Moldovan feature film Carbon will soon complete post-production


– Newcomer Ion BorÅŸ’s project received the WIP Europa Award at the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum in San Sebastián

Dumitru Roman and Ion Vântu in Carbon

There have been whole years where no Moldovan feature films have seen the light of day (or have been screened outside the country), but that seems to be changing: the first feature film Carbon, made by a newcomer Ion BorÅŸ and produced by Sergiu Cumatrenco via Youbesc, recently won the WIP Europa Award after participating in the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum at the last edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival (see news). The project is also produced by Kantora Film Production (Moldova), Pascaru Production (Moldova), Maya Film Studio (Romania) and Badeamic (Moldova). Post-production will end in late October or November.

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The screenplay, written by Mariana Starciuc, tells a story that takes place in the 1990s, when Dima (Roman Dumitru), a young tractor driver who dreams of engaging in the Transnistrian war, is joined by Vasea (Ion Vantu), a war veteran from Afghanistan, but on their way to enroll, they stumble upon a charred body. Dima and Vasea decide to bury the corpse according to appropriate Christian rituals, and since the authorities are not at all willing to help them identify the deceased, the two heroes will embark on an absurd journey to discover his identity.

The film’s budget is 430,000 €. The film received support from the Moldovan National Cinema Center and was launched in recent years at Transilvania Pitch Stop, connecting cottbus and Vilnius Meeting Point. Ruben Agadjanean is the DoP, and Igor caras, Vitalie Vasilache, Ion CoÅŸeru and Viorel Cornescu playing secondary characters.

Producer Sergiu Cumatrenco told Cineuropa that cinema in his country is made “by artists and not by businessmen. Given the [rather inadequate] system of local funding, it was clear from the start that the making of the film would not be possible without international support. Nonetheless, a rough start can indicate a happy ending. Our limited resources – as limited as the resources of thousands of filmmakers around the world – have determined us to approach pitching platforms in order to find international partners who believe in our authenticity.

As for director Ion BorÅŸ, he describes the film as an ironic-grotesque tragicomedy which explores “how terrible war is by following the decomposition of human characters” and how “a society can be dehumanized by propaganda”. The director tells Cineuropa that although Carbon takes place in the past, its audiences may well discover parallels with the present: “Even though that was not a goal from the start, at one point I was struck by the fact that this film speaks too of the present. The official discourse has not changed much and society is still divided. It’s a good opportunity to look back and understand that we haven’t come very far.

Carbon will be released in Moldova next year, hopefully after a world premiere at a major festival. The film crew is currently looking for Romanian distribution partners to release Carbon in the neighboring country.

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