The Forest Is Like the Mountains | Pădurea e ca muntele, vezi?

Germany/Romania 2014, Documentary, 101’ | Director Christiane Schmidt, Didier Guillain | DoP Christiane Schmidt | Editor Lena Hatebur | Sound Didier Guillain | Production Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München

»In the summer of 2004, Elena and Aron Lingurar asked us whether we would like to be the godparents of their daughter Anamaria. Well, we have seen one other almost every year since then, and at some point we suggested to the family that we make this film portrait with them.« Christiane Schmidt and Didier Guillain

Anamaria is looking for love. For Aronela, it’s her faith that is important. At the time of Nicolae Ceauşescu, Elena had a job at the tractor factory. Aron is the representative of the Partida Romilor. He feels responsible for his family and the village. Beniamin and Simon take us into the forest. »The forest is like the mountains, can you see that?« Iosif asks.

The jury's statement
»In spite of the fear, the misery and the struggle for survival that govern the everyday life of the Lingurars, a Roma family, they radiate vitality, humour and warmth. Over the course of a year, the film Pădurea e ca Muntele, vezi? invites us to take part in the life of a Romanian village and its inhabitants. We were most impressed with Christiane’s camerawork and the organic movement of her hand-held camera as well as her precise, sensitive and consistent composition of image. The positioning of the camera in the room vis-à-vis light and characters reflects a decisive sense of content and design. Christiane has a strong feeling for atmosphere and empathy for people – in our view, the basic qualities of documentary cinematography.«

Christiane Schmidt was born 1978 in Lüneburg. She studied political science and art history at Oldenburg University. In 2013, she completed her studies in documentary film and television journalism, with a focus on cinematography, at the University of Television & Film in Munich. Christiane Schmidt lives in Berlin. Pa ̆durea e ca muntele, vezi? is her graduation film.

Christiane Schmidt, Didier Guillain
Competition for Directors of Photography