap]), interactive shows (“Crimă la cină” [Dinner and Crime], “Pe bune” [Oh, really]), alongside circus performances (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”). He has recently joined comedy and dance in producing the contempo-fun duet with Filip Stoica “5cu23 n01” [Now you excuse us]. He loves children very much, ‘having’ more than 200 at his Buzău-based Mike’s School of Dance.


Stefan Popescu
Born in the middle of the last century in a wonderful country named Romania, Stefan went to school because he had to, he got his first Master’s Degree because he had to, he got married because he met Her, and he emigrated to Unites States because he wanted to offer his son a better life. For the last twenty something years he worked for the same Fortune 50 company, first on Wall Street and now in the Great Valley of The Sun.
Stefan has an acute and very personal sense of humor, he is a fine observer of the surrounding world, an eternal child at heart, has a lot of fun when he sees people making fools of themselves, and he is the first to laugh at himself when he does stupid things. Stefan likes to try all kind of good foods, drink a good single malt, and listen to good classic rock music. In weekends you can find him hiking the trails together with his wife and their huge mutt.
When Stefan was approached to help with Arizona Romanian Film Festival, he got on board to honor his beloved Mother’s memory who was a huge movie buff: in The Popescu family nobody even tried to remember an actor or a movie title, they had the Amalia Encyclopedia of Films.


Ionuț Geană
He is currently a Visiting Faculty at Arizona State University, Romanian Studies Program, with a three-year term (2018-2021) based on the collaboration protocol between ASU and the Romanian Language Institute (Bucharest, Romania). He is a (tenure-track) lecturer at the School of Letters, University of Bucharest, and a researcher at “Iorgu Iordan  Alexandru Rosetti” Institute of Linguistics. He obtained his BA (2005), MA (2006) and PhD (2010) from the University of Bucharest. The recipient of several grants and scholarships, both as principal investigator, and as a member (including postdoc researcher), among which the prestigious Fulbright Scholar award, he is known for his contribution in various linguistic fields, among which syntax (his PhD thesis, which was published in 2013, on prepositional verbs in Romanian), lexicology and lexicography (he was a member between 2005-2013 in the editing board of the prestigious Romanian Language Dictionary  DLR, better known as the Romanian Academy’s Dictionary), Eastern Romance and Daco Romance (collective works on Romanian dialectology, as well as individual research and publications with special focus on Istro-Romanian), and, last but not least, Romanian as a foreign language  RSL (in this field, apart from a series of articles, he authored a textbook for advanced learners, a chapter in a history of Romanian linguistics on the development of the field of RSL, with one more book and two more textbooks forthcoming). He has given talks in Romania, UK (England and Northern Ireland), Spain, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, France, Turkey, and the United States.


Zoia Manolescu
She is a Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics and Translation at UTCB, Romania. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Bucharest, Romania, the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Education from the University of Lancaster, U.K., and the Certificate of Assessment in Language Learning from the University of Manchester, U.K. Starting with 1995 she served as the Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Communication at UTCB and in 2004, after founding the first non-literary Translation and Interpretation Specialization in Romania (undergraduate and graduate studies), she became the Director of the Department. She remained the promoter and the leader of the department for more than 20 years, commuting between Romania and USA and teaching in both countries.
Zoia Manolescu is an experienced researcher with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry not only in Romania, but also in Europe and USA. She is skilled in nonprofit organizations, Intercultural Communication, ESL, Linguistics, as well as in Translation and Interpreting. She is also a Higher-education Quality Assurance Expert, a Language Editor, and a Grader for the American Translation Association. She is certified as a translator and interpreter by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Justice of Romania (English < > Romanian).
Her passion for movies determined her to join enthusiastically AZ ARCC and lend a helping hand to the creation of a cultural bridge between the Romanians and other communities in Arizona.

Arizona Romanian Film Festival

You want to support us?
It’s painfully easy, tax deductible, and it will make you feel good.

Tax deductible donations, transfers, and gifts
Arizona ARCC is a public charity and is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code, Section 501 (c) (3). Donors can deduct the contributions they make to us under IRC Section 170. We are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers and gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522.

Donate with Paypal (you don’t need to have a Paypal account)

Checks are welcome too! Please address them to:
Arizona ARCC
843 N Blue Marlin Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85234You want to do wire transfer? That works as well. Contact us to ask for info at arizona.arcc@gmail.com or contact@azarcc.org
You want to volunteer or send us a word of encouragement? Get in touch at arizona.arcc@gmail.com or contact@azarcc.org



(480) 442-1873


Arizona ARCC
843 N Blue Marlin Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85234



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