What is CFF?
Câmpulung Film Fest is an international film festival which invites every year, at the end of August, in the mountainous town of Câmpulung located in the Northern Romania, two countries: one from Europe, the other a non-European country.
A comparative festival?
The third edition of this festival took place between the 23rdand the 26thof August in 2018, having as guests Israel and Hungary, revolving around the graduation films from SZFE Budapest and Sam Spiegel and Television School. The 2017 edition confronted France with The United States of America. Two highly appreciated schools were the homes of 10 short films brought at the festival: La Femis from Paris and Columbia University from New York. The first edition hosted films from The National Film School of Denmark located in Copenhagen and The National Institute of Design from Ahmedabad, India, with its film department.
The projections take place in an established succession, having in mind the comparison between two oppositions. Hence, they come in packages. For example, a French film is followed by an American one. A Danish film is followed by one from India. Nonetheless, they are placed together based on the theme they explore, this being the locus of a unification between the two. At the intersection of the two cinematographic experiences, we hope a third, new perspective will take birth: a personal, reflexive view, directed to our own culture.
The most accurate example we can offer is the following: The first edition, hosting India and Denmark, projected a package of films focusing on and mirroring a very specific theme, uniting two very different cultural sceneries: “Open eyes”- the story of a blind young woman from Copenhagen and “Echo”, the life of a deaf 5 year old girl from Ahmedabad. A deeply humane and rich experience, we travelled half the globe to witness the portrayals of two lives, in an hour.
This festival represents a unique challenge in the Romanian film festival scene, focusing on cultural richness and diversity, concerning the projections. The third edition witnessed something new. We invited in our comparative mix short films from our Romanian Film School based in Bucharest, UNATC, with this having in mind the inclusion of a national/local cinematographic experience.
What is our purpose? To connect dots on maps, concrete and metaphorical maps, to create unique cultural, cinematographic sceneries in the hearts of the members of our public.
The long-term strategy in the minds of the project’s initiators is to transform the festival in an event which will bring multiple changes for our community and will create a space for social and cultural growth concerning its members.
Twenty years ago, due to the national collapse of the network, two local cinemas were closed down. Our commitment is to revive the cinema scene in our town, by uniting our forces with the Municipality and the local community.
Hence, the projections in our three editions were hosted in three kinds of spaces:
1. in formal places:
- The Auditorium of a local High-school “Dragos-Voda”, with a capacity of 250 places;
- the Catholic Church of our town, with a capacity of 200 places.
2. forgotten historical urban spaces:
- the old local Cinema Luceafărul, where we organised vertical projections, on the ceiling of the hall, electronic music concerts, theatre plays, and a social lounge;
- the Jewish Temple “Havre Gah”, closed down more than 30 years ago, brought to life by documentaries and photo expositions;
- the Old Synagogue (photo);
- our local, abandoned pool, used as a cinema space for screenings;
- the Bodea Hill, with a projection dedicated to a marginalised community.
3. symbolical spaces:
- the Istrate Ski Slope, open air screening for the two closure nights, with around 600 people in attendance;
- the communist architecture style neighbourhood “Bodea”.
Our purpose when choosing these spaces was to stimulate dialogue, to offer alternative ways of thinking about and enjoying culture. We want to offer settings for intergenerational exchange, connecting the past and the present of our community.
Testimonials from our guests
“I lived one of the most intense moments of 2017 at Câmpulung Film Festival! I enjoyed an extraordinary projection of “Chuck Norris vs. Communism”, surpassing Sundance: open air, among the blocks of flats, an impressive church behind the projector. In Bucovina you find the most beautiful flowers and souls, cinematographic! An unforgettable experience, the proof lies in the taken pictures, with a team like no other!”
Irina Margareta Nistor, film critic
“CFF is not only one of the best film festivals I ever attended, but also one of the greatest experiences I had in 2017. I made friends with whom I still keep in touch, I visited one of the most beautiful countries and the team did everything to make sure I will have a good experience. This festival made me feel that I am welcome in a film loving family, with very spirited people.”
Jamie Sisley, film director / USA
“Unul dintre cele mai intense momente ale lui 2017, l-am trăit la Festivalul de la Câmpulung Moldovenesc! Am avut cea mai extraordinară proiecție cu «Chuck Norris vs Communism», mai ceva ca la Sundance: în aer liber, între blocuri, cu o biserică impresionantă în spatele pânzei. În Bucovina sunt cele mai frumoase flori și suflete, cinematografice! A fost o experiență de neuitat, mărturie stau fotografiile, cu o echipa fara seamăn!”
IRINA MARGARETA NISTOR - critic de film
“CFF a fost nu doar unul dintre cele mai bune festivaluri la care-am participat, dar a fost una dintre cele mai grozave experiențe pe care le-am avut în 2017. Mi-am făcut prieteni cu care sunt în continuare în legătură, am avut ocazia să vizitez una dintre cele mai frumoase țări pe care le-am văzut iar echipa festivalului a făcut totul să se asigure că voi avea o experiență pozitivă. Festivalul m-a făcut să mă simt primit într-o familie de iubitori de film extrem de inimoși.”
JAMIE SISLEY - regizor / SUA
“You know that a festival is good when the other participants are as enthusiastic as you, when they become your friends on the road to the festival, when it includes films made by the local youth about the culture of the town, when the criteria of selection are the problems of the community and its directions of development. With films and subjects which will bring to mind the younger “we”, the present “we” or the possible “we” of the future if attention is not being paid.
You know a festival is good when you see people wandering in a hectic way, from a show room to another, starting in the morning till the evening. This is how things are in Câmpulung Moldovenesc during this film festival.”
Daniel Popa, director and actor
“Câmpulung Film Fest is an incredible experience I will most certainly not forget. A friendly team, a very warm welcoming and a very diverse program. I had the honor to present three of my films, one of them being projected in a special manner, on the ceiling of an old cinema hall.”
Mathieu Le Lay, film director / France
“Câmpulung Moldovenesc is very much like the planet Petrila. What else could I wish for it but to become a planet! And since two planets already form a solar system, all that we have to do now is to find our light together.”
Ion Barbu - cartoonist, protagonist of “Planeta Petrila”