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PRODUCTION Romania

Marius Olteanu shooting his first feature, Monsters

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- The film, which tells a story about two people’s last day as a couple, is set to wrap in July

Marius Olteanu shooting his first feature, Monsters
Judith State and Cristian Popa in Monsters

Romanian director Marius Olteanu is currently shooting his first feature, Monsters, a film based on the idea that “maybe the biggest proof of love is letting go”. Shot over 28 days, the movie started production in April, with a short sequence shot last September, and is expected to wrap in July. The film is being produced by Parada Film in co-production with Wearebasca. 

The screenplay, written by Olteanu himself, follows Dana (Judith State) and Arthur (Cristian Popa), two 40-year-olds who have been married for eight years. Over the course of 24 hours, the story will follow their relationship, exploring how a series of challenges and encounters with other people push them towards the end of their life as a couple.

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Post-production is expected to wrap in the autumn, with a national release tentatively set for next spring. The budget amounts to €300,000. The Romanian National Film Center supported the production with approximately €133,000. Luchian Ciobanu is the DoP, and other important parts are played by Alexandru PotoceanŞerban Pavlu and Dorina Lazăr

Olteanu tells Cineuropa that the movie was conceived as a three-part story, the first about the female protagonist (already produced as the short film Tie, with Ioana Flora playing the main part), the second about the male protagonist and the final part about them as a couple. Focusing on specific details in their lives, the story shows how society can turn people into monsters and how two partners can be loved as a couple and despised as individuals.

The director also says that the first two parts are shot in the 1:1 format, which is suggestive of the limitations and boundaries of the physical, psychological and social world of the characters. He thinks of Monsters as a film targeted at a wider audience because “it speaks about things that have become increasingly familiar over the last few years, from intolerance to the recent emphasis on traditional values”.

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