Timisoara has a bit of everything for all art lovers. If you would like to enjoy a good European film while in Timisoara, we have a recommendation for you: Ceau, Cinema! A young festival in a city with very few cinemas, Ceau, Cinema! is organized by two local associations: Marele Ecran and Pelicula Culturală. It is the first festival in Timișoara entirely dedicated to European film.

 

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Photo via Ceau Cinema

Timisoara’s very own pocket film festival

Ceau, Cinema! (roughly translated as “Hello, Cinema!”) has branded itself as a “pocket film festival”. Why – you ask?! The festival has started out as a small independent film festival. When first planning the festival, the organizers had no idea whether such an event would appeal to the local audience – they have therefore decided to start small.

However, the film festival has started to outgrow its pocket, as the festival has been growing with each edition. The first edition took place in 2014, with 4 days of workshops and screenings in Timișoara and Gottlob (a village near Timisoara that is proud to own the first restored movie theater in Romania’s countryside).

 

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Photo via Ceau Cinema

Ceau, Cinema! The mission

We believe that a film festival focused on promoting good European films was necessary in a big city like Timisoara and we are thankful that this festival has given us an opportunity to spend some of our summer days watching good films and eating watermelon (more about that later!).

According to the organizers, the festival’s very beautiful mission is:

“[…] to befriend the people of Timișoara with the European cinema, with the independent feature films, which have been missing lately from the local scenery. Also, Ceau Cinema! encourages the artistic debut of a new generation of movie-makers. Through our screenings – outdoor and indoor, in unconventional locations – we promote European and Romanian films and we prove that they are as catchy and attractive as Hollywood cinema, but much closer to our hearts.”

The festival has stayed true to its mission for the editions it has hosted so far, at the same time gathering more and more movie-lovers each year. Ceau, Cinema! screens those high-quality films that are not normally played in a multiplex, attracting an audience that has no other contact with such films but at home.

But it also promotes young talents. Ceau, Cinema! hosts a competition for young film-makers, allowing them to showcase their work while receiving feedback from an expert panel of judges.

 

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Photo via Ceau Cinema

Films + Watermelon = Love

As we have already mentioned, Ceau, Cinema! is not your average film festival. The team behind the festival has managed to make their festival stand out right from the start. Since the festival traditionally takes place in July (when it’s pretty hot in Romania), the screenings are not accompanied by popcorn (as you would normally expect), but by watermelon.

That is because some of the events take place in the local cinema in Gottlob, a village about 50km away from Timisoara. This is the first cinema in rural Romania that has been renovated and is now fully functional. And the team behind the festival has done a great job at promoting the village, its people, and its watermelon.

In addition to having a functional cinema, the village of Gottlob is also famous in the region for having a tradition of growing yummy watermelons. And Ceau, Cinema! is the perfect opportunity for the villagers to showcase and sell their harvest. This is a very good example of how an art-loving community can support the local communities they interact with. Plus, watermelon is healthier than popcorn!

 

I want to see some good European films and eat some watermelon. How can I do that?

Unfortunately, we only get Ceau, Cinema! once a year, for four days. But if you don’t have any plans for July yet, you are in luck!

The 5th edition will take place between July 19th-22nd 2018. This year’s edition is dedicated to rediscovering Romania’s “golden era” (as the communist times are often ironically referred to) and to the fall of communism in Romania. This is not meant to “celebrate” that era, but to have an objective, maybe even amused look at it.

A ticket for the whole festival costs 45 RON (about 10 Euros), while a ticket for just one film will cost 10 RON (about 2,5 Euros). For tickets and updates, just follow the official Ceau, Cinema! event on Facebook.