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FESTIVALS Romania

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Two Romanian debut features to compete at Locarno

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Two Romanian debut features to compete at Locarno

Two Romanian debut features – Palme d'Or winner Marian Crisan's Morgen and Bogdan George Apetri's Periferic (“Outskirts”) – will compete in the international competition of the 2010 Locarno International Film Festival (August 4-14), the films' producers told Cineuropa.

Morgen is produced by Romania's leading production company, Mandragora, also behind Cristi Puiu's The Death of Mister Lazarescu [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Aurora [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Clara Voda
film profile
]
and Crisan's short Megatron, the 2008 Palme d'Or winner.

The film tells a story set at the Romanian-Hungarian border: Nelu, a supermarket security guard and passionate fisherman finds an illegal Kurdish immigrant hiding in the river near town and must decide what to do with him.

Shot last autumn in Crisan's hometown of Salonta, Morgen is inspired by an article the director read in the local press. The film stars András Hatházi and Elvira Rimbu, while Kurdish character Behran is played by Turkish actor Yalcin Yilmaz.

Mandragora co-produced with Slot Machine (France) and Katapult Film (Hungary). A third of the film’s €890,000 budget comes from the Romanian National Centre of Cinema.

Mandragora will release the film domestically in the autumn through its distribution arm, Mandragora Movies, while international sales are handled by Les Films du Losange.

Meanwhile, Apetri’s Periferic centres on Matilda, a young prisoner who considers fleeing Romania when she is released on 24-hour leave in order to resolve family problems. Ana Ularu, Mimi Branescu, Andi Valsuianu and Timotei Duma star in this co-production by Saga Film (Romania) and Aichholzer Filmproduktion (Austria).

Morgen and Periferic are the first Romanian films in Locarno's international competition since Nae Caranfil's The Rest is Silence [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
in 2007. The country's biggest success at the Swiss festival came in 2003, when Peter Calin Netzer's Maria won several awards, including a Special Jury Prize and Bronze Leopards for actors Diana Dumbrava and Serban Ionescu.

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