Pelicam, the International Film Festival on Environment and People invites you again this year on a movie tour around the Black Sea. The five films in the Black Sea Docs competition are the perfect way to discover the life and nature of the Danube Delta, the Strait of the Bosphorus or the endless Russian Far East.

The seventh edition of Pelicam puts the spotlight on the Black Sea and the people whose lives are intertwined with it. The jury who will decide the best Black Sea Doc is comprised of Andrei Dăscălescu, the winner of the Black Sea Doc Award from last year for the documentary Petrila Planet, Nicolas Guignard, the director of the Green Film Festival, a festival that has taken place in 60 different locations in both Switzerland and France, and Erika Stanciu, the director of Pro Park Foundation and former secretary of state at the Ministry of Environment.

Delta (Oleksandr Techynskyi, Ukraine/Germany, 2017) throws us into the daily life in the middle of a ruthless landscape – the rural areas on the Ukrainian side of the Danube Delta. Men cut through tall reeds and ice to bring the harvest by boat, orthodox church-goers fill vessels of holy water. Here, the river is the central protagonist: the villagers find themselves at the margins, physically and symbolically pushed to the edges of the frame. The film will have its national premiere at Pelicam, in the presence of its director.

Bluefish/ Lüfer (Mert Gökalp, Turkey/Portugal/UK/Croatia/Greece, 2017) tells the story of the fish with the same name, a symbolic species in the movement against overfishing in the Bosphorus and Marmara Sea. Indeed, lüfer, as is locally known the adult bluefish, may soon be extinct in Turkish water.

Brothers of Silence/ Birayên Bê Dengî yê (Taylan Mintaș, Turkey, 2017) is a random example in Turkish documentary making of the cinema vérité both in style and storytelling.  The loosely scripted film’s plot revolves around the family of the filmmaker’s mute cousins Toso and Çao Mintas for four years. The film will be screened in national premiere, in the presence of the director.

Braguino (Clèment Cogitore, France/Finland, 2017) tells the story of  two self-sufficient families live according to their own rules. In the middle of the river sits an island where children live. Between the fear of the other, of wild beasts, and the joy provided by the immensity of the forest, a cruel tale unfolds, one in which tensions and fear give shape to the geography of an ancestral conflict.

Kolyma – Road of Bones/ Kolyma – Straße der Knochen (Stanislaw Mucha, Germany, 2017) takes us on  a long highway that stretches through the deepest Russian North-east. It was the epicentre of the Soviet prison camp system. Millions of people built them and lived there under the most dreadful conditions. And now the time is running short for survivors or their direct descendants to tell their story firsthand. The film will be screened in national premiere, in the presence of the director.

The world of conservationists, meaning those who fight for the unique natural heritage of our country is aware that such events have a critical role in showing the general public how important is nature and in convincing us that each and everyone can and must do something to protect what is left. Until we understand that nature is the one that gives us ‘the raw material’ for living and prosperous societies, we will continue to destroy without thinking about the future. I am very honoured to be a part of this jury and I hope that my background of nature conservation will only add to the reasoning of the film professionals“, said Erika Stanciu, Pro Park director.

The Shorts competition comprises of eight documentary shorts that deal with the relationship between humans and environment, from various perspectives. Among them, Turtle Shells/ Schildkröten Panzer (Tuna Kaptan, Germany, 2017) is a story about the link between animals, people and conflicts. The film will be screened in national premiere, in the presence of the director. The Trader/ Sovdagari (Tamta Gabrichidze, Georgia, 2018) takes us to a journey through Georgia, together with Gela a secondhand seller, trading modern conveniences for potatoes, the local currency. The film will have its national premiere at Pelicam, in the presence of the director.

The jury for the short documentaries section is made of Vincent Marti, distributor with the prestigous company Sophie Dulac Distribution, France, Boglarka Nagy, programmer for Cinema Elvira Popesco and Paul Radu, editor in chief of Rise Project, the most important Romanian platform of investigative journalism.

The films will be screened between 21 and 24 June, in the five locations of the festival: Jean Bart Cultural Centre, Museum of Art, Avramide House, Civic Square and Pelicam Camping, on the shore of lake Ciuperca.

Pelicam IFF is organised by Les Herbes Folles, with the support of Romanian Film Centre, Tulcea City Hall, Romanian Cultural Institute, International Organisation of La Francophonie and Romanian Filmmakers Union.