Internationally acclaimed stage director Silviu Purcărete makes his directorial film debut with Somewhere in Palilula, an ambitious dark comedy about life under communism. Shooting started in Bucharest on October 14.
"In Palilula no child is born. Young or old, people never crossed the childhood border. Palilula is an Inferno with the smell of Paradise", said Purcărete, who also wrote the script and gathered more than 50 actors, some of them collaborators from his stage productions.
The film is produced by Tudor Giurgiu and Libra Film (www.librafilm.net), and is considered expensive and risky for a Romanian production, with a budget of 1.6 million euro. A quarter of the budget comes from the National Centre for Cinema (www.cncinema.abt.ro). The project and four other films produced by Libra Film received MEDIA Programme development funding of 136,200 euro this year. Somewhere in Palilula won the Balkan Fund Award at Thessaloniki IFF in 2005. The project is also supported by Medienboard, Germany.
The film is being shot in a deserted factory area of 10,000 square meters in Bucharest, where the crew built the settings of a hospital with an interior yard and an engine on railways, and will also build a cemetery, an orchard and a lake.
Purcărete is working with close collaborators from stage, including art directors Helmut Stürmer and Dragoş Buhagiar, costume designer Lia Manţoc and composer Vasile Şirli. The DOP is Adrian Silişteanu (Angling).
In reality, Palilula is a village in the southern part of the country. On screen, "it is nowhere and everywhere," Purcărete says.
Dimeny Aron (Fateless, Mansfeld) plays the lead role of a doctor. The cast includes Romanian actors Răzvan Vasilescu, George Mihăiţă, Ilie Gheorghe, Ofelia Popii, Ioana Crăciunescu, and Marcel Iureş.
The local premiere is set for 2011, but the producers are aiming for a world premiere at Venice Film Festival in 2010.
52 Popa Soare street, Et. 1, Ap. 4Sector 2 Bucureşti, România
Phone/Fax:+40. 22.214.171.1240 +40. 126.96.36.1998
Director: Silviu Purcărete
Script: Silviu Purcărete
DOP: Adrian Silişteanu
Art directors: Helmut Stürmer
Music: Vasile Şirli
Costumes: Lia Manţoc
Cast: Dimeny Aron