Early bird subscriptions for One World Romania #17 are now available
13 February 2024

This year is marked by electoral elections in half of the world. In an unprecedented electoral turnout, Romania will head to the polls not only to decide representatives in the European Parliament but also for local, parliamentary and presidential representatives. It is an ideal time to think more carefully and critically about the choices we make. While electoral elections may seem simple - a stamp on X or Y - the types of choices we face in all aspects of life are complicated by ethnicity, community, the country we belong to, and power dynamics we are subjected to. While we may not have control over the times we live in, we do have the power to choose our attitude towards them. Empathy, resilience and solidarity are some of the resources available to us in this matter. 

This is the premise to which this year's edition of One World Romania invites the audience from April 5th to April 14th, through a selection of documentaries that analyze choice from both a historical, systemic perspective, but also at the individual, day-to-day level.

Early Bird subscriptions are now on sale via Eventbook, priced at 120 lei for attendance at the festival in Bucharest (April 5th - 14th), or 160 lei for access to both the in-person screenings and online screenings (April 15th - 25th).

This year’s selection looks at the choices of individuals and communities (LGBTQ+, farmers, miners, click-workers, politicians, civil society) within a wide range of contexts: war and conflict, A.I., the commodification and avid exploitation of natural resources, the abuse of power, political demagoguery, the fight for workers’ rights, climate crisis, secular and religious co-existence, ethnic-gender-or-class discrimination and disenfranchisement, socio-economic and geo-political insecurity. Spanning the globe from Brazil to Ukraine, and Central African Republic to Palestine, these films offer us the privilege to discover stories of people or communities challenged by different contemporary issues. It is empathy and resistance, resilience and solidarity that define their choices and ultimately, their actions - concrete examples of humanity at work.

Two titles from this year's selection 

AL DJANAT, THE ORIGINAL PARADISE sees filmmaker Chloé Aïcha Boro returning to her home in Burkina Faso to attend her uncle’s funeral, only to witness a family divided over the decision to sell the family estate. This tender, lovingly portrayed family drama captures a community forced to choose between preserving ancestral ties and cultural heritage, or capitulating in front of capitalism’s accelerated change.

Crossing continents, we find choice and its literal and figurative consequences in SMILING GEORGIA. A tragicomedy that scrutinizes misleading populist demagoguery in Georgia’s presidential elections, Luka Beradze’s film paints a portrait of a village where votes are bought on the literal promise for new dentures - ‘a vote for a tooth.’ 

At OWR, the cinema experience is designed to be both "on-screen," through a rich and diverse selection of films, and "off-screen." Film screenings are followed by extensive discussions with filmmakers or local experts, creating a space for dialogue and reflection that encourages an engaged audience to actively participate in discussions on topics related to human rights, social, political, and environmental issues through the medium of cinema.

Curators' biographies

Anca Păunescu has studied German philology and film, and for the past 7 years, she has been intensely involved in documentary film selection, curation, and creative consulting in special programs at various European festivals. Currently, she works as a programmer at OWR and as the main documentary film selector at the Neisse Film Festival in Germany. Additionally, she is a consultant and part of the (pre)selection teams for festivals such as DokuFest (Kosovo), FIPADOC (France), and Karlovy Vary IFF (Czech Republic). Furthermore, she has served as a jury member at Makedox, Kasseler Dokfest, Iceland Documentary FF, and DOK Leipzig Co-Pro Market. Anca's diverse roles and extensive experience underscore her commitment to promoting documentary cinema and supporting filmmakers across Europe.

Andrei Tănăsescu is a curator based in Toronto and Bucharest, with studies in film (University of Toronto, University of St. Andrews) and a consistent interest in the historical reassessment of music and cinema. In 2019, he curated "Videograms of a Nation," an expansive retrospective of Romanian cinema for EUROPALIA ROMANIA. He has worked on programming teams for TIFF Toronto, "Kino Pavasaris" Vilnius IFF, the Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival (BIEFF), and collaborated with Berlinale Forum and the American Independent Film Festival in Bucharest (AIFF). He oversees the Works-in-Progress section at Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest, is a programmer for Bildrausch - Filmfest Basel and One World Romania, and is a member of the selection committee for Giornate degli Autori (Venice Days).


One World Romania Association

The Administration of the National Cultural Fund

UNHCR - UN Refugee Agency, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Rule of Law Programme South East Europe.

Other event partners, both new and traditional, are currently in the process of confirmation.


RFI România, Radio România Cultural, Black Rhino Music, Scena9, ELLE România, Igloo România, Revista ARTA, Revista FILM, Observator Cultural, Zile și Nopți, Școala9, Mindcraft Stories, Cărturești, Films in Frame, All About Romanian Cinema, Cutra, Film Menu, Liternet, Filmmakers for Ukraine, Cinefilia, Cinepub, The Institute 

The project does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how the project's results may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the funding recipient.

Established in 2009, the One World Romania Association organizes the only documentary film and human rights festival in the country, One World Romania, which takes place annually in Bucharest. The association works with documentary film as a vehicle for social and political dialogue, as a window to the world and an environment that prompts reflection. Through its activities, the association supports the development of the demand for documentaries in Romania, leading in recent years to an increased interest in this genre, both among the general public and within educational programs.