For the 70th Festival de Cannes (17-28 May), Cristian Mungiu will preside the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury, having been a member of Steven Spielberg’s jury in 2013. The director, screenwriter and producer follows in the footsteps of Naomi Kawase, Abderrahmane Sissako, Abbas Kiarostami and Jane Campion.
As an eminent representative of the Romanian New Wave, Cristian Mungiu enjoys a long and glittering history with the Festival. Having won the Palme with his astounding 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.
The filmography of this demanding and socially engaged director has been widely acclaimed by successive juries because it offers such an uncompromisingly sharp and exacting view of Romanian society, but packs a universal message. His ambitious works take a scalpel to human nature and treat it with rare intelligence: a gentle satire on the dreams of young Romanians in the post-communist period (Occident, 2002); a chilling tale of a clandestine small-town abortion (4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, 2007); surreal and deadpan urban legends under the Ceauşescu system (Tales from the Golden Age, 2009); exorcism against a background of religious fundamentalism and communist heritage (Beyond the Hills, 2012); and a moral tale of dishonest compromises and corruption in Romanian society (Graduation, 2016).