The Romanian art scene in 2014 – an overview (part four)

Questions for Dana Altman, NYC


What Romanian art events (solo/collective show, artist talk, workshop, festival, biennale, editorial work) in 2014 did you find interesting/decisive in indicating a way, a style, a new area of expertise, or an already known and established area of artistic research and activity? What were the lesser moments in the artistic Romanian art scene of the year 2014? In short why?

What international art event of those you’ve seen or heard of in 2014 did you like best? Was there something you found worthy of attention, special, uncommon, or (on the contrary) was there anything typical and representative, already engraved in the international art scene of 2014? What didn’t you like in 2014?


MAKING WAVES: New Romanian Cinema, independent since 2012, is a new platform for The Romanian New York film festival that made its debut in 2006 under the patronage of the Romanian Cultural Institute New York. After Corina Şuteu and her team left the institution due the shift in cultural policies, the festival was revived under a new brand. The institutional platform is Film ETC.

The festival grew in a context where Romanian cinematography gained more and more international institutional recognition without being promoted or financed by the governmental institutions and with not support from the civil society. First and foremost, the festival understood the crucial importance of establishing a constant and mediatized presence in an important cultural center; second of all, the festival is not only catered to the Romanian public, but to the American public as well, who only 10 years ago knew almost nothing about the cinematography of an European country that is hard to find on the map. The organizing team understood that, in the context of a constant influx of events, fragmentary presence is not enough and it does not guarantee recognition. MAKING WAVES applies the pattern of the festival/art fair to a cultural area that never knew this way of working in New York. There is a lack of promotional strategy for the Romanian cinematography and contemporary cultural production due to the governmental structures that only take note of cultural events when an international award or nomination offers them the chance to snatch some inexistent merits. Under these circumstances, the festival is a unique and welcomed means of promoting. Not only does it promote contemporary events, but it also sheds a new light on historically important films that risk being forgotten.

The financial model for MAKING WAVES is a first in the Romanian scene – It does not follow the well-known pattern of sponsorship that unfortunately leads too often to a forced agenda, but rather it uses crowd-funding via Kickstarter which ensures the organizing team’s creative freedom. Donations range from just a few dollars to big sums and over 500 people contributed to the first two editions of this new brand and festival. Important celebrities of the art world are amongst the supporters; there were immediate favorable reviews in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times or Village Voice.

With Corina Şuteu as the creator and president, Mihai Chirilov as the creative director and Oana Radu and her team taking care of exectutive directing, MAKING WAVES: New Romanian Cinema is a new event by the Romanian Film Initiative as part of Film ETC., in collaboration with Society of Lincoln Center and Jacob Burns Film Center.


Adriana Oprea

Adriana Oprea is an art critic and historian. She has been publishing essays and reviews in Revista 22 and is a collaborator of Revista ARTA since its relaunch in 2010. In 2006 she started working in ...

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