One World Romania’s 14th edition. Women on the verge of gender equality

7 June, 2021

The One World Romania festival has been divided into two parts this year and is to take place both physically, in cinemas (Elvire Popesco Cinema, Peasant Museum Cinema, Eforie Cinematheque) and other spaces in Bucharest, between June 11-20, as well as online, with the program available all around the country, between June 21-27.

The main theme of the festival addresses an extremely relevant topic to society and the world of film: various instances of womanhood and feminism from all around the world, from various cultures, social groups, and eras. According to OWR, 42 films out of the 53 of its selection are made by women, and 34 films talk about women, one way or another. The documentaries in the program explore topics such as women’s struggles for social equity, gender inequality, and the main issues they still encounter in contemporary society.

Another aspect that is brought into discussion is the greater presence of women in documentary film compared to the fiction film industry. As the artistic directors of the festival, Vanina Vignal and Andrei Rus, say: “Most of the films included in this year’s selection were made by women, which is only partially intentional: for decades now there have been many more documentary women directors than fiction women directors. Why is it that the documentary film format has been one in which women could work better? Which were and which are the conditions which predisposed them to have a career in this field, rather than in fiction, which is still dominated by men?”

Ulrike Ottinger Retrospective

The filmmaker honored at this year’s edition of the festival is Ulrike Ottinger, an artist with a vast oeuvre, whose vision expands the boundaries of what is commonly understood by “documentary film” (here you can read the Films in Frame editorial on Ulrike Ottinger). The retrospective presents eight of the German filmmaker’s movies, made between 1970 and 2020: Madame X (1978), Ticket of No Return (1979), China. The Arts – The People (1986), Countdown (1990), Exile Shanghai (1997), Southeast Passage (2002), Under Snow (2011), Superbia – The Pride (1986), and Paris Calligramme (2020), her autobiographical project through which she revisits her youth years spent in 1960s Paris, before her return to Germany, and the start of a new career in cinema.

Paris Calligramme is the opening film of One World Romania #14, scheduled on June 11, at 7 pm, at the Elvire Popesco Cinema. Petit Samedi, by Paloma Sermon-Daï, will screen on the same day at 8 pm, at the Peasant Museum Cinema.

International Competition

The Competition is comprised of 9 films and it will be evaluated by two juries: one made up of professionals from the international film industry – Mihaela Michailov (critic and playwright who activates mainly in social reflection theatre), Dana Bunescu (editor, sound designer, and director), Patrick Holzapfel (critic and author of MUBI’s online magazine), Rene Wolf (head of acquisitions and senior programmer of the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam), and Nicole Fernández Ferrer (coordinator of the Simone de Beauvoir Center in Paris, dedicated to the feminist and LGBT film production, distribution, archiving, and analysis), and the high school jury, made up of female students from all over the country, of ages 16 to 18. The latter will also participate in an intensive cinematographic education program coordinated by Dragoș Apetri and Cristina Haneș.

Women on the verge of gender equality

The films in the main selection are about equity, about equal opportunities. They are important and representative titles for contemporary cinema. Four of them are part of the International Competition – Little Red Riding Hood (dir. Tatiana Mazú González), Night Shot (dir. Carolina Moscoso Briceño), The Metamorphosis of Birds (dir. Catarina Vasconcelos), and My Mexican Bretzel (dir. Nuria Giménez Lorang).

When the Tanks Cry for Us

This year too, OWR comes with a section that gathers documentaries focused on various violations of justice, democracy, and human dignity, as well as on the people or groups who fight against these injustices.

All together

This section comprises films that show the effects of marginalization and the different ways people fight to resist isolation and injustice.

No place like home

The films in this section talk about the refugee crisis, about immigrants and their ongoing struggle for the right to be accepted and to live a life free of threats and violence.

Focus sections on Delphine Seyrig and the Simone de Beauvoir Center

Apart from the Ulrike Ottinger retrospective, One World Romania will include two sections focused on cinema collectives that support the feminist cause and revolve around the spectacular actress Delphine Seyrig.


One World Romania will take place between June 11-20, respectively June 21-27, 2020. Tickets are available on Eventbook. For more info, follow the OWR Facebook page and website.



Melissa Antonescu Melissa Antonescu
Photographer and editor, she co-founded Dissolved Magazine. For Films in Frame she brings the news from the film world, in the Monday News column. She likes stories, Monty Python and going to the seaside.