Cristian Mungiu's third feature, Beyond the Hills, was selected to represent Romania at next year's Academy Awards, the Romanian Film Centre has recently announced. Included in this year's Cannes competition, the film received awards for Mungiu's screenplay and for the two main actresses, Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur.
The film tells the story of two young women, Alina and Voichita. After being raised together, the pair separate and reunite after a few years. But when Alina wants to take Voichita with her to Germany, she discovers that her friend has found solace in a monastery...
Beyond the Hills is based on two non-fiction books written by Tatiana Niculescu Bran about the Tanacu case, which was widely covered in the Romanian press in 2005, when a young nun with mental problems died after she was 'exorcised' by a priest and four nuns.
Already bought in 30 territories, the film will be domestically released at the end of October, after closing Les films de Cannes a Bucarest, an event that screens films and invites directors selected at the most recent edition of the French festival. Beyond the Hills is also one of the 47 productions that may receive a Best Picture nomination at this year's European Film Awards.
It's not the first time that Mungiu has been considered for a Best Foreign Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. His second feature, 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days was selected to represent Romania in 2007, after it won the Palme d'Or trophy at Cannes. The film failed to receive a nomination, to the discontent of many journalists and film lovers, whose outrage was considered the main cause of a significant change in the Academy's selection procedure for the Best Foreign Picture category.
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