Teodora Ana Mihai’s Waiting for August will compete in the documentary competition at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (4-12 July), Eastern Europe’s foremost festival. Also invited is Violet by Bas Devos, whose feature debut is set to screen in Another View, the programme dedicated to films with an unusual artistic approach.
The documentary competition in Karlovy Vary consists of 10 feature-length films and six shorts. Waiting for August follows Georgiana Halmac, a 15-year-old Romanian teenager living with her six siblings in a social housing block on the outskirts of Bacau. While their mother is away earning a living in Italy, Georgiana is catapulted into the role of new head of the family.
Waiting for August received its world premiere at the end of April in the Canadian documentary festival Hot Docs, where it took the fest’s prize for best international documentary feature. It also received a special mention at Visions du Réel in Switzerland.
Devos has an equally impressive track record with his feature debut, Violet. The film premiered in the Berlinale’s Generation 14plus programme and took home the jury’s Grand Prize. A visual portrait of a teenager’s grieving process, Violet follows a group of young BMX riders confronted with the unexpected and violent death of one of their friends. They turn to 15-year-old Jesse who witnessed the incident for answers. But their attitudes and his inability to answer their questions gradually isolate Jesse, as he copes with grief and a growing sense of loneliness.
Hanne Phlypo and Antoine Vermeesch produced Waiting for August for Clin d’Oeil Films (Houses With Small Windows, The Art of Becoming), in co-production with A Private View. Producer of Violet is Tomas Leyers of Minds Meet (Lucifer, I’m the same I’m an other, Behind The Redwood Curtain). DOP was Nicolas Karakatsanis (Bullhead, The Drop, The Loft), while Dieter Diependaele took care of the editing.
Both Waiting for August and Violet received support from Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.