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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #22. Cristi Puiu’s Sierra-Nevada


Director: Cristi Puiu // Writer: Cristi Puiu

Not much has been heard lately from Romanian New Wave master Cristi Puiu, whose memorable sophomore effort, 2005’s The Death of Mr. Lazarescu won the Un Certain Regard award and became one of the signature titles of that film movement. His less celebrated but equally assured follow-up was 2010’s incredibly bleak Aurora. Since then, he quietly unleashed a terrific 2013 feature Three Exercises of Interpretation, which was one of the best films we saw that year, but it sadly is still without distribution. At the tail end of 2013, Puiu announced two projects in development, the first being Sierra-Nevada. A shoot had been scheduled for late that year for a 2014 premiere, but it was only recently announced that the project had recently received the funding it had been hoping for from Eurimages. The film concerns “a commemoration that never gets to take place,” as Puiu describes it, and its characters escape into fiction when overwhelmed by a grief they cannot understand. Inspired by Aurel Rau’s poem The Agathirsoi.

Cast: Not available.

Producer: Anca Puiu (Viktoria)

U.S. Distributor: Rights available.

Release Date: Depending on whether filming took place already (though a 20 day shoot was originally estimated), we believe Puiu could have this ready in time for Cannes. If not, certainly we’ll see this around in the fall.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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