The Japanese Dog sniffs at the Oscars
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Tudor Cristian Jurgiu’s first feature will represent Romania at the Academy Awards
One of the first entries to be announced for the 87th edition of the Academy Awards is The Japanese Dog [+see also:
film profile], which will represent Romania in the race for a nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category. The announcement was made by the Romanian National Film Center.
The commission in charge of the selection comprises film critics Eugenia Vodă, Magda Mihăilescu, Cristina Corciovescu, Dana Duma, Irina Margareta Nistor and Iulia Blaga, and Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) artistic director Mihai Chirilov.
The Japanese Dog stars Victor Rebengiuc, one of the most famous Romanian actors, having played the main character in Cannes award-winner The Forest of the Hanged in 1965. In Tudor Cristian Jurgiu's feature debut, the actor plays Costache Moldu, an old man who loses his wife and everything he possesses after his village is destroyed by a flood. Moldu has to decide whether he keeps the piece of land given to him by the local authorities. The return of his son, Ticu (Şerban Pavlu), who has lived for many years in Japan, will help him to decide on his future.
Production started in the summer of 2012, and the film was first screened in the New Directors competition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival in 2013; in April, it won the Best Film Award at the Vilnius International Film Festival. The Japanese Dog received eight nominations at the Gopos, Romania’s film industry awards, winning one prize for Victor Rebengiuc. Included in the Romanian Days at TIFF, the film won the Best First Feature Award.
The Japanese Dog was released domestically in October 2013. The total number of admissions taken in Romania was 10,739. The movie is handled internationally by German world sales company M-Appeal.