Aurora, Cristi's Puiu tale of murders, is the second in his project Six Stories From the Outskirts of Bucharest, which began with the acclaimed The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu in 2005. Following that black comedy, the Romanian helmer returns with the dark story of a recently divorced father of two wandering through Bucharest and trying to put an end to his nervousness.
Cristi Puiu spent much of the last two years researching the film, talking from criminals to forensic surgeons and prosecutors. He says that his film is about "ambiguity and the impossibility of knowing how to relate to the world, to others, and the impossibility of real communication." Inspired by several true stories, Puiu made a film "about the missing link between Eros and Thanatos."
In order to find the main actor, one who would be onscreen for nearly the entire 3 hours of the film, the director looked for almost half a year, and finally cast himself in the difficult part of Viorel. In order to take the role, he had to pass the exam for a driving licence, which made some scenes difficult to shoot. Actors Clara Vodă and Luminiţa Gheorghiu repeat their characters of doctor and nurse from The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu. The cast also includes Valeria Seciu, Gelu Colceag, Catrinel Dumitrescu, Valentin Popescu, Gigi Ifrim, Lucian Ifrim, and child actors Carmela Culda and Ileana Puiu. Viorel Sergovici is the DOP, and Ioachim Stroe edited the film.
Aurora is a production of the Romanian company Mandragora (www.mandragora.ro), in co-production with France's Société Parisienne de Production (www.thecopro.de), the Swiss company Bord Cadre Films (www.bordcadrefilms.com), and Germany's Essential Filmproduktion GmbH. The producers are Anca Puiu and Bobby Păunescu. Philippe Bober, Dan Wechsler and Susanne Marian are co-producing.
The project has received a grant of 380,000 Euro from the Romanian National Centre for Cinema (www.cncinema.abt.ro) in 2008, and 250,000 Euro from Eurimages (www.coe.int/t/dg4/eurimages), and the Grand Accord from Arte France Cinema (www.artefrancecinema .visualnet.com) and ZDF (www.zdf.de). The film is also supported by SC Serv Invest SRL, the Romanian Television Society (www.tvr.ro) and HBO România.
The budget was 2 million Euro. The shooting took place between February and May 2009. Coproduction Office (www.coproductionoffice.eu) is handling the international sales. The film has been sold to Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg where it will be distributed by Lumière/Eye Film, UK/Ireland (New Wave), Portugal (Atalanta Filmes), and to former Yougoslavia (Megacom).
Aurora had its world premiere in Un Certain Regard section of Cannes Film Festival. The local premiere is set for the end of September, producer Anca Puiu told FNE.
12 A, Docenţilor Street, ap. 3, Sector 1
Phone: +40 21 222.05.58
Fax: +40 21 222.05.57
Société Française de Coproduction
24 Rue Lamartine, 75009 Paris 9 (Paris)
Bord Cadre Films
CP 5353 - 1211 Genève 11, Suisse
Tel. / Fax : + 41 22 320 90 25
Mob : + 41 79 411 93 87
Essential Filmproduktion GmbH
Phone: +49 30 32 77 78 79
Fax: +49 30 32 32091
Director: Cristi Puiu
Script: Cristi Puiu
DOP: Viorel Sergovici
Editor: Ioachim Stroe
Son: Andre Rigaut
Cast: Cristi Puiu