Romanian director, screenwriter and producer Cristian Mungiu will preside over the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury of the upcoming 70th Cannes Film Festival taking place May 17 to 28, 2017.
Cristian Mungiu who previously served as a member of Steven Spielberg’s jury in 2013, will follow in the footsteps of Naomi Kawase, Abderrahmane Sissako, Abbas Kiarostami and Jane Campion.
Cristian Mungiu enjoys a long history with the Festival, having won the Palme with his second feature film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, he went on to garner the Best Screenplay and Best Actress prizes for Beyond the Hills and the Best Director prize for Graduation.
Born in 1968 in Iași, Cristian Mungiu started out as a journalist and then a teacher after studying English at university. He then attended the Film and Theatre Academy in Bucharest, where he made a number of short films. He continued his training as an assistant director with Bertrand Tavernier for Captain Conan (1996) and Radu Mihăileanu for Train of Life (1998). His first feature film, Occident, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight in 2002 and was a triumph back in Romania.
“Cristian Mungiu is a glorious member of that Romanian school showcased by Thierry Frémaux in the 2000s”, says Gilles Jacob, President of the Cinéfondation. “Just to look at the intelligence and interactive ramifications of a screenplay like Graduation is to understand that Cristian is the dream examiner for the big Festival exam – the Cinéfondation and the short films. I wonder who will pass? Good luck to all the candidates!”
For his part, Cristian Mungiu’s first reaction was to say: “Value and originality have never achieved easy recognition in the cinema. And it’s even harder to recognize the value and originality of very young directors. But the Cinéfondation is known for having succeeded in doing just that to great effect. The Cinéfondation has always given young directors the help and recognition they needed at the very outset of their career, so that they could express themselves with courage and find their own voice. Long may that continue to achieve the same impact. It’s an endeavor in which I’m proud to be playing a part.”