Ileana Marin (Ph.D. 2011), affiliate with the Ellison Center for Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies, University of Washington, together with two other alumni of the UW, Otilia Baraboi (French), and Ioana Miron (Law), founded the Seattle based non-profit organization American Romanian Cultural Society (ARCS) in 2013. ARCS promotes the traditions and culture of Eastern Europe, focusing on the American Romanian cultural heritage in the Seattle area.
This fall, ARCS has succeeded in organizing the first Romanian Film Festival in the Pacific Northwest, One Eye Laughing, One Eye Crying, as part of an effort to disseminate Romanian contemporary culture. The festival, in partnership with The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, is intended to be a celebration of the critically acclaimed "New Romanian Cinema" and aims to become a staple of the local cultural scene. It is the result of a beautiful community building effort by the local Romanian minority, with financial support from 4culture, the Romanian Cultural Institute, and Seattle Office for Arts & Culture. The festival will run at SIFF Film Center, November 7-9. The program includes a selection of Romanian films of several genres: comedy (“I’m an Old Communist Hag,” “Of Snails and Men”), drama (“Sundays on Leave”), documentary (“Anatomy of Departure”), and shorts (Stories from the Golden Age; Traffic; Liviu’s Dream; Superman, Spiderman, and Batman; Stopover). None of these films has been previously shown in Seattle and many of them have received awards at various international film festivals. To make the festival an interactive, educational event, there will be Q&A sessions after each screening. In addition, guest directors Oliver Tataru (“Anatomy of a Departure”) and Ioana Uricaru ("Tales from the Golden Age," "Stopover") will present their works and engage the audience in a dialogue about political and economic exile, identity loss and reconfiguration.