The gala premiere of the Gift of Wings documentary took place at Cinemax, inside Veranda Mall, in front of a select audience, including numerous culture, art and business personalities from our country.
The Gift of Wings, the film by Corina Voicu, is dedicated to the sculptor Pavel Bucur and to the dramatic story of “Înaripata” (Winged), the highest non-figurative art monument in Romania and in Europe.
It is a film dedicated to “flight, the ultimate ideal of humankind”, as the great artist who passed away five years ago would say with a huge regret that “Winged”, which, from its 48 meter-height, has been watching over us and over the Danube – Black Sea Canal for almost four decades, passed into oblivion… he left us with the disappointment and the helplessness of not being able to stop the tragedy that valuable piece of art has been experiencing for years.
The event took place with the support of FILDAS ART and CATENA, through the CATENA for ART Program.
The Gift of Wings collection documentary has been launched in premiere, after having traveled to renown international documentary festivals, where it received numerous awards and great success.
Between December 2020 and March 2021, the film, having 5 selections and nominations, received 3 important distinctions: Best Feature Documentary at the Venice Film Awards – Monthly Competition (Italy), Best Feature Film at The Monthly Film Festival (TMFF, UK) and Impact DOCS award, in the category Award of Merit Documentary (S.U.A.).
Together with Sanda Bucur, the wife of the late artist and their daughters, Ana and Tania Bucur, the film cast, artists (Vlad Ciobanu, Viorel Prater), writers, film reviewers and art critics, representatives of the National Institute of Patrimony, the event was attended also by actors Mircea Diaconu, Emilia Popescu, Cristina Deleanu and Eugen Cristea, the orchestra conductor Răsvan Cernat, Aurelian Temișan and Monica Davidescu, Adrian Enache and his daughter, Diana, Nico, Ozana Barabancea, Marina Almășan, Alexandra Cepraga, Ingrid Vlasov, together with Noelle and Marian Nedelcu, Alex Naghi and many others.
The speakers were Anca Vlad, chairman of FILDAS Art and of Fildas-Catena Group, the executive producer of the film, the University lecturer PhD Manuela Cernat, historian and film critic, writer, essay-writer and screenwriter, an important representative of academia and the civil society in Romania, the writer and poet Dan Mircea Cipariu and the director of the film, Corina Voicu.
Anca Vlad, chairman of FILDAS ART and of Fildas-Catena Group, the executive producer of the Gift of Wings film: “We have been waiting to launch this film for some time and the moment is finally here! We started this cinema project out of love for art! We needed such a documentary! When I found out that the artist Pavel Bucur passed away, I experienced a very difficult period. I was a great admirer of his work, his personality and the shapes he created, and I felt that he left us much too soon, without getting the chance to finalize the projects he was working on… His great suffering, that he would mention time and again, was «What is happening at Straja?» and «Why is the monument degrading?», «Why were the bas-reliefs stolen?», «Why won’t people realize its value?»…”
As a form of recognition for the entire creation of Pavel Bucur for Romania, we thought of making this film. The talent and perseverance of Corina Voicu are extraordinary, so we started this journey three years ago. You will see in the documentary how the stories unfold, and you shall step in the footsteps of the artist, of his works and memories which he left behind in so many places: in Italy, at Concordia Sagittaria and Caorle, In Venice and Portogruaro, then in Bucharest, Bistrița-Năsăud, Constanta and Mogosoaia. The Gift of Wings generated many stories and from story to story, following them and linking them, an exceptional film was created.”
The university lecturer PhD Manuela Cernat, associate professor and doctoral supervisor at UNATC Bucharest, a scientific researcher within the Art History Institute of the Romanian Academy: “I am experiencing an overwhelming emotion, as I am after such a long time in an almost full cinema theatre, at the premiere of a film dedicated to one of our country’s greatest artists, who was a friend of mine during my student years, a person whom I respected so much. This film is a tribute to the creativity of an artist who was part of a generation of giants, literally and figuratively: the sculptors Pavel Bucur and Florin Codre had the chance to start their careers in a moment of great cultural openness, which allowed them to spread their wings towards an unlimited flight of their art.
I discovered in the film of Corina Voicu a tribute full of poetry, sensitivity and affectionate warmth, a sad one still, one which was on the brink, as it speaks to us about a great artist and about the genetic powerlessness of Romanians to preserve and defend their values and creations, to preserve and defend their monuments, churches, mansions, citadels, monasteries or memorial houses, which are destroyed in front of our eyes, in total indifference.
The Gift of Wings is a wonderful project, born out of the collaboration of extraordinary women. I really can state that the women are those who saved Romania. After 1990, 70% of women started businesses, they worked faster and adapted better to the changing times. The executive producer is a successful entrepreneur, a true businesswoman, one of the very few people in Romania who managed to create an extraordinary business and who thought, following the American model, that she owes it to the community to start doing good deeds for it. It is a rare quality and I congratulate her for it!
