Chicago Film Festival sponsored by ROFest.Trends in April of 2018.

Cox Center Director Speaks At Film Festival

“Some people see movies as fiction works – ‘Reality ends here,’ as the motto of a famous cinematic school says -  while others tend to perceive them as mirrors of the real world,” said Dr. Tudor Vlad, director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, at a film festival in Chicago in April. “The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, depending on the genre and on the goals of the directors.”

ROFest.Trends was a Romanian Movie Festival organized in Chicago on April 20-22 by the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest, Romania, and by the Romanian Cultural Institute, and it celebrated 100 years from the creation of the Romanian modern state at the end of WWI. 

Through programs initiated by the Cox International Center, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia has had a 14-year partnership with the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, which includes 15 media workshops and conferences and numerous joint publications.

The Cox Center is the international outreach unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Vlad was a keynote speaker in two sessions: The Film as a Socio-Cultural Radiography of Romania (that followed the movie Aferim), and Ethics in Journalism, Fake News, Fake Stories (following the movie The Fixer). Dr. Lee Hood, associate professor in Broadcast Journalism in the School of Communication at the Loyola University Chicago, joined Dr Vlad as a keynote speaker in one of the panels.  

After the fall of communism, the Romanian movie has developed its own style, bridging the gap between past, present, and future, and creating a new type of symbolism focused on the story within the story. In its quest for modernization, Romania has struggled to internalize the “Western way”, while still being anchored in its own "savoire-faire”. This unique pattern has given birth to original stories – many of them in the films featured at the ROFest.Trends film festival.

About 200 people watched the movies and the discussions.

According to the organizers, the event had two collateral goals. First, to feature stories that exposed many facets of Romania – starting from the historical perspective, going through the social one, and ending with current concerns and personal struggles. The second goal was to facilitate the dialogue between various cultures, and, more precisely, between the American and the Romanian ones.