Anca Damian completes Moon Hotel Kabul
by Stefan Dobroiu
- The director’s new fiction feature discusses the idea of truth and will be released domestically next autumn
One year after her third live-action fiction feature, In Perfect Health [+see also:
film profile], was released in Romanian cinemas, Romanian director Anca Damian is on the cusp of completing yet another feature, Moon Hotel Kabul. The film is being staged by Damian’s Aparte Film, in co-production with French company Cinéma Defacto, represented by Tom Dercourt and Sophie Erbs.
Written by Lia Bugnar and Damian, the film follows Ivan Semciuc (Florin Piersic Jr), a cynical investigative journalist visiting Kabul for an event. At the end of his trip, he has a seemingly meaningless one-night stand with Ioana (Ofelia Popii), a translator. The next day, back in Bucharest, Ivan learns that Ioana has been found dead, with her wrists cut. The news will change the protagonist in ways he couldn’t have expected.
The film’s budget amounts to €800,000. The Romanian National Film Center supported the project with €295,000. France’s CNC and Eurimages also supported the film with €50,000 and €105,000, respectively. The movie was shot in 2016 in Bucharest, provincial Romania and Morocco, “as it was too risky to shoot in Kabul at that time,” Damian tells Cineuropa. Dominique Colin was the film’s DoP, and other important characters were played by Adrian Titieni, Alexandru Nagy and Rodica Negrea.
Damian says she started thinking about a story on the idea of truth after having conversations with a Romanian journalist. “His cynical attitude and what he told me about the relationship between truth and what we actually read in the newspapers made me think about a character who has stopped believing in humanity and personal sacrifice. With the fate of a seemingly insignificant character as a trigger, he synchronises his life with these two values: truth and sacrifice… My film explores two destinies, with two different choices regarding values, which allow the audience to accompany the protagonist through the personal purgatory of his relationship with truth and love.”
Moon Hotel Kabul will be released domestically next autumn.
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