PRODUCTION: The Ghosts in development

By Iulia Blaga

    BUCHAREST: Bobby Păunescu (Francesca) is in early development with his second feature film, The Ghosts/Fantomele after completing a first draft of the script. Foreign investors and coproducers from USA, Italy and Great Britan have expressed interest in the project.

    The film will focus on the industrial espionnage of the 1970's, highlighting a turning point for Romania, the year 1978, when the Foreign Information Directorate (DIE) was purged after a Romanian spy, Ion Mihai Pacepa, defected to Germany. Păunescu witnesed these times as a child, when is father worked in foreign trade and he spent his childhood in Milan.

    Păunescu will produce the film with Mandragora (www.mandragora.ro) and hopes to also bring in a Japanese coproducer, as the action is set in Romania, USA, Italy, Great Britain and Japan. Only 20% of the shooting will be in Romania. The film will be spoken mainly in English, along with Romanian and Italian, with an international cast. The budget is over 15 million euro. Shooting is due to start in May 2011 and last for six months. The Romanian premiere is set for 2012.

    Although worked on The Ghosts even before making Francesca, Păunescu was due to start shooting Cheap Labour in Ireland. "I wrote the script, I made the coproduction agreement, and prepared the shooting, but I felt I had to put the project on hold and make The Ghosts," the filmmaker told FNE.

    Păunescu founded the production company Mandragora together with director Cristi Puiu in 2004. Last year they opened the distribution company Mandragora International in Paris. A new office, Mandragora North America, will open in New York by the end of 2010.

    Production Information:
    12 A, Docenţilor street, ap. 3
    Sector 1, 011403, Bucureşti, România
    Phone: +40. 21. 222.05.58
    Fax: +40 21. 222.05.57
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