#100FACTS about Romanian Cinema

11. The first journal regarding cinema was published in Bârlad in 1912, the “Cinematic Magazine”. And the first book dedicated to cinema, “Cinema and Education” by Constantin Iordăchescu was published in the same year in Botosani.

12. In 1915 there were about 30 cinemas in Bucharest alone (today, unfortunately, we’d stop counting the cinemas in the whole country before reaching 10).

13. In 1920, the 23 years old, Aurel Petrescu made the first Romanian animation film, “Pacala on the Moon”, which’s premiere took place on April 4. On December 25, 1927, at the „Capitol” Cinema in Bucharest was premiering the second animation film, “Haplea” by Marin Jorda, who was only 26 years old. The animation technique consisted in a mix of hand drawn cartoon, collage and real actors. The short film’s hero was based on the character with the same name from a series of comics published by Marin Iorda in some of the period’s journals, that is why the film was intended to be the first episode of a cartoon series.

14. The first Romanian screenwriter was Liviu Rebreanu, who wrote the script for a cinematic drama in 12 acts, „Impetuous Dream” while being the secretary of the National Theatre from Craiova, but the script was never made into a film. A second script though, „The Mishap” was turned into a film in 1913.

15. With the directors Jean Mihail and Jean Georgescu, who both had their debut as filmmakers in 1924, through films such as „Sin”(Pacat, 1924), „Manasse (1925), „Lia” (1927) – Jean Mihail, and „Millionaire for a Day” (Milionar pentu o zi, 1924) – Jean Georgescu, was shaped the concept of Director in Romanian cinema.

16. In 1929, at the „Trianon” Cinema in Bucharest, the romanian public could watch the first talkie ever made, „The Jazz Singer” (1927, Al. Jolson). Three years later, on January 8 1931, in the presence of the royal family, the first film with (added) sound, „Ecaterina Teodorescu” by Ion Niculescu, premiered at the „Femina” Cinema Bucharest. The film’s soundtrack has been added at a studio in Berlin, after being shot mute.

17. The Romanian-German co-production „Ciuleandra” (1930) by Martin Berger, is the fisrt sound film. Unfortunately, it has not been preserved, but the reviews in the publications of the era, were far from favorable due to the very lax adaptation of the novel by the same name. The first Romanian sound film is the comedy „Bing-Bang” directed by the two main actors N. Stroe and Vasile Vasilache. The film premiered on May 10 1935.

18. In 1939 the documentary “The Land of Motzi, directed by Paul Calinescu, and narrated by the writer Mihail Sadoveanu, was awarded at the Venice Film Festival, this being the first major international recognition of Romanian film. Two years later, in 1941, the same award is won once again by a documentary by Paul Calinescu, “Romania Against Bolshevism”. The film used images taken by Romanian and German photographers on the Eastern front, and it was banned during the communist period.

19. “A Stormy Night”, directed by Jean Georgescu, remained perhaps until today the most accurate and engaging adaptation of a play by the dramatist I.L. Caragiale. The film premiered on March 22, 1943, at “Aro” Cinema, Bucharest and few novelties and “tricks” made the premiere night unforgettable. After the film ended, a footage of the quest’s arrival at the cinema hall was screened, the advertising was luring and witty with 3 coloured posters, a comprehensive brochure and a newspaper, “The Voice of the National Patriot”, read by Ipingescu, with an article by R. Vent, both characters of the film.

20. The first Soviet product from Romanian cinema is the documentary “The division <<Tudor Vladimirescu>>” (1948), filmed between 1943 when the division of Romanian prisoners in Russia was formed and 1945. The documentary was filmed by soviet cameramen attached to the group of exiled Romanian Communist Party member (like Ana Pauker, Petre and Ecaterina Borila etc). Another noteworthy montage documentary is “History Will Judge Me”, which had it’s official premiere only in 1993, almost 50 years after the cameraman Ovidiu Gologan filmed the execution of the Marshal Ion Antonescu on June 1 1946. The film was banned during the communist period and the footage was retrieved only after 1989.

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