The first edition of Bridges of Moldox took place on 17-19 September 2021 – a project related to the Documentary Film Festival for Social Change Moldox, which has been taking place in Cahul for six years. The event premiered the most appreciated films presented over the years at the Moldox Festival – domestic productions in the presence of the directors, international titles, and public discussions on current issues about the reality in which we live.
According to the director of the Moldox Festival, Maxim Cîrlan, Bridges of Moldox is intended to be a project through which documentary productions can impact other cities where there are film-loving audiences. “For the first edition, we were charmed by the city of Ungheni, where we have noticed a visible development in recent years. Both Cahul and Ungheni are part of the EU4Moldova: key regions programme, which supports the sustainable social and economic development of these cities. The concern for social issues and the openness of the local authorities to social change convinced us to come here”, emphasizes Maxim Cîrlan.
A loyal admirer of Bridges of Moldox Festival, the deputy mayor of Ungheni, Dionisie Ternovschi, expressed his thanks to the organizers for choosing Ungheni as the host of the first edition. He also mentioned the impact of the documentary film on society and its importance to asking questions and reflecting on things in our lives.
Over the three days of the festival, local people were able to watch films that were among the top preferences of the Moldox Festival audience. Among the most impactful titles was the local documentary Soviet Garden by Dragoș Turea, which investigates atomic energy experiments in Moldovan agriculture in the Soviet Union. The filmmaker reveals Nikita Khrushchev’s secret plan to turn Moldova into a Soviet garden with the application of atomic energy. Another film that has aroused public interest is Siberian Love, a film by Olga Delane, who, after living for 20 years in Berlin, returns to her family in Siberia. The film offers a unique insight into life and relationships in a Siberian village. This edition’s programme also included a festival award-winning Romanian documentary, Timebox by Nora Agapi, which tells the story of Professor Ioan-Matei Agapi, an 80-year-old photographer and cameraman from Iasi, Romania. The Professor owns a unique collection of films and photographs, but he will be evacuated from his apartment with literally no place to keep his collection.
Also part of the festival was the Exploration documentary film workshop where, under the guidance of tutor Nora Agapi and Moldox Lab coordinator Călin Laur, seven young women from Ungheni have learned how to make film. In this way, the closing ceremony brought to the attention of the Ungheni audience two shorts made by the workshop graduates, which brought to light the past and present of the International Railway Station from Ungheni and the glorious history of the Ungheni Riding School and its current challenges. The shorts documentary are available here.
The festival was organized by the “Moldox” Public Association with the financial support of the Dutch Association “Movies that Matter”, the City Hall of Ungheni, and the German Embassy.