Florin Serban: Romanian film lovers need powerful emotional films

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Film director Florin Serban, whose first film, “If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle,” won two important awards at this year’s Berlinale (the Silver Bear and the Alfred Bauer Prize for new perspectives in the art of film), said on Tuesday that when he made the above-mentioned full-length film, he started shooting it thinking of the Romanian film lovers.

“In the beginning, when I took this road, it was neither difficult, nor easy, I started shooting the film thinking of the Romanian film lovers. It is a film with elements of action and with a love story that is, in my opinion, quite surprising and captivating. The Romanian film lovers need powerful films, charged with emotion, which should not necessarily resemble American films, but which should keep you glued to the spot for more than an hour,” the director told a new conference, which was attended by most of the film team.

As for the Silver Bear for the Jury Grand Prix and the Alfred Bauer Prize, awards recently won at the Berlin Film Festival, Florin Serban says they are a beginning for him. Although admitting it was beautiful to be on the red carpet at the Berlinale, the director says that the touchstone for his film are the Romanian film lovers.

“What brought our film to the fore was the force and the fact that it is charged with emotion. Nobody got out of the room when our film was shown, and to the end, when it was silence, you could hear a pin drop.
I think that currently Romania has the most interesting films in Europe,” said Florin Serban when speaking of the experience of the screening in Berlin and added he was proud of being Romanian.

Produced by the Strada Film, Florin Serban’s first film cost about 900,000 euros, of which approximately 250,000 euros were received from the National Centre of Cinematography. The film that won awards in Berlin will first be screened in Romania on March 25 and it will be shown in Romanian cinemas starting on March 26.

The full-length film titled “If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle” is the story of Silviu, a youth who has to serve only five days before he is discharged from a prison for minors. But five days turn into an eternity when his mother comes to take his younger brother away, the brother he brought up as if he had been his son. Silviu also falls in love with a student of sociology, who came to have her practical training in the prison. Overwhelmed by emotions and pressed by time, Silviu decides to escape from prison.

At present Florin Serban works together with Catalin Mitulescu on another screenplay, “El Rumano,” which has already been presented on two production markets in Europe: in Rotterdam and in Berlin.

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