Well, Corina Voicu invites us through her film to go to Straja, to create a human chain and to remind the authorities that we have one of the most impressive monuments in Europe and in the world, which is on the brink of crumbling due to unconcern, powerlessness and indifference. The Gift of Wings film has so many qualities that I think it would have been liked by a great Romanian woman, forgotten today: Elena Vacarescu was one of the great intellectuals of our country, who defended and supported cinematography. From the grandstand of the Nations Society (UN today), where she was a permanent delegate, she presided over the cultural section, supporting cinema as an art, and especially documentary films. Following one of her initiatives, in in 1925 in Rome, a Research Institute for Cinematography was established and in 1936, in Paris, the famous CIDALC – International Committee for Diffusion of Artistic and Literary Works by the Cinematography – was created. The first recipient of CIDALC Award, set up by Elena Vacarescu and Nicolas Pillat, was Ion Cantacuzino, for a documentary about the Danube. Here are some pages of film history which carry us into the past, still connecting us today, when documentaries worldwide tend to be more enjoyed than fiction movies, as they bring about new, real universes and tell us about people who must not be forgotten.
I’ll get back to the film dedicated to Pavel Bucur, one we discover through the images brought in front of us by Corina Voicu, a film produced by Mrs. Anca Vlad, a creation spread around the globe… A great quality of the film is that it tells us a little bit about history too: it takes us back to the 80s, not with rage and arrows, but by looking objectively at a reality which today seems unbelievable. UTC funded a gigantic non-figurative work in a moment when everything cringed and froze in Romania, and censorship became insurmountable for artists: at Straja, on the bank of the Danube – Black Sea Canal, a work of art was erected. The artist saw it as a tribute to the thousands of people who worked and were martyred there. It was his deepest thought, not confessed then, it was a tribute to useless martyrdom, and his protest against the times when the simple word «canal» sent shivers down Romanians’ spines.
The film brings an idea into normal times, when the magnificent body of the statue overlooking the canal which connects Romania to the world must be saved! This film is a cry for help, an appeal made to the civil society and to the authorities to save it, as a post-mortem tribute which will linger, like the monument at Straja. It is very difficult to speak about an artist whom those times did not appreciate as he would have deserved, and I congratulate the author for her sensitivity of coming close to her character and for her love rendered into pictures!”
Dan Mircea Cipariu, a philology PhD, poet, writer and successful editorialist, founder of AgențieideCarte.ro: “The Greeks used the female figure in sculpture when they wanted to make imaginary representations (and a poetical image) of the idea of ascension and emancipation. Pavel Bucur did the same. Let us not forget that in 1976, he unveiled at Bistrita-Nasaud a statue representing Veronica Micle, and the idea of presenting flight started from a poetical image which is a multiplying one among the artist’s works. In case of The Monument of Youth, Winged Angel or Winged, we see the representation of femininity, and this film is a feminine undertaking and because of these ladies, what is happening tonight might lead us to a story with a happy ending. Steps were taken for Winged by Pavel Bucur to be included in the list of National Culture Patrimony of Historic Monuments, but the winding road of the present is still so unreal that it could go beyond the imagination of a technocrat. I am sure that this film will cause clear delight upon viewing and that after it, we could find ourselves in a world that thinks in… poem lines and writes in… poems.”
Corina Voicu, director, screenwriter, producer of the Gift of Wings film: “Thank you, each of you who are attending the gala premiere of this documentary, in a certain moment of my life, you placed a stone to my foundation. I am delighted that, when finishing this construction, I received kind, gentle, prompt and enthusiastic help from huge personalities of the Romanian and European culture, willing to take part in making this film.
I want to thank the family consisting of three wonderful artists, Sanda Bucur, sisters Ana and Tania Bucur, who maybe will not find in the film everything the father, husband, friend, the man, the artist Pavel Bucur stood for… I could not fit such a rich universe in just 60 minutes. But you shall discover what I have kept in my soul from what I found out from you during these three years, and also some pieces of the story of this masterpiece which is Winged.
Today, it is very difficult to find an art film producer in Romania, and I need to thank Anca Vlad. For her, there is no such thing as “impossible”. Everything is possible! She is overwhelmingly tenacious and, most of all, she is passionate, she loves art, which is not such a common thing, and such a love is a great burden. Confidence obliges you, makes you responsible and gives you wings to fly!”.
FILDAS ART and CATENA, through the CATENA for ART Program are executive producers, and the associate producers of the film are MONDOVISION MEDIA, Tonica Group, Senso TV, Senso Arte, Galeria Senso, This is INSOMNIA.