BUCHAREST: Eliza Zdru is in early development with a 90 minute documentary following the life of the first filmmakers in the Balkans, the Manakia brothers (aka Manaki brothers) and the negative of the picture they took of her great-grandfather, Mita Zdru, in 1923.
The road movie takes them through Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania and Greece.
The Manakia brothers, who were contemporary of the Lumière brothers, were ethnically Aromanians/Vlachs, like Zdru’s family; thus, her interest in the history of cinema is outbalanced by her interest in her own history.
Străbunicul meu, Mita Zdru, a fost fotografiat de fraţii Manakia/My Great-Grandfather, Mita Zdru, Was Photographed by the Manakia Brothers is written by Zdru and will be shot by Paula Oneţ. Răzvan Cliza is the production manager. Zdru told FNE that she does not have a producer yet, but that she is in negotiations with a production company and is also looking for foreign coproducers. The budget is approximately 200,000 EUR.
The project received a grant from the Balkan Documentary Center and will be one of the seven projects participating at the three sessions of the workshop BDC Discoveries 2013 in May, August and October 2013.
"In 2014 I would like to pitch the project at East Silver Market, Dragon Forum, Sheffield Doc/Fest, DokLeipzig, and IDFA Forum," Zdru told FNE.
She plans to shoot for 60 days during August 2013 and September 2014. The film is should be finished at the end of 2014 and have the premiere in early 2015.