fARAD International Film Festival dedicates its ninth edition to investigative documentaries, with 11 films recognized in major international festivals, a majority of which are presented in Romanian Premiere. The main screenings hosted between September 7-11 by Cinema Arta in Arad will be complemented by two special screenings in Timișoara on September 7 and 9, organised in partnership with Institut Francais Timișoara and hosted by the Institute's Garden.
“This year’s tribute to investigative documentaries”, notes fARAD artistic director Dimitris Kerkinos, “aims to pinpoint the sub-genre’s growing importance, highlighting its social and political urgency as well as the filmmakers’ daring narrative and aesthetic approaches to the stories they share with us. The selected films explore stories of personal, social and political importance, such as the disappearance of a rock star of the seventies (Searching for Sugarman), the secret lifelong relationship of two women who fell in love in a concentration camp (Nelly & Nadine), the mysterious and dark figure of Norberto Otero who launched a parallel broadcasting of the moon launching (Channel 54), the enigmatic cult Uruguayan filmmaker Manuel Lamas (Straight to VHS), the tragic fate of a Soviet Tatar prisoner of war and his struggle for survival and salvation in Stalin’s gulags (Turn Your Body to the Sun), the discovery of the true intentions of an afforestation national program in Israel by a Canadian Jew (My Tree), the intricate relationship between place, community and identity as expressed through the memories of those who lived in a residential building in Paris and survived the war (The Neighbours). It also includes investigations that surpass the standard journalistic enquiry, ‘dramatizing’ the real act of investigation in the narrative such as, For a Fistful of Fries, where Inspector Lemoine is investigating a murder case in a Brussels or The Mole Agent where an 83-year-old man becomes a mole inside retirement home. Others explore the cinematic medium to get closer to the truth, such as Three Minutes – A Lengthening in which the exhaustive examination of a three minutes reel unfolds the hidden stories of a Jewish community before they were taken to concentration camps, or Depth Two, that combines verbal testimonies with filming images of the places where an untold massacre took place during the war in Yugoslavia in its brave attempt to bring to light the intentionally buried war crimes."
The screenings will be accompanied by Q&A sessions with this year's special guests, directors Magnus Gertten (Sweden), Ognjen Glavonić (Serbia) and Ruth Zylberman (France).
fARAD 9's offline events will be complemented by an online conversation dedicated to investigative documentaries and this year's selection (Saturday, September 10, 12:00 on the Facebook pages of fARAD and Insula 42).
Admission is free to all events, within capacity.
ARAD: Cinema Arta (Str. Vasile Alecsandri nr. 2)
TIMIȘOARA: The Garden of the Institut Francais (Blvd Constantin Diaconovici Loga nr. 46)
The public events are complemented by the industry component of the festival, the fARAD Lab dedicated to emerging documentaries, which will return to Arad for its seventh edition and its traditional format.