In 2015, for the 8th edition of One World Romania, we decided that we would gather on the "kino-maidan". That's because the word maidan has changed meaning: it no longer describes a mere feature of urban geography, but, rather, a public space where people gather to discuss their problems and to be together. We want One World Romania to become a meeting place where people come to see great documentary cinema, and where ideas are freed from the strictures of the status quo. On our maidan, we are guided by our empathy for our fellow human beings and the freedom to be ourselves. Our program of films and side events opens our eyes towards maidans on 5 continents.

The "kino-maidan" is divided into thematic sections that reflect what is happening today in the world: a section about the troublemakers that reclaim democracy wherever it is in peril, one about the new, wild capitalism nestled in countries that are still struggling with tyranny, another one about the battlefields opened up by humans against nature, as well as a "trauma ward" dedicated to the scars left by the recent past. For the first time this year, we have a regional focus: we decided to start with Africa - a continent too little known in our parts of the world. As teenagers always play the main leads on the maidan, this year we continue our special programs for them: first, we run our usual series of screenings for high school students; second, the festival jury itself consists, as always, of high schol students; and finally, we dedicate a section to the turmoils and perplexities associated with the coming of age. This year we bring documentaries that have been nominated or even won an Oscar in 2015, films that open up surprising stylistic possibilities, as well as the newest productions from Romanian filmmakers based elsewhere in the world.

Our previous editions included retrospectives from prestigious documentary auteurs. This year we went for a change: we are foregrounding a producer - a role that is not enough understood in Romania, as it is too easily identified with the strictly financial side of things. The remarkable career of Heino Deckert is the happy result of a combination between creativity, courage and an ability to collaborate with very different directors. His profile at One World Romania includes a restrospective and a masterclass.

This year our industry programs are stronger and more diverse. The National Film Board of Canada present their innovative work in the field of online and interactive documentaries. We reinvent our workshop for documentary filmmakers, draw a picture of European co-production, and sit and talk with Romanian authors about their methods to tame reality.

In the end, as you are going to see, docmakers and their cameras show up oin all the maidans of the world, whether covered in asphalt, blood, or dust, or simply virtual. Join us on the kino-maidan!

Alexandru Solomon