Emanuel Pârvu currently in production with his first feature
by Stefan Dobroiu
- The Not So Happy Side of Things is a drama about adoption and family ties
Emanuel Pârvu’s first feature, The Not So Happy Side of Things, started shooting on 7 March, with production expected to wrap at the end of the month. The production company is FAMart Productions, represented by first-time producer Miruna Berescu.
The film stars Şerban Pavlu as Doru, a lumberjack whose wife has recently died. As if his loss was not bad enough, Doru must now send little Meda, a girl for whom his wife had been a maternal assistant for eight years, to the orphanage. There is a chance for Doru to adopt Meda, but the paperwork is expensive, and he lives in a region where cutting wood and rearing cows are the only legal means of earning money. After trying everything in order to keep Meda, Doru realises he may have to step onto the wrong side of the law in order to succeed.
Written by Pârvu, the film also stars Florin Zamfirescu, Adrian Titieni, Dan Aştilean and young Ana Radu in the role of teenager Meda. The film’s DoP is Silviu Stavilă.
“The story has been on my mind for a few years: the relationship between a parent and his child is a universal topic, but when we talk about adoption, the love of a certain parent for the child reaches a more intense and more profound place. I think cinemagoers will ponder their relationship with their children after watching the film. They will also meditate on sacrifice, choices and the options that life opens up for us,” says Pârvu.
As for producer Berescu, she says the decision to make the film independently is a direct consequence of how the Romanian National Film Center is treating first-time producers (read the news). As there was no chance of winning production support from the institution, a micro-budget shoot was the only way to make the movie. Berescu says the film’s budget totals €70,000, adding that this amount should be calculated in “friendship” rather than in cash, as the team has received invaluable help in terms of production services.