Made by Aristoteles Workshop:
Mohamed Tomescu, award for Best Image at Astra 2014

Mohamed Tomescu, a short documentary produced by Aristoteles Workshop, won the Prize for Best Image at Astra 2014, an important film festival considered to be the best documentary forum in Romania.

The team who made this film happen was made of Norbert Fodor (Romania), the cinematographer, Olesya Bortnyak (Ukraine), the director, and Razvan Ilinca (Romania), the editor. Mohamed Tomescu was shot last year on Aristoteles Workshop, the international documentary film workshop organized by Dan Nutu, which just finished it’s 9th edition.

The Astra Film Festival competitive sections had a jury formed of prestigious filmmakers: Cristi Puiu (Romania), Michael Stewart (UK), Darya Bassel (Ukraine), Sorin Botoseneanu (Romania), Cynthia Close (USA), Nicholas Feodoroff (France), Mona Nicoară (Romania/SUA), Diana Tabakov (Czech Republic), Eugenia Vodă (Romania) and Yang Yonghi (Japan).

Mohamed Tomescu (24 min.) tells the story of a Syrian boy, hip-hop artist living in a Bucovina village, far away from the trouble in Syria but also emotionally very far away from his father.

“It’s my third year at Astra Film Festival”, says cinematographer Fodor Norbert. “The first two years  I came for the masterclasses, this year I came with Mohamed Tomescu, for the Student section nomination. I always come back happily, this place is filled with people willing to talk to you.” As for the award “we were surprised, but we very much welcomed it. I don’t believe awards are a measuring scale for the quality of the film, though.”, says Norbert.

Olesya Bortnyak, the director of the film, says: „Documentaries are generally the director’s vision, but the audience sees them through the eyes of the cinematographer. It was a pleasure to work with Norbert – such a brilliant cinematographer and also a good guy. He always seemed to discover the perfect beautiful moment and revelation that carry a story inside a narrative ”

“I am happy for Norbert”, says Razvan Ilinca, the editor of the film. „We worked very well together at Aristoteles Workshop and so we kept on collaborating and in fact we’re working together right now. And what’s more, we also became good friends.”

Mohamed Tomescu, the Syrian from Vama

The film tells the story of Mohamed Tomescu, a young man with a passion for music who tries to answer questions about his identity. His father is Syrian, his mother is Romanian. They are divorced. The community where he lives regards him as the Syrian boy who lives in Vama. He wants to change his name and forget about Syria but doesn’t know how to break the news to his father. His wish will hurt the already fragile relationship he has with his father. At the point of the shooting, the Syria conflict was ongoing and growing in intensity for more than two years.

The soundtrack of the film Mohamed Tomescu is signed by none other than the real Mohamed Tomescu.

The film was in the official competition (Student section) at Astra Film Festival. Also, this year, the documentary was nominated (Premiers Pas section) at Visions du réel festival, Nyon, Switzerland. Mohamed Tomescu was also nominated for the Gopo Awards, Bucharest, Romania, and for Best Documentary at the International Student Film Festival FFEST, Cluj-Napoca, Romania,

Brick in the Wall, another documentray filmed at Aristoteles Workshp, 8th edition, was also selected at Astra Film festival and was presented in the Made in Romania section. The documentary was made by Grzegorz Brzozowski (director, Poland), Ioana Țurcan (cinematographer, Romania), Iulia Matei (editor, Romania).

Astra Film Festival took place between 6 and 12 October, in Sibiu, Romania.