PRODUCTION: Closer to the Moon Starts Shooting in Bucharest

By Iulia Blaga

    BUCHAREST: Nae Caranfil (Restul e tăcere/The Rest Is Silence) writes and directs Closer to the Moon, his first English language feature starring Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong. Filming began on 5 September 2011. The wrap date is to be announced.

    Close to the Moon is produced by Bobby Paunescu and his Romanian company Mandragora Movies (which is providing most of the funding for the film), Renata Rainieri of the Italy's Rainier Group, and Michal Fitzgerald of the U.S. company CTTM LLC. The film is coproduced by Denis Friedman of France's Denis Friedman Production and Allesandro Leone of Poland's Agresywna Banda (www.agresywnabanda.com).The budget is $7 million.

    The story is based on the real events of 1959 when six former members of the Romanian state government (five men and one woman) planned to rob the National Bank in Bucharest. They were caught in the act and forced to shoot a re-enactment of the robbery in exchange for the promise of their lives. The re-enactment was shot (and still exists), but they were executed afterwards, with the exception of the woman who was later allowed to immigrate to Israel.

    The National Bank Robbery previously inspired a Romanian documentary, Marele jaf communist/The Great Communist Robbery (2004) in which filmmaker Alexandru Solomon investigated the possible causes of this mysterious robbery, given the fact that it was almost impossible for the thieves to get away with so much money in a communist regime when the secret police were so vigilant and the borders were closed.

    Caranfil has been working on the story for several years. A version of the script that he wrote in Romanian and entitled Alice în Ţara Tovarăşilor/Alice in the Land of Comrades won a production grant of 576,600 euro (1.92 million RON) from the National Centre of Cinema (www.cncinema.abt.ro) in 2007.

    This is Caranfil's second foreign language film. In 1998 he wrote and directed Dolce far niente, a French language comedy on the meeting between Stendhal and Rossini.

    Production Information

    Mandragora Movies

    8, A.P. Cehov street

    Sector 1, Bucuresti, Romania

    Phone: +40.31.620.3503

    Fax: +40.21.315.1000

    www.mandragoramovies.ro (under construction)

    Gilda Conon, Managing Director: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Director: Nae Caranfil

    Script: Nae Caranfil

    DOP: Marius Panduru

    Cast: Vera Farmiga

    Mark Strong

    Harry Lloyd

    Alan Corduner