Karlovy Vary film festival East of the West competition film Boogie

By Anca Paduraru

    Romanian director Radu Muntean's third feature film, Boogie (2008), competes in the East of the West section of the Karlovy Vary international film festival, following its selection for the Quinzaine des Realisateurs section of the Cannes Film Festival.

    Boogie (www.boogiemovie.com) was filmed on location at the Romanian Black Sea in one month last summer. The €750,000 budget was raised by the MultiMedia Est, (MME, www.mme.ro) production company, with help from Antena 1 television channel and a state subsidy from the National Center for the Film Industry.

    Boogie was MME's fourth feature film in six years, three of which were directed by Muntean. The company, founded by Dragos Vilcu in 1993 as an advertising spots production company, boasts more than 1,000 commercials and multiple contest awards, from the Cannes Lions to the Clio Awards.

    Boogie is a coming of age story of three former childhood buddies, told in the classical format of dramatic unity of time and location. The three men in their early thirties discover, after spending one night trying to revive old habits, that life had a different taste now, so different that the past could not be resurrected and their former selves recaptured. The cast of six actors and one child includes Dragos Bucur and Anamaria Marinca (4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days).

    It will be released on the Romanian market in the fall, but domestic audiences in Cluj Napoca, central Romania, had the opportunity to see the movie at the Transylvania International Film Festival in early June, where it was presented outside the competition. Maximum Film Intl, Canada, Boogie's international sales agent, is about to sign the first distribution contract with France, according to Anca Romanescu, MME spokesperson.

    Muntean made his mark as a commercials director for MME, until getting the company to finance his first feature film Rage (2002), executive produced by Vilcu, MME's general director. It won the Best Debut Film Award by The Romanian Filmmakers Association. Munteanu's second feature film, The Paper Will Be Blue (2006), screened in over 40 countries and at more than 60 international film festivals, opened the competition at the Locarno Film Festival and won 10 awards at the Sarajevo, EURASIA, Namur, and Cotbus film festivals.

    Boogie will enter the official competition in the Francophone Film Festival in Namur (Belgium), and had its German premiere, at the Munich International Film Festival. It will also open the Panorama section at the Jerusalem Film Festival and screen at film festivals in Melbourne (Australia), Motovun (Croatia) and Warsaw (Poland).

    "Both Boogie and The Paper Will Be Blue are, for me, reflections about how we perceive our past experiences from a distance. People tend to idealize their past and when, due to some extraordinary circumstances, they manage to relive their past, the disappointment is heartbreaking," said Muntean. Muntean developed the Boogie script along Alex Baciu and Razvan Radulescu. The team is currently developing two new scripts.