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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Romania / Bulgaria / Sweden / Germany

Ştefan Constantinescu has started shooting his first feature Man and Dog


- The film focuses on a man working abroad who has a good reason to return home during the pandemic

Ştefan Constantinescu has started shooting his first feature Man and Dog
Actor Bogdan Dumitrache and director Stefan Constantinescu

Romanian director Ştefan Constantinescu has started shooting his first feature Man and Dog, a drama whose screenplay accommodates topics related to the pandemic. The film is being staged by microFILM, represented by Ada Solomon and Diana Păroiu, with Klas Film (Bulgaria, producer Rossitsa Valkanova), Doppelganger (Sweden, producer Jörgen Andersson), and Pandora Filmproduktion (Germany, producer Nina Frese) serving as co-production companies.

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The screenplay, written by Andrei Epure, Constantinescu and Andersson, centers on Doru (Bogdan Dumitrache), a 42-year-old Romanian who works in Sweden. In the midst of the pandemic and as various countries hurry to close their borders, he returns to his hometown of Constanţa as he suspects his wife Nicoleta (Ofelia Popii) is having an affair. Accompanied by his mother's dog, Doru starts shadowing his wife, trying to uncover the circumstances of her betrayal.

The project has a budget of around €1M, with €172,000 coming from the Romanian National Film Center. The production started on 10 August (exactly when another first feature, Octav Chelaru's Balaur, started shooting - read news) and is expected to wrap on 20 September, after 25 shooting days in Romania and two in Sweden. The film’s DoP is Alexandru Solomon. Supporting characters are played by Ana Ciontea, Voica Oltean, Liviu Pintileasa and Cosmina Stratan.

Producer Ada Solomon tells Cineuropa that the film’s budget is expected to increase by 10 to 15%, as her team has to observe the strict rules designed by the medical authorities for film crews. “These are unexpected increases of expenditures, as Romania doesn’t offer any instrument of compensation, not even a partial compensation,” the producer said.

Director Ştefan Constantinescu presents his film as a “pseudo noir with an investigative structure that moves around a couple’s drama and themes of betrayal, failure and alienation. The contemporary European labour market serves as a backdrop for the story of the main character’s investigation into his wife’s potential adultery. It’s a market where a work force from Eastern Europe moves from country to country, being caught in a constant bidding war for the lowest cost of labour; a market imbued with alienation and the fear of the other, the stranger.”

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