Zona Franca, the big winner at Pelicam 2017


Zona Franca (Georgi Lazarevski, Chile / France, 2016) won the Grand Prix of the sixth edition of Pelicam – the International Film Festival on Environment and People. Planet Petrila (Andrei Dăscălescu, Romania, 2017), SEED: The Untold Story (Jon Betz & Taggart Siegel, USA, 2016), Frontera Invisible (Nico Muzi & Nicolas Richat, Argentina / Belgium, 2017) and La Pesca (Pablo Alvarez-Mesa, Canada / Columbia, 2017) are the other  winners of Pelicam this year.

The jury of the feature competition, Mike and Andy from Yes Men, and the artist Ion Barbu, decided that the best film is director Lazarevski’s Zona Franca, that received a 2000 Euro prize from the City Hall of Tulcea. I’m very excited, I like the festival very much, it’s an energy here that gives me the desire to do other movies too. I want to thank the festival, the team and I want to say it’s an honor to receive this award from you, the jury, watching your work of artists and activists, and it’s an honor, said the director at the awards ceremony.

Monica Lazurean-Gorgan – director, Carlos Teofilo – artistic director of the Cine’eco festival in Portugal, and Florin Stoican – from the Văcăreşti Natural Park Association took part in the jury of the Blacs Sea Docs Competition and decided that Petrila Planet is the best film. The prize – post-production services worth 3,000 euros – was taken home by artist Ion Barbu, the protagonist of the documentary. The members of the jury considered Petrila Planet to be a movie that makes you feel intrigued and joyful, being an intense, creative, surrealistic and courageous film just like its protagonist. The merit is of Andrei Dăscălescu, the director of the film, who had a four-year labor. I feel so different, like from a different world because I have never participated in a film festival, neither as an artist, neither as a juror, but after your reaction I realize that it was the role of my life. Thank you, said Ion Barbu.

The Black Sea Docs jury has also given a special mention to Kedi / Cats (Ceyda Torun, Turkey / USA, 2016) for a poetic approach to the relationship between humans, cats and urban space in Istanbul. The documentary was screened in Tulcea in national premiere.

The five teenagers from Tulcea – Rareş Ivan, Cosmina Jordan, Alexandra Harasim, Ana Maria Gheba, Irina Cristiana Berechet – who made this year’s Fresh Perspectives jury – coordinated by Anastasia Staicu, director of the Seneca publishing house – decided that SEED: The Untold Story is the best film of the Fresh Perspectives programme. To control a nation, you have to control oil, to control people, you have to control food, to control food, you need to control seed, have motivated the jurors their choice. The prize for this competition is 500 Euro, offered by Pelicam.

The jury of the short film section was this year made by Alex Baciu – screenwriter, Elena Calistru – Funky Citizens president, and Edward Cook – director. They have decided that two films from the competition: Frontera Invisible and La Pesca are worth winning, both short films being about small communities, usually making a living from nature, but with very different perspectives. It was very important to us that the film would have a major impact in Colombia where these nasty things happen, but also on European politics. This award will help film have a greater impact on social and environmental policies, said Mihai Stoica, producer of Frontera Invisible. The prize of the competition is worth 500 euros, offered by the National Center for Cinematography. 

I am extremely honored to have been able to host such an event, especially because it is the only environmental film festival in Romania, that is, it is twice as honorable for our city. Why in Tulcea? It is one of the most beautiful counties of the country, we have two natural reserves, an international one – the Danube Delta – and a unique national one in Europe – Macin Mountains. Thanks to those who have had the boldness and willingness to come to Tulcea, it is a privilege for us to have here the activists from Yes Men, I hope their coming to create an extra motivation to come next year too, said Constantin Hogea, the mayor of Tulcea.

Pelicam – The International Film Festival on Environment and People was held in Tulcea between 8 and 11 June, in five places in the city: the Jean Bart Cultural Center, the Art Museum, the Avramide House, the Pelicam Camping on the shores of Lake Ciuperca and the Danube waterfront. The winning films will be projected in a retrospective in Bucharest in July.