Phantom Father: A Quest in the Carpathians
by Boyd van Hoeij
15/06/2011 - Romanian filmmaker Lucian Georgescu’s debut feature, Phantom Father, premiered as part of the Romanian Days section of the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF), which ended this weekend.
The film is inspired by a non-fiction book by U.S. poet and novelist Barry Gifford, The Phantom Father: A Memoir, about Gifford’s actual father, Rudy Winston, who was often absent. Gifford also wrote the novel that inspired David Lynch’s Palme d’or winner Wild at Heart, and co-wrote the screenplay for Lynch’s Lost Highway.
Phantom Father’s story is set in the mountainous Transylvania and Bukovina regions (both former Austro-Hungarian provinces) and centres on US. Professor Robert Traum, played by Romanian stage and screen actor Marcel Iures (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End). Robert goes to look for traces of his father, a famous novelist, and his uncle, a notorious gangster from Chicago.
On his search through archives and talks with locals, he’s aided by a beautiful Romanian archivist, Tanya (Mihaela Sirbu). Their search leads them to an aging cinema projectionist, Sami (Valer Dellakeza), a former friend of Robert’s father who has some trouble of his own.
Showcasing the low-key work of the actors as well as the gorgeous landscapes of the region, the film places its quest narrative in the context of the region’s beauty and history.
The film was produced by Generic Audiovizual Romania (GAV) in co-production with the Romanian branch of broadcaster HBO and with support from the Romanian CNC and MEDIA programme.
The film was co-financed by Mediacom, Starcom Media, Initiative Media and Media Direction, all from Romania. The film will be distributed locally by Transilvania Film.