NexT preparing for kick-start in April
by Toma Peiu
As the submission deadline for competition entries is over, the second edition of the NexT International Short and Medium Length Film Festival in Bucharest is preparing to make a big impact on the Balkan and Central European film industry, with seven days of competition film sceenings, masterclasses and special programmes.
Starting April 7, the festival has expanded from three days to a week, following the huge success of the first edition in 2007. Following a thrilling 2007 performance by sound designer-editor Walter Murch, this year’s highlights include a special directing masterclass held by Cristian Mungiu, the director of the last year’s Palme d’Or winner, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [+see also:
interview: Cristian Mungiu
interview: Oleg Mutu
The special programme They Have Also Been the NexT Generation, focusing on student films of established Romanian filmmakers of the New Wave, is dedicated in 2008 to producer-directors Tudor Giurgiu (Love Sick) and Mungiu (Occident), while the Critics Week showcase will feature a selection of films from this section of the Cannes festival.
The latest works of Cristian Nemescu and Andrei Toncu’s filmmaker friends will be screened in Festival Friends, while the three 90-minute screenings of Countries in Focus will be shared this year by Spain, Ireland and Sweden. The brand-new Festival Cities will cover a virtual map of all of Europe, featuring films awarded in important short and medium-length film festivals such as Milan, Ludwigsburg, Sarajevo, Lisbon and Belgrade.
Founded by the friends and collaborators of director Nemescu (born 1979) and sound-designer Toncu (born 1978), killed in a car-crash in august 2006, NexT is meant to keep a living memory of their talent for the wider public and also to support young Romanian filmmakers, providing them with a showcase and competition for their shorts.
Nemescu’s sole feature film, California Dreamin’ [+see also:
film profile], won the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes last year. His previous medium-length film, Marilena from P7, sound-designed by Toncu, was one of the big hits in Cannes’ Critics Week in 2006, while their graduation short C-Block Story (2004) was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2004 European Film Awards.
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