“Take a camera, shoot something, show it to somebody” – Jean-Luc Godard

A month for a documentary: 15 participants paid the due and 6 movies came at the other end of August in Baru, Hunedoara county. Very few documentary workshops around the world set the bar this high: a film from scratch, in 5 weeks or less, with a crew you’ve never met before, in a place you’ve never been. To complete it is to win already. Then, an international jury comes in and one film is declared the winner.

And the winner is…

You’ll be a woman soon” by Vincent Spareboom (The Netherlands), Anelise Sălan (Romania),  and Magnus Lorentz (Germany) won the 13th edition of Aristoteles Workshop. The film follows the coming into adulthood of a young Baptist girl as she gets married in a rural community in Romania.

“See you soon” by Andrei Răuțu (Romania) and Anai Paz (Chile), a portrait of love in old age told through the stories of two couples, received the special jury award.

The closing ceremony was held at the Cultural Centre in Baru, Hunedoara, offered for the evening by the mayoralty.

Before screening the six films, producer Dan Nuțu thanked The Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca for their partnership and the tutors for their sustained effort, and applauded Lotte Mik-Meyer and Laurent Bécue-Renard, first timers with Aristoteles Workshop, for whom the preceding two weeks’ agenda compared to a non-stop race.

The documentary is the Good News of the XXI century”

Said Thierry Garrel in his masterclass at the beginning of the workshop. After another four weeks of tutoring by John Appel, Jeroen Berkvens, Lotte Mik-Meyer and Laurent Bécue-Renard, an international jury flew in to rule:

Annemiek van der Zanden is the Head of the Documentary Department at The Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam and has been a commissioning editor for over 12 years, most recently for broadcast organisation VPRO, a major premium docs broadcaster and commissioner in The Netherlands. She regularly attends the festival circuit for viewings and/or pitching sessions such as at the Toronto Film Festival, IDFA, DocLeipzig, Sheffield Film Festival and CPH:DOX and is an adviser in the advisory board to the Ministry of Culture on media and film policy.

Ligia Smărăndache is the Head of the Cinematography and Media Department at The Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, and a graduate of the workshop from its first edition, in 2006.

Andrea D’Addio, journalist and director of Berlino Magazine, also regularly contributes to HuffPost, Corriere de la Serra and Wired.

Răzvan Penescu founded in 2001 and manages liternet.ro, an online outlet detailing all cultural walks of life in Romania.

After following the participants closely in his first year with Aristoteles Workshop, filmmaker and tutor Laurent Bécue-Renard said the experience “stimulates ambition, audacity, freedom, love, patience and tenacity and fights with fantasies, beaten tracks and self-indulgence. While never flattering the participants, we should always be upper-mostly confident with what drives young people deep down inside their heart.”

Aristoteles Workshop graduates in the news

As the 13th edition was coming to an end, 2017 graduate Stefan Pavlovic’s and Aristoteles Workshop production When the Dragon Came (Monologues) had just been selected by the 2018 Netherlands Film Festival, to take place in Utrecht from September 27 through October 8 this year, when the city becomes the Dutch film capital for ten days and gives Dutch cinema the recognition it deserves.

The film tells a tale of a life turned out not quite as expected. He leaves the house, she remains with the children, for the time being. Wasps eat jam that was dropped on the floor. Two people bound by endless time spent, their eight children and the caring for other people’s cows. 

When the Dragon Came (Monologues). A film by Stefan Pavlovic (The Netherlands), cinematographer Aylin Gökmen (Switzerland) and editor Miruna Minculescu (România).

