Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Our School Nominated for the Romanian Gopo Awards!

The Gopo Award statue. Image: Premiile Gopo

Wonderful news: This morning we were nominated in the Best Documentary category of Romanian Gopo Awards (Premiile Gopo)! It's fantastic to see Alin, Beni and Dana's story included among the best Romanian films of last year. We are honored and moved to be nominated, and thrilled to be in the company of such wonderful Romanian documentaries as Radu Muntean's Visiting Hours.

The Gopos were set up in 2006 to reward the best Romanian film productions of each year - of which there is quite a bit these days: Past winners include 12:08 East of Bucharest, Palme d'Or Winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, Emmy-winner The World According to Ion B, and the fantastic Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu

The Gopos were named after Romanian animation artist and Palme d'Or winner Ion Popescu Gopo, whose iconic character serves as the award statue. He's sort of an inverted Oscar: Equally bold and naked and shiny, he's a lot less muscular or broad-shouldered, sporting instead a pot belly to balance his large, puzzled head.

The awards ceremony will be held in Bucharest in late March.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cold Cannot Stop Us: Our Most Memorable Screening in France

Audience marching between screening locations in the freezing cold. Photo courtesy of Cousou Main (c) Sandrine Balade

Last night we had an epic screening in the Festival Étoiles Francophones, in the words of Miruna Coca-Cozma: The boiler in the Magic Cinéma de Bobigny broke on account of the freezing temperatures, and the entire audience dutifully marched to a nearby library. 

Everyone stayed for the screening and the Q&A, despite the cold and the unusual logistics. We had an animated after-screening debate with Julie Biro from CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Director Miruna Coca-Cozma, and Philippe Goossens from Amnesty International France - and a fully defrosted audience. We were especially honored by the presence and participation of teachers working with Roma children (from Romania and elsewhere) in integrated schools in Bobigny. 

We clearly have an audience that's not only devoted, but very disciplined and patient. Grand merci! And thank you to the organizers of the festival, Cousu Main, for making this possible against the odds, to the Elsa Triolet Library for their last-minute hospitality, and to our partners at Amnesty International for being there for us, as always. 

This is by no means our last screening in France - but it will certainly be the most memorable!

After-screening discussion. Photo courtesy of Cousou Main (c) Sandrine Balade