Romanian-Hollywood co-production released

    Closer to the Moon by Nae Caranfil Closer to the Moon by Nae Caranfil

    BUCHAREST: Closer to the Moon, Nae Caranfil's first English-language film starring Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong, will hold its national premiere 7 March, following a successful opening at the Making Waves Romanian Film Festival in New York in December.

    Produced by Bobby Păunescu through the Romania's Mandragora Movies Moon is a co-production with Renata Rainieri of the Italy's Rainier Group, Allesandro Leone of Poland's Agresywna Banda and Denis Friedman of France's Denis Friedman Production, with the help of  Michael Fitzgerald of the U.S. company Ithaca, which is financing the Romanian share. The film is supported by the National Centre for Cinema.

    Mandragora will launch the political caper film on more than 30 screens, after which a caravan will bring Moon to several Romanian cities. The film is hoped to be the box office hit of the year, according to Gilda Conon, Mandragora managing director. "I am thinking of an attendance of 200,000 in 2014," she told FNE.

    In Moon popular director Nae Caranfil takes on a theme dear to him, the loss of innocence, following the true story of a celebrated Romanian National Bank robbery by a group of formerly high-ranked political figures in 1959. All the perpetrators, four men and one woman, were soon arrested and forced to play themselves in a reconstