“La Gomera”, directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, is the big winner of the 14th Gopo Awards Gala
Originally announced for the end of March, the Gopo Gala, which rewards the best Romanian films of the previous year, was rescheduled over the coronavirus pandemic and has taken place now, under the state of alert.
The event, held outdoors, saw its red carpet accompanied by a disinfection tunnel, and warnings regarding the 1.5m physical distancing rules were printed on cut-outs featuring the character created by Ion Popescu-Gopo, the one after whom the gala is named.
The COVID-19 pandemic was in fact mentioned by the host of the show, who was brought on stage in a special isolation stretcher by 4 people wearing protective coveralls: “a virus that took us into a difficult period, a virus which is more popular than any other film tonight.”
The big winner of the Gopo Gala was “La Gomera”, directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, which walked home with 9 trophies, including the ones for the best feature film, best director and best screenwriting. Upon receiving the award for the best script, Porumboiu mentioned the plot of the movie, which focuses on an island where whistling is used as a language: “I didn’t learn how to whistle, but I think I managed to write a pretty good script.”
The award for the best leading actor went to Iulian Postelnicu for his performance in Andrei Cohn’s “Arrest,” and the best leading actress was Judith State, for the film “Monsters” by Cătălin Mitulescu.
The winners thanked their teams and fellow filmmakers, but they also spoke about the film industry’s need for concrete support. Producer Ada Solomon called for support when she received the award for the best documentary for “The distance between me and myself,” by Dana Bunescu and Mona Nicoară. “Romanian cinematography speaks through animation, through documentary, through fiction, and these genres are increasingly intertwined. I believe a little more interest in the Romanian documentary is something we all deserve,” Ada Solomon emphasised.
After the gala, the initiator and main organiser of the event, the film director Tudor Giurgiu told Radio Romania:
Tudor Giurgiu: “We were very happy to see the Gopo Gala take place physically, rather than online, because I think people need this kind of meetings, of socialising, with all the physical distancing requirements in place. And I also believe tonight was a miracle, the film community were happy to feel like, step by step, they are returning to life before the pandemic.”
The special awards of this year’s edition went to writer Radu Cosaşu and film editor Cristina Ionescu for their exceptional careers, while actors Adela Mărculescu and Virgil Andriescu received lifetime achievement awards.
(translated by Ana-Maria Popescu)