The films produced in 2018 at the workshop, in the order they screened

Mihuț. A film by Anai Paz (Chile) and Andrea Ruethel (Germany)

You’ll be a woman soon. A film by Vincent Sparreboom (The Netherlands), Anelise Sălan (Romania) and Magnus Lorentz (Germany)

See you soon. A film by Andrei Răuțu (Romania) and Anai Paz (Chile)

To be(e) or not to be. A film by Laura Rodriguez (Spain), Luca Gennari (Italy) and Ioana Pop (Romania)

News of love. A film by Sofia Iulia Nelega (Romania), Jordan Mihailovsky (Bulgaria) and Marie Leeman (France)

Valley of the wolf. A film by Antonio Valerio Frascella (Italy), Lamia Sabic (Bosnia) and Gabriela Forfotă (Romania)

Until the latest freshly cut edits are available, the already completed Aristoteles Workshop films can be seen on cinepub.ro, a FVOD platform for cinema lovers and creators.

As of 2018, AW is partnering with the Babes Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, The Facultaty of Theatre and Television and with cinepub.ro, the online platform where Romanian films stream for free legally worldwide.

This year’s edition is financed by The National Cinema Centre CNC, The Romanian Filmmakers Association UCIN and DACIN SARA, with the support of NouMax and The Mayoralty of Baru, Hunedoara county.

We cross The Hațeg Country far and wide in search of extraordinary ideas and people at the board of production vehicles offered by our partner for excellence Mercedes-Benz.

We chill and enjoy a good story with our partners Aqua Carpatica and Domeniile Sâmburești.

Word of good movies in the pipeline spreads through our media partners cinemagia.ro and liternet.ro.

About Aristoteles Workshop

ARISTOTELES WORKSHOP (AW) is a training and development centre dedicated to fostering a new generation of creative documentary filmmakers around the world, established by producers Dan Nuțu și Cristina Hoffman in 2006, with substantial material and spiritual support from the French/German cultural TV channel Arte.

Well known documentary experts offer full tutoring and mentoring to talented, passionate and proactive filmmakers and artists committed to undergo an intense 5-week learning experience in a newly formed team.

AW has produced over 40 documentaries widely appreciated by audiences and festival juries alike, and winners of important awards in Cannes Film Festival – Quinzaine des Realisateurs, DoK Leipzig, IDFA Amsterdam, or Locarno International Film Festival.

Over the years, the program was financed by Arte, TVR, The National Cinema Centre CNC, The  MEDIA Programme, AFCN (The National Cultural Fund Administration), UCIN (Romanian Filmmakers Union), DACIN SARA, The Cultural Romanian Institute, as well as private sponsors such as Farmexim, Istyle, Cabinetul Țuca/Zbârcea&Asociații, NouMax, Mandragora, along the mayoralties of Sibiu, Arad and Baia Mare.

About The Documentary Filmmaking Masters Program at the Babes Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca

The Faculty of Theatre and Television at the Babes Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca is a multidisciplinary, multicultural institution with a wide spectrum: Theatre, Cinema and Media, the latter with majors in film direction, cinematography, multimedia, sound-editing, audiovisual communications and filmology. All programs are taught in Romanian, Hungarian and English.

The Documentary Filmmaking Masters is the first academic initiative in non fiction film production in Romania, propelled by Aristoteles Workshop alumnus Dan Curean and his colleagues. It is taught in English and primarily targets graduates in Cinematography, Photography, Media, Filmology, Film Direction or graduates of other disciplines seeking a specialization in documentaries. It immerses its students into all documentary production stages and all are expected to produce a long feature documentary for their dissertation thesis and to participate and interact with industry professionals in docs festivals in Romania: Astra Film Sibiu, Docuart Bucharest or Pelicam Tulcea. Visiting professors include Peter Gothshalk – commissioning editor at Arte France/Germany, dr. Arnau Gifreu – University of Girona, prof. dr. Robert Wierzbicki – University of Mittweida, Germany, dr. Rebeka Jorgensen – Fulbright Scholar, professor and filmmaker.

About Cinepub

Cinepub is the only FVOD online platform dedicated to Romanian cinema, legally streaming independent and national and international patrimony films since 2015. Open data meets culture in a live, free archive of Romanian cinema and one of the largest worldwide. Thursday night is premiere night on Cinepub.ro.

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