Romanian Film Fest Arizona 2022


In theater: NOVEMBER 19-20, Majestic Tempe 7

Get tickets for the screenings at Majestic 7 Tempe here!
*Student/Senior pricing available.

Online: NOVEMBER 11-27, 2022
Scroll down for full lineup, tickets and passes.

Romanian-Film-Fest-Arizona-Color-logo-smallThe 2nd edition of the Romanian Film Fest is titled HomeLands and reflects on this year’s current events, while celebrating the power of film to map out new meanings in a world where people have been displaced by wars, economic crises, political instability, and natural disasters. As Daniel Ursache’s poster illustrates, when everything else seems out of place, movies remain our main, steady path toward understanding and hope.

We will continue to showcase the best of the newest film productions from Romania and Europe, featuring both established and up-and-coming outstanding directors.
The festival is the result of a wonderful collaboration with our parent-organization, American Romanian Cultural Society and the Romanian Film Fest Seattle in partnership with Northwest Film Forum. With the participation of our sister-organization, ARCS Detroit.

After our first virtual edition in 2021, this year we will be present both online and in theater. Hosted by Majestic Tempe 7, we will feature 3 movies over 2 days.

We will offer you virtual opportunities to interact with local, national and international special guests.
Stay tuned to find out about our exciting partnerships, line-up, guest list, and schedule.


The Romanian Film Fest Arizona is made possible in part by generous support from the Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies at Arizona State University.

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


This project is carried out with the support of/ Acest proiect este realizat cu sprijinul  Departamentului pentru Românii de Pretutindeni.


The festival is a collaboration with American Romanian Cultural Society and the Romanian Film Fest Seattle in partnership with Northwest Film Forum. With the participation of ARCS Detroit.

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Romanian Film Fest Arizona, November 19-20, 2022 @ Majestic Tempe 7


*Student/Senior pricing available.

Metronom, November 19, 2:00 PM @ Majestic Tempe 7

Directed by Alexandru Belc. Starring: Mara Bugarin, Serban Lazarovici, Vlad Ivanov. 103 min. Original Language: Romanian. With English Subtitles.

Drama, Romania, France, 2022. Directing Prize, Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2022.
Bucharest, 1972. Ana, 17, dreams of love and freedom. One night, while partying with her friends, they decide to send a letter to Metronom, the musical program which Radio Free Europe broadcasts clandestinely in Romania. It is then that the Securitate, Ceausescu’s secret police, arrives…

Link to Youtube trailer:


*Student/Senior pricing available.

The Island, November 20, 11:00 AM @ Majestic Tempe 7

Directed by Anca Damian. With Alexander Balanescu, Lucian Ionescu, Cristina Juncu, Ada Milea. 84 min. Original Language: English.

Animation, Romania, France, Belgium, 2021.  Nominated for Best Feature at Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2022.
The Little Prince meets Monty Python. Robinson is a doctor and his solitude is voluntary on an island invaded by migrants, NGOs and guards. He saves Friday, a castaway, the only survivor of his illegal refugee boat. During his journey on the island, Robinson encounters extraordinary beings and events.

Link to Youtube trailer:


*Student/Senior pricing available.

Things Worth Weeping For, November 20, 2:00 PM, @ Majestic Tempe 7

Directed by Cristina Groșan. Stars Nóra Rainer-Micsinyei, Júlia Huzella, Judit Hernádi. 87 min. Original Language: Hungarian. With English subtitles.

Comedy/Drama, Hungary, 2021. Nominated for Best Film at Sarajevo Film Festival 2021.
Maja’s life is finally coming together and her boyfriend couldn’t be more pleased. In the midst of moving out from their student flat, Maja’s evening takes a surprising turn when she stumbles upon an old relative who is without a doubt, dead.

Link to youtube trailer:

Romanian Film Fest online, November 11-27 2022



November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark. Starring: Ana Dumitrașcu, Vasile Pavel, Cezar Grumăzescu. 114 min. Original Language: Romanian. With English subtitles.

