Cristi Puiu’s debut as a director was in 2001 with the low budget road movie Stuff and Dough (Marfa si Banii) starring Alexandru Papadopol and Dragos Bucur. The film received several awards in international film festivals and competed in the Quinzaines des Realisateurs section of the Cannes Film Festival. He continued with a short film, Cigarettes and Coffee (Un cartus de Kent si un pachet de cafea, 2004), which was awarded the Golden Bear for best short film at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival.
His second film, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Moartea domnului Lazarescu, 2005), features the drama of an old man who is carried by an ambulance from hospital to hospital all night long, as doctors keep refusing to treat him and send him away. The film was a critical success, being awarded with Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and numerous awards at other international film festivals. Year 2006 brought 47 prizes for his film The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Moartea… read more