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Otilia Babara from Moldova receives CEI Award at Trieste Film Festival 2023

The CEI Award 2023 at the Trieste Film Festival goes to the Moldovan documentary filmmaker Otilia Babara for the film Love is not an orange (B-NL-MD-F, 2022).

Zsuzsanna Kiràly, CEI Deputy Secretary General, presented the award on the occasion of the ceremony held in Trieste on 27 January. She underlined that

“promoting cultural diversity, fostering cultural diplomacy, supporting creative industries are the core priorities guiding the CEI action in the field of intercultural cooperation. In this framework, we are particularly pleased of the long-standing cooperation with the Trieste Film Festival and over the years we have been supporting various joint activities, including a special award aimed at recognizing the talent of outstanding film directors coming from our countries”.

As stated by the jury committee “Oranges, chocolates, jeans and plastic dolls arrived in Moldova thanks to all those women who, in the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, left the country to come and work in Italy and abroad. In return, their children sent them video-letters.

In Love is not an orange Otilia Babara carefully and delicately collects private and intimate video material, delivering the portrait of a generation of mothers and children who were forced to love each other at a distance. And in doing so, she also offers a portrait of a post-Soviet country in which women involuntarily made the transition from communism to capitalism”.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moldova opened itself to the world in great part because of these mothers. They showed us another reality, another way of living, one box at a time” said Babara.

Otilia Babara is a documentary filmmaker from Moldova based in Brussels. She holds a degree in documentary filmmaking from the Docnomads European Master's programme (Belgium, Hungary, Portugal) and is a 2013 Berlinale Talents fellow. She directed and produced several short films, namely Women on Canvas (2009), which was awarded in the  Astra Film Festival and Cronograf Film Festival. Love is Not an Orange is her first feature-length documentary which was presented at DOK Leipzig 2022.

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The CEI, is one of the sponsors of the Trieste Film Festival, the leading Italian Festival with Central and Eastern European cinema, offering a unique retrospective of quality filmmaking production from the CEI region. In the framework of the Festival, CEI support is also given to the co-production forum “When East Meets West” gathering funders, commissioning editors, sales agents, distributors and producers.

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