The Soldiers and 1985 win awards at Transilvania Pitch Stop
by Stefan Dobroiu
- The winning projects will be presented in the Industry Days programme of the Locarno Film Festival
Transilvania Pitch Stop (TPS), one of the three industry programmes (see the news) at the Transilvania International Film Festival (29 May – 7 June, Cluj-Napoca), has announced the winners of its second edition: Ivana Mladenovic’s The Soldiers won the TPS Development Award, while Bogdan Mureşanu’s 1985 won the CoCo Award, offered by Connecting Cottbus. Both projects will be pitched in the Industry Days programme of the Locarno International Film Festival (5-15 August).
The Soldiers, an adaptation of Andrei Şchiop’s novel of the same name, tells the story of Adi, a 35-year-old gay anthropologist who moves to Ferentari, one of the poorest and most dangerous neighbourhoods of Bucharest, to study the manele (the pop music of the Roma community) phenomenon. Adi receives help from Alberto, a Roma ex-convict with whom he will start a relationship, thus making two very different backgrounds collide.
Mladenovic says she is not interested in the “exotic” aspect of the story, the purpose of her project being to “challenge the so-called normal people to question their values, which, most of the time, are only ideas taken for granted without any reflection”. The film is produced by Hi Film Productions. In March, The Soldiers won a €195,000 grant from the Romanian National Film Center.
In 1985, Bogdan Mureşanu plans to explore the Bucharest of the titular year. In a city disfigured by dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu’s megalomaniac urban planning, a Secret Police officer is asked to investigate the case of illegal manifestos that protest against the extensive demolitions. The large-scale conflict is compounded by a more personal one: the officer’s mother lives in a neighbourhood that is set to be demolished, but she refuses to move out. The director says he wants to “tell a story about the power of an individual to oppose a whole system”.