Film Essay Contest – Romanian Film Festival Arizona 2023

Romanian Film Festival 2023 - Nov 11-12 @ Majestic Tempe 7, online Nov. 4-12

Romanian Film Festival Arizona, 3rd edition, November 2023 –Film Essay Contest

This project is partially funded by a City of Tempe – Community Arts Grant.

So you thought it was enough to have to sit through several Romanian arthouse movies? Now we dare you to also write about them! If you are passionate about the art of cinema, we are looking for you! We challenge you to write about one of the films screened @ Majestic Tempe 7 during the Romanian Film Festival, November 11-12. See details below. 


Winner: $250 (essay + author interview will be featured on ARCS Arizona’s website and social media) 

Runner up: $150 (essay + author will be featured on ARCS Arizona’s website and social media)

 Who is Eligible?  

Anyone with a passion for writing about films.     


800 – 1,000 words

Judges/ Guest Judge

Independent panel – TBA

Key Dates 

November 11-12, Romanian Film Festival Arizona screenings:

E Pericoloso Sporgersi (104 min), November 11, 4:30 PM 

Taxi Drivers (97 min), November 11, 7:30 PM

Between Revolutions (68 min), November 12, 4:30 PM

Men of Deeds (105 min), November 12, 7:00 PM

  • November 13: Competition Opens
  • December 13: Last day to submit essay
  • January 10: Winners announced  

Guidelines for essays on film

Your essays will have to be written in response to any of the in-person screenings.

We are not asking for a review. This should be a personal response to the experience you had watching the movie: explore what you think the film is about, using clear references from the film to illustrate your personal point of view. Refer to specific scenes, lines, shots, as well as creative choices in acting, sound design, writing, directing, cinematography.

Film is an audiovisual medium and uses specific tools to tell a story. Consider how filmmakers use the language of cinema to create meaning and evoke emotion.

While you do not need to summarize the entire plot, presume that the reader is not familiar with the film. As a part of your argument, in your own words, give a brief synopsis that captures both the style of the film, and the story. Put time and effort into writing and editing. To be successful, your piece will have to captivate and keep the reader engaged, and your conclusion will neatly tie in with your main claim and the evidence you provide, from the film and your personal experience. 

As you write, consider the fact that you have watched a Romanian film. You might want to do a bit of research and consider the film’s unique way of portraying the world, exploring the historical and cultural conditions that produce these effects, as well as how the story speaks to universal human concerns. Do the film’s themes and concerns resonate with you? If so, how and why? How does this film compare or connect to other works you may have watched, and what makes it different? 

Essays will be evaluated on the depth of your observation / analysis, as well as clarity (easy to follow by the reader) and originality (essay reflects your personal experience with the film).  

All the film essays collected will be sent to the creators of the respective movies.

Thank you all for your continuous support!

Romanian Film Fest Arizona Team

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