By JOHN NADLER
BUDAPEST -- "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle," which chronicles the life of an 18 year old in a juvenile prison, has won film, director and first feature film for helmer Florin Serban at Romania's 5th annual GOPO national cinema awards.
"Whistle" received the supporting actress nod for Clara Voda and the Young Hope Award for the film's young protagonist George Pistereanu, who previously was not a professional actor.
"Whistle" received the audience award for the top grossing Romanian-made film, with 55,858 admissions on home turf.
Other nods went to "Medal of Honor," a jarring and sentimental exploration of Romania's post-war history, which won best actor for Victor Rebengiuc and screenplay for Tudor Voican; "Portrait of the Fighter as a Young Man," which won cinematography (Liviu Marghidan) and supporting actor (Bogdan Dumitrache); and "Tuesday, After Christmas," a lean, emotional, and disciplined chronicle of a dying marriage, which won actress for Mirela Oprisor.
The long-awaited "The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu" earned best docu for director Andrei Ujica, and editing (Dana Bunescu); and short film went to director Adrian Sitaru for "The Cage."
"Kino Caravan," an edgy comic look at propaganda in 1960s Romania, was also a big winner, earning best original score, production design, costume, make-up, and a nod from the Romanian Society of Cinematographers.
The awards, broadcast nationally on Romania television and held in a gala at the Palace of Justice, recognized the career achievement of 80-year-old actor Ion Besoiu, a fixture of post-war Romanian cinema; and set designer Zoltan Szabo.
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