BUCHAREST: Claudiu Mitcu (Two of Us/Noi doi) is in postproduction with the documentary The Network/Reţeaua which he is producing with Ada Solomon and Călin Peter Netzer through his company Parada Film, the same company that produced Child's Pose/Pozitia copilului.
The film was shot from December 2012 until May 2014. The Network follows an underground benevolent network of people who are buying chemotherapy drugs abroad and transporting them to Romanian patients, since in Romania chemotherapy drugs are not available. The network consist of more than 250 people who completed approximately 300 transports so far. The cost of traded drugs totals around 60,000 EUR annually.
Claudiu Mitcu started researching as soon as he read a story in the local press about the network which became operational in 2012. He wrote the script based on the news report by Vlad Mixich. Andrei Butică (Child's Pose) and Vlad Petri (Where Are You Bucharest?) were the DoP’s.
"Radu Jude sent me the link to that story, saying that this is a documentary for me. We shot 60-70 hours, more specifically 10 transports from which I chose some characters. The most difficult was to convince members of the network to be in the film. One of them who became the main character agreed to talk but not to show his face. The others -- the patients, the taxi driver who carry the drugs from the airport to town -- all accepted. Transports are made weekly, whenever needed. You can post a request on Facebook asking who is coming from Vienna next week. There is no transportation fee. I myself carried chemotherapy drugs in my hand luggage during the production and I told the security officer in the airport that they were chemotherapy drugs. I wasn't interested in doing the stereotypes with patients laying in bed in hospitals; what I wanted was to show that a system is not functionning as it should," Mitcu told FNE.
Of the budget of 100,000EUR, approximately 70% is in place, Mitcu told FNE. The project received a production grant of 32,652 EUR/144,000 RON from the Romanian Film Center.
Editing is due to end in August 2014, and although there are Romanian festivals which already invited the film this autumn, the director says that he is not rushing to finish it or to give it a certain length. "It could be 60, it could be 70 min, as long as it takes," Mitcu told FNE.
The Newtork participated as work-in-progress at One World Romania and Transilvania IFF. Negotiations with HBO Romania are underway. Claudiu Mitcu says that he wants the film to be shown in domestic cinemas. It will be distributed by Parada Film.
Credits:Director: Claudiu MitcuScript: Claudiu Mitcu, based on the report of Vlad MixichDoP: Andrei Butică, Vlad PetriEditor: Ioachim Stroe