Teodora Ana Mihai’s documentary feature Waiting for August received the Award for Best Documentary Film during the closing ceremony of the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (4-12 July). The film has been on a winning spree since receiving the Best International Feature Award at Toronto’s Hot Docs and a Special Mention at Visions du Réel earlier this year.
Waiting for August marks Teodora Ana Mihai’s debut as a feature film director. Her Romanian roots led her back to her mother country for this story. In a social housing block on the outskirts of the city of Bacau, 15-year-old Georgiana Halmac lives with her six siblings. While their mother is away earning money in Italy, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of head of the family and finds her adolescence cut brutally short.
Shot in a direct, fly-on-the-wall style, the documentary explores the fragility of this unique household and shows how the children take on reality with a great degree of imagination and resourcefulness.
The film screened in Karlovy Vary’s International Documentary Films Competition together with 15 other docs. This year’s documentary jury, made up of Oskar Alegria, Philippa Kowarsky and Tomáš Bojar, unanimously chose Waiting for August as the winner of the competition’s main prize, worth $5,000.
Joachim Philippe was DOP on Waiting for August, with Michèle Hubinon as editor. Karim Baggili and Ada Milea created the film’s original score. Hanne Phlypo and Antoine Vermeesch of Clin d’Oeil Films (Houses With Small Windows) produced the film, in co-production with A Private View (Oxygen, Moscow, Belgium). International sales are handled by Berlin-based sales agency Rise & Shine (Rêve Kakudji, The Brussels Business).
Waiting for August received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund / Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.