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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #13. Cristi Puiu’s Sierra-Nevada


Director: Cristi Puiu
Writer: Cristi Puiu

Romanian New Wave master Cristi Puiu, has been almost absent from the cinema scene, 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. The project received funding from Eurimages and completed filming in March of 2015. 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: Mimi Branescu

Production Co./Producers: Alcatraz Film, Spiritus Movens, Mandragora’s Anca Puiu

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic) Wild Bunch (international) Elle Driver (international)

Release Date: Puiu’s latest has been tipped for Berlin, and if it doesn’t show up in the lineup, we expect Cannes.

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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