Bacalaureat, the latest film of Palme d’Or winning director Cristian Mungiu, premiers in Bucharest on May 19th, at the same time with its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was included into this year’s festival official selection, competing alongside another Romanian film, Cristi Puiu’s Sieranevada, and with productions by Andrea Arnold, Jim Jarmusch, Xavier Dolan, Pedro Almodovar or the Dardenne brothers.

The Romanian premiere of the film will take place at Sala Palatului, starting 19:00 and is open to the public. Part of the film crew will be present at the event, while the team members in Cannes will connect to the Bucharest audience through a live transmission.

Bacalaureat tells the story of a doctor, living in a small local town, who has to decide on the best option his child needs to follow in the context of today’s Romanian society. The film stars Adrian Titieni and Maria Draguș in the leading roles. Titieni played over 50 parts in local films, after his 1986 debut in Dan Pita’s film Pas in doi (Paso Doble). Romania-born German actress Maria Draguș made her debut in Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, which won the Palme d’Or in 2009.

Five Romanian films are included this year at the Cannes Film Festival competitions, a premiere for Romania and a strong presence overall. It is also the first time when two Romanian films are competing in the official selection. Bogdan Mirica’s film Caini (Dogs) was selected in the Un Certain Regard section. 4:15 p.m. sfârşitul lumii (4:15 p.m. the end of the world), directed by Cătălin Rotaru and Gabi Virginia Sarga were selected in the official short films completion, while Alexandru Badea’s Toate fluviile curg în mare (All Rivers Run to the Sea) was selected in the Cinéfondation section.

Cristian Mungiu is at his third participation at the Cannes Film Festival, the previous two having been awarded each time. In 2007 the director won the Palme d’Or trophy for the 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days film. In 2012 he won the Best Screenplay award for Beyond the Hills, while the leading actresses in the film shared the Best Actress award.

The distribution of Romanian films has become an issue after 1990 when many state-owned cinema halls closed down, leaving local productions without a network to reach audiences in the country. Several more cinemas in Bucharest, which used to host the festivals where these films were alternatively screened, closed last year after a law banning activity of several outlets in high seismic risk buildings entered into force.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at

Photo source: Bacalaureat Facebook page