Romania banks on Sieranevada in the Oscar race

Photo from Sieranevada movie

After competing in the Cannes main competition this spring, Cristi Puiu’s 173-minute family drama Sieranevada may bring Romania its first nomination for the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign-language Film category. The jury consisting of seven film critics selected by the National Film Center chose the film, part the 2016 LUX Film Prize selection.

A universal film about family relationships and communication, Sieranevada centres on Lary (Mimi Brănescu), a neurologist attending a memorial service organised 40 days after the death of his father. The screenplay, written by Cristi Puiu, uses extensive dialogue in order to explore the concept of family, in an effort which can be easily described as a directorial triumph.

Sieranevada was released in France on the first weekend of August by Wild Bunch Distribution, while the domestic release is scheduled for 9 September. The film is handled internationally by Elle Driver. It has been sold to 20 European countries. Sieranevada will also be released in Brazil, Canada and Mexico, and negotiations with Argentina, Peru, South Korea, China and Japan are ongoing.

Even if Sieranevada is not one of three LUX Film Prize finalists (Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann, Claude BarrasMy Life as a Courgette and Leyla Bouzid’s As I Open My Eyes), it will definitely be part of LUX Film Days, as the film will be shown in some of the 28 European Union member countries through this initiative taking the LUX finalists to special screenings and festivals all over the continent, subtitled in 24 different languages.

The LUX Film Prize winner will be announced on 23 November, while the Oscars will be given out on 29 February 2017, after having unveiled the nominees on 24 January. Will we see Sieranevada in any of these events?