The successful documentary Cinema, Mon Amour enters Czech Cinemas

13. 10. 2016

Author: Filip Šebek

On October 17, 8pm at the Světozor Cinema, the gala premiere of the documentary Cinema, Mon Amour, which enters the Czech distribution, will be held. The award-winning film in Czech- Romanian co- production and supported by IDF, will be introduced at the premiere by the main protagonist, a former projectionist and lifelong cinephile, Victor Purice in person.   

"The documentarists had been working on the film since 2012. The original intention of the creators was to survey the situation of the Romanian film after the fall of communism. The aim was to look back at the glorious era, "the Romanian-Soviet cinema," with an emphasis on what was left since the early 90s and on finding answers to the question how it is possible that there were more than 400 theaters in operation in 90s, but nowadays there are less than 25  - and many regions and large cities don't even have one," says Viktoria Hozzová from Pink Productions, one of the producers.

The film is a story of Victor Purice, an administrator, a former projectionist and lifelong cinephile, and his two loyal colleagues - Cornelia and Lorena. The filmmakers follow their fight to save one of the last survivors of Romanian cinema - Panoramic Dacia in Piatra Neamt. Victor experienced a "golden age" of cinema and he dreams of restoring the good old days. However, he can barely keep pace with the new and harsh reality. The fight is almost a Don Quixote's one in the cinema with a no heating, slowly but surely falling apart without any assistance from its owner - the state.

During the extensive searches, the creators mapped out the real situation of the Romanian cinema today. Throughout the country, a few small islands remained: several cinemas that are at risk of extinction, but in which the life hasn't stopped yet. And they were a subject of the exploration of the director. But a formerly planned mosaic of four different stories (due to the death of one of the four original protagonists) crystallized to the only one - the story of Victor, who was by far the strongest.

"When we first heard about the upcoming film about cinema and cinephilia, we immediately remembered the fate of many Czech cinemas and Czech cinematography in general, which also undergoes a complicated process of recovery after the collapse of communism. After watching the filmed material we were captivated by the poetic narrative and charming film images. We knew that this is not just a local story; that similar stories of passion and love for something drifted away, are all around us, everywhere in the world.  Therefore we soon entered in the project in November 2013 as co-producers. In March 2014, we participated with the project in East European Forum pitching, where the film won the IDFA Award and Hanka Kastelicová from HBO Europe showed her interest in co-production. Shortly afterwards we and HBO started working together. The film which originally appeared as a local television documentary grew in completely different dimensions due to the co-production," says Viktoria Hozzová.

The film also attended the workshop SARAJEVO ROUGH CUT BOUTIQUE 2015 where it won two awards - Croatian Radiotelevision Award and the CAT & Docs award which subsequently brought a collaboration with sales agent Catherine Le Clef from the French company CAT & Docs. The documentary was selected to the programme of 15 international film festivals, and in addition to the formerly mentioned awards, it also received the prize for best editing at the Romanian DocuArt Fest. The film was also nominated for the 2015 Silver Eye Award for the best documentary from Central and Eastern Europe. We wish its makers further successful journey to the acclaimed film festivals and within Czech cinemas. 

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