Drama, Romania, 2021. US Premiere. Romania’s official pick for the 2023 Oscars. Giornate degli Autori Director’s Award, Giornate degli Autori Award for Women Screenwriters Under 40, and Best Debut Film at Venice Film Festival 2021. 

When young Daria enters rehab, her perceived innocence gains her the protection of the mostly male junkies inside, but she soon finds out that this special treatment comes at a great price.


Man and Dog

November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Ștefan Constantinescu. Starring: Bogdan Dumitrache, Ofelia Popii. 107 min. Original Language: Romanian. With English subtitles.

Drama, Romania/Bulgaria/Sweden/Germany, 2022. Nominated for Best Feature Film, Transilvania International Film Festival, 2022.

After having received a mysterious text message, Doru returns home from Sweden in the midst of the Corona outbreak due to the suspicion that his wife is having an affair. Alongside his mother’s rowdy dog, Amza, he is shadowing his wife around town, trying to uncover the possibilities of her betrayal.



November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Cecília Felméri. Starring: Bogdan Dumitrache, Diána Magdolna Kiss, Alexandra Borbély. 98 min. Original language: Hungarian. With English subtitles. 

Drama, Hungary/Romania, 2020. Special mention, Competition 1-2 at Warsaw International Film Festival 2020.

Two biology professors, Bence (Bogdan Dumitrache) and Janka (Diána Magdolna Kiss), live by a lake where fishers come to rent sheds. But inexplicably, the fish start dying and the couple starts disintegrating. The beginning of winter brings with it an event that leaves Bence alone until the spring when another woman steps into his life… What secrets does the lake hold? Will they be revealed?


The Island

November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Anca Damian. Starring: Alexander Balanescu, Lucian Ionescu, Cristina Juncu, Ada Milea. 84 min. Original Language: English.

Animation, Romania/France/Belgium, 2022. Nominated for Best Feature at Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2022.

The Little Prince meets Monty Python in this reinterpretation of the Robinson Crusoe myth. Robinson is a doctor and his solitude is voluntary on an island invaded by migrants, NGOs and guards. He saves Friday, a castaway, the only survivor of his illegal refugee boat. During his journey on the island, Robinson encounters extraordinary beings and events.



November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan, Michaela Kirst, Ebba Sinzinger. With Alexander von Bismarck. 97 min. Original language: English, Romanian, Russian, Chinese, Spanish. With English subtitles.

Documentary, Austria/Germany/Romania, 2020. International Competition Award, Visioni dal Mondo International Documentary Festival Milan, Italy 2020.

Illegal logging is a global business worth billions. Alexander von Bismarck, descendant of the Iron Chancellor and head of the Environmental Investigation Agency in Washington D.C., successfully pursues the machinations of the timber mafia worldwide – with dyed hair, a concealed camera and sound recording equipment.


The Man Who Would Be Free

November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Mihai Mincan, George Chiper-Lillemark. 106 min. Original Language: Romanian. With English subtitles.

Documentary, Romania, 2019. Nominated Best Documentary Film, Gopo Awards, 2020.

July 1999, Bucharest. A dead man’s body is found in a small apartment and the case is classified by the police as suicide. That man’s name was Cezar Mititelu and he was 54. Throughout his life, Mititelu never had any kind of property; he refused to be ever employed and referred to “paid work” as “corruption.” He fathered a son, but had no true family, nor did he ever wish for one. In the eyes of the communist authorities, he was a “social parasite”, hunted all his life by the Secret Police and sent to prison twice. Was he a wandering philosopher, a guru or just a charlatan? This is the story of a man who embarked on a radical pursuit of finding true freedom and discovered, along the way, that he needs to change the entire world.


The Certainty of Probabilities

November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Raluca Durbacă. With Nicolae Ceaușescu, Ion Iliescu, Nicolae Mărgineanu. 90 min. Original language: Romanian, French, Spanish. With English subtitles. 

Found footage documentary, Romania, 2020. 

This documentary is made exclusively from archival materials produced by the Alexandru Sahia Studio (the state-controlled documentary film company of Socialist Romania). The images focus on and re-construct Romania during 1968, which was, according to the Communist authorities of the time, the most prosperous and optimistic year of socialist rule.


Us Against Us

November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Andra Tarara. 74 min. Original language: Romanian. With English subtitles. 

Documentary, Romania, 2020. Nominated Best Feature Film Transilvania International Film Festival, 2021.

The director and her father take a camera in hand, film and interview each other discussing schizophrenia, their own pasts, and their personal conceptions of happiness. The film is a personal statement of two people affected by or marked by a mental disorder: a father forced to live with it and a daughter who had to grow up with a sick and often absent father.


Ukrainian Sheriffs

November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Roman Bondarchuk. 85 min. Original language: Ukrainian, Russian. With English subtitles. 

Documentary, Ukraine/Latvia/Germany, 2015. Special Jury Award, Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, 2015.

Like a bird, the Ukrainian flag flies along perched on the car of two affable “sheriffs” deputized by the mayor of a village in southern Ukraine. There’s a sly bum whose gift is not to work. There’s a guy who puts an anaconda in his woman’s shed. The advent of Euromaidan, and draft-dodgers abound. Town folks are dipping in icy water and laughing, but are they divided in their loyalty? These sheriffs are taking you along for the ride.



November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Balázs Turai. 14 min. No dialogues.

Animated short, Hungary/Romania, 2022. Best Short, Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2022.

After losing his fiancée and his good looks in a freak accident, Clyde must confront his inner demon.


Plastic Semiotic  

November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Radu Jude. 22 min. Starring: toys. No dialogues.

Stop motion short, Romania, 2021. Nominated for Best Short, Philadelphia Film Festival, 2021.

The life of human beings, seen from birth to old age. Only that this generic life is not represented with humans, but with the artifacts that we the humans have created for our children (or should we say “cubs”?), in order to prepare them for life: the toys. So, the film is a collage of scenes in which the toys help us better understand a possible essence of our life.


The Marshal’s Two Executions

November 11-27, online.

Directed by Radu Jude. 10 min. 

Found footage short, Romania, 2018. Nominated for Short Dox Award, Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival, 2019

The film confronts two different views of the execution of General Ion Antonescu, Romania’s leader during the Second World War. On one side is silent black-and-white footage of the execution as recorded in 1946 by cameraman Ovidiu Gologan; on the other are scenes from a biographical film shot in 1994 by director Sergiu Nicolaescu.


The Deer Passed in front of Me

November 11-27, online. 

Directed by Vlad Petri. 27 min. Original Language: Romanian. With English subtitles.

Found footage short, Romania, 2020. Best Documentary Short Film, Gopo Awards, 2021

During the Covid-19 lockdown the director’s grandmother passed away. As he sifted through personal archives, he found an audio recording of her and some old photo albums. Composed entirely from photographs, this is the story of her life against the backdrop of the historical changes Romania have been through in the 20th century.

Questions & Answers

Q&A with director Cristina Groșan

Nov. 13, 2022 at 10:00 AM – 13 Nov. 2022 at 11:00 AM

Join us for a live discussion with Things Worth Weeping For director Cristina Groșan. Register HERE.

Cristina Groșan is a Hungarian-Romanian filmmaker and visual artist working on fiction films screened at festivals worldwide. Her award-winning short “Holiday at the Seaside” exploring a mother-daughter relationship screened at more than 40 festivals.

Cristina is keen on connecting to the places she’s lived in, working in both her homecountries, Hungary and Romania. Her debut feature “Things Worth Weeping For” premiered at the Sarajevo International Film Festival’s main competition and received several nominations for Best Film at film festivals. The film’s lead actress, Nóra Rainer-Micsinyei was awarded Best Actress at the Bosphorus International Film Festival in 2021. Her second feature, “Ordinary Failures”, was developed with Czech writer Klára Vlasákova. The film premiered at the Giornate degli Autori competitive section in September 2022, as part of the Venice Biennale where Cristina was awarded the “Autrici under 40 – Valentina Pedicini award” for Best Director.

Q&A with director Ștefan Constantinescu and actress Ofelia Popii

Nov. 15, 2022 at 10:00 AM – 15 Nov. 2022 at 11:00 AM


Join us for a live discussion with Man and Dog director Ștefan Constantinescu and actress Ofelia Popii. Register HERE.

Ştefan Constantinescu (1968, Bucharest) is a Romanian filmmaker and artist. He works in multiple mediums, including film, photography, artist books and painting. He has studied classical painting, film and video at the Bucharest Academy of Art and Film and at the Royal Art Academy in Stockholm. In 2009 he represented Romania at the Venice Biennale with the film Troleibuzul 92. In 2012 his short film Family Dinner screened in Semaine de la Critique in Cannes, and in 2013 his short film Six Big Fish premiered in the competition of the Locarno Film Festival. His feature length documentary My Beautiful Dacia (2009) went on to numerous international festivals (IDFA, Jihlava, Montreal, among others) and received the Jury Prize in Documenta Madrid. “Noah’s Ark – An Improbable Space Survival Kit” is a book he created alongside Corina Ilea.

Ofelia Popii is a prolific Romanian film and theater actress. She graduated from The Faculty of Theater of the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca in 2001. She holds a PhD in Theater and Performance Arts. In 2001, she played first role in the movie Grand Hotel Victoria. In 2015 she won the Gopo Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the film Quod erat demonstrandum by Andrei Gruzsniczki. In 2019 she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Moon Hotel Kabul by Anca Damian.

Q&A with directors Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan and Michaela Kirst

Nov. 19, 2022 at 11:00 AM – 19 Nov. 2022 at 12:00 PM


Join us for a live discussion with Wood directors Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan and Michaela Kirst. Register HERE.

Michaela Kirst worked for many years as a journalist in New York and has headed the Berlin office of Sagafilm since 2011. She creates documentaries for TV and cinema as director and/or producer. Her films like DISGUSTINGLY HEALTHY, BROWN BABIES – GERMANY’S LOST CHILDREN or CRIME SCENE RAIN FOREST have won many awards.

Darwin on Times Square / 2020 / 52’
Himmel über Peking / 2013 / 43’
Tatort Regenwald: Undercover gegen die Holzmafia / 2012 / 53‘
Jesus Loves You / 2011 / 80’

Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan was the delegate producer of Adina Pintili’s Golden Bear Winner TOUCH ME NOT. With her newly established company Manifest Film, she produced ACASA, MY HOME, which won an award at Sundance 2020. She also successfully directed A MERE BREATH (2016), which won Best Documentary at LET’S CEE Film Fest and in Sarajevo.

Free Dacians / 2018 / 61’
A Mere Breath / 2016 / 67’
My Vote / 2011 / 42’

Q&A with directors Mihai Mincan and George Chiper-Lillemark

Nov. 20, 2022 at 09:00 AM – 20 Nov. 2022 at 10:00 AM


Join us for a live discussion with The Man Who Would Be Free directors Mihai Mincan and George Chiper-Lillemark. Register HERE.

George Chiper-Lillemark is a director of photography and director living in Copenhagen. He has photographed numerous feature and short films, including Touch Me Not (2018) by Adina Pintilie. He also co-directed the short The Sandpit #186 (2009) with Adina Pintilie and The Man who would be free (2019) with Mihai Mincan. His short The Palm Lines (2009) was screened by Locarno and Rotterdam IFF. The drama Immaculate, which he co-directed with Monica Stan, was selected as Romania’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 2023 Oscars.

Mihai Mincan is a Philosophy graduate from the University of Bucharest. Between 2004 and 2016 he worked as a journalist, editing many articles and investigative materials for the most important newspapers in Romania. In 2008 we wrote the script for the short film “The Palm Lines”, which premiered at the Locarno Film Festival. Since then he wrote and directed the shorts The Comet (2017) and Idilă (2019) and the documentaries Bondoc (2015), Emigrant Blues (2019) and The Man who would be free (2019). In 2022 his feature film debut To the North had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in the Orizzonti section, and received the Bisato d’Oro prize for best film.

Q&A with director Raluca Durbacă

Nov. 18, 2022 at 10:00 AM – 18 Nov. 2022 at 11:00 AM


Join us for a live discussion with The Certainty of Probabilities director Raluca Durbacă. Register HERE.

Raluca Durbacă (b. 1983) is a Romanian director and film critic. She is a graduate of the National Film and Theatre School in Bucharest (2015) with a degree in Film Studies and of the National School for Communication and Public Relations (2006) with a degree in Political Communication. She has been a contributing editor for well-known Romanian film magazine Film Menu from 2012 to 2016 and has published film studies essays in two editions of the collective volume The Politics of Film in 2014 and 2018. She has has over 10 years experience in film production and development and is an alumni of Talents Sarajevo 2014 and Torino FilmLab’s 2012 AdaptLab programe. The Certainty of Probabilities is her first feature documentary.

Q&A with directors Roman Bondarchuk and Andrei Dăscalescu

Nov. 23, 2022 at 10:00 AM – 23 Nov. 2022 at 11:00 AM


Join us for a live discussion with directors Roman Bondarchuk (Ukrainian Sheriffs) and Andrei Dăscălescu. Register HERE.

Roman Bondarchuk graduated from the Kyiv state University of Theatre, Cinema and TV. His teacher was Yuriy Illenko – one of the founders of Ukrainian Poetic Cinema school. Roman has created a number of short films, documentaries and music videos. He’s an author of the book of novels, photography and contemporary art exhibitions. He’s also been an award-winner at national and international film festivals. Roman works as art director and member of Selection Committee of International Human Rights documentary film festival Doucdays UA. As a documentary director he collaborated with MDR, ZDF, Arte and other TV channels. Among his famous films “The taxi-driver”, “Radunytsia”, “Cafe “Voyage”, “Euromaidan. Rough cut”. “Ukrainian Sheriffs” is his first feature-length documentary.

Andrei Dăscălescu is an established Romanian documentary film director, cinematographer and editor. His first two feature documentaries, Planet Petrila (2016) and Constantin and Elena (2008) have won prestigious awards (including awards at IDFA and Sarajevo Film Festival), have been selected in major international film festivals across the world (IDFA, San Francisco, Vancouver, Krakow, DocLisboa, Docaviv, Sarajevo, Montpellier etc.). Andrei was nominated 4 times and won “Best Documentary Award” in 2018 at the Gopo Awards (the Romanian equivalent to Academy Awards) with his documentary, Planet Petrila. His third documentary, Holy Father (2020) premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival, where it won the Jury Award. It also won the Audience Award at Astra Film Festival (Sibiu, Romania), the Best Director Award at Qara Film Festival (Almaty, Kazakhstan) and has been screened at festival such as Black Nights Tallinn, Magnificent 7 Belgrade, Go East Wiesbaden, Trieste Film Festival, Zagreb Dox and others). He is the founder and owner of FilmLab production company since 2007.

Q&A with director Andra Tarara

Nov. 17, 2022 at 12:00 PM – 17 Nov. 2022 at 01:00 PM


Join us for a live discussion with Us Against Us director Andra Tarara. Register HERE.

Andra Tarara (b. 1994) is an artist working in cinema, video art, photography. She is a UNATC Bucharest graduate in Film (2016) and a master’s degree graduate in Visual Anthropology from SNSPA Bucharest (2018).

Us Against Us (premiered at Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival 2020) is Tarara’s first feature film, a documentary made in collaboration with her father, which explores their relationship through an authentic dialogue about the illness that affected both their lives. It was selected in various Romanian and international film festivals, won Best Romanian Film Award at Astra Film Festival 2021, and it was also part of cultural initiatives that aim to fight against the stigmatization of mental illnesses.

WATCHING ONLINE: All the films presented in our 2022 festival online program are available to view from anywhere in the U.S, ONLY in the U.S.
You can purchase tickets or passes and watch the films when it is most convenient for you, during the festival, November 11-27. However, after the content becomes available November 11th at 1:01 am MST, you’ll have 16 days 23 hours to start watching. Once you begin to watch a film, you’ll have 48 hours to finish watching.

Thank you all for your continuous support!

Romanian Film Fest Arizona Team

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