The 11th edition is, for us, a moment of renewal and growth. In 2018 we come forward to our audience with a new team and a new approach. It’s a new beginning. Reset. The festival is significantly extended – from 7 to 10 days, from 50 to over 80 films; the program is presented in 8 locations; the accompanying events have – in this new formula – a special prominence; the festival is announced and prepared by three weeks of warm-up events.
However, around us, in the real world, we see the rise of authoritarianism, the regression to all sorts of fundamentalisms, the revival of racism and intolerance; in our neighbouring countries or in the realm of great powers, justice and civil society are attacked, citizen rights are restricted and history is once again the ground of state propaganda.
The festival’s message in 2018 becomes more distinct against this background. More than ever, we need to open our eyes and… Get Real: in this year of the centennial anniversary, we look back to a picture from 1848, “Romania breaking its shackles on Liberty Plain”. We have transfixed this ideal picture into a real landscape, the landscape that exists beyond our bubble and which we refuse to see. A Romania still handcuffed by poverty and basic gaps; one in which different, contradictory worlds coexist. More than ever, these worlds need to know each other and to communicate. This is our reason to exist, as a festival and an association.
In this edition, the past that illuminates the present has a central place. Around this pivot gravitate other sections and events, devoted to 1968, the cultures of protest, the memory of archives and to the way filmmakers play with the representations of the past. The festival brings forward the role of art as social and political action, but also that of education, as the ground which can nurture the real change. A special accent of this 11th edition is placed upon the rights of the LGBTQ community. A few months ago, while setting the agenda of our festival, we didn’t foresee that – in Bucharest – some screenings of films dedicated to this subject will be stopped by people who refuse to watch them at least. It would be extraordinary if we could convince them to watch those they fear and they reject. It would be extraordinary if we could, all of us, look beyond our bubble. This would be a new beginning.
Reset. Get Real. Enjoy the festival!