First-time director Alina Grigore in the final stages of post-production with Blue Moon
- The drama explores the relationship between victim and abuser in a dysfunctional, rural family
Best known for Adrian Sitaru’s Berlinale-selected Illegitimate [+see also:
interview: Adrian Sitaru
film profile], actress-screenwriter Alina Grigore is putting the finishing touches to her directorial debut, Blue Moon. The independent feature follows a dysfunctional family in rural Romania, exploring how a victim can become an abuser. The exclusively Romanian project is being produced by Gabriela Suciu and Robi Urs through InLight Center, and co-produced by Atelier de Film, Forest Film, Unfortunate Thespians, Smart Sound Production and Avanpost.
The screenplay, written by Grigore, centres on the relationship between Liviu (Mircea Postelnicu, from Ana, Mon Amour [+see also:
interview: Călin Peter Netzer
film profile]), a man trying to make a family-run business successful in rural Romania, and his younger cousin, Irina (Ioana Chiţu). He doesn’t believe in education, while she dreams of studying in Bucharest. Soon, Irina will discover that she is ready to do anything in order to smash Liviu’s preconceptions about education.
The budget amounts to €520,000, without any support from the Romanian National Film Center. Blue Moon was shot in August 2019 in and around the city of Vatra Dornei, with another shooting day taking place in May 2020 in the Bucegi Mountains. The DoP is Adrian Pădureţu. Ioana Flora, Vlad Ivanov, Emil Măndănac, Mircea Silaghi, Ilinca Neacşu and Robi Urs play other significant characters in the feature.
Producer Gabriela Suciu tells Cineuropa that it was lucky that the shoot had almost wrapped before the pandemic struck, as “the budget for COVID-related safety measures for a feature with a small team can easily exceed €10,000 [in Romania]. [Romanian] producers faced difficulties in meeting budget requirements even before the pandemic, and now, besides not having access to support in this regard, we have no idea when a new project competition will be organised by the National Film Center.”
Alina Grigore says that she started researching the topic more than a decade ago, when she wrote short stories exploring the challenges faced by young Romanian women in rural areas. She quotes statistics showing that less than 2% of these women succeed in graduating from university. As for her directorial approach, she says that she “strongly believes in collaborative art”, meaning that the entire team, including the DoP and the editor, were involved, over the course of three years, in creating what will now become Blue Moon.
The film will be ready at the beginning of the summer. It will be released in Romania by Follow Art Distribution, hopefully after a world premiere at an international film festival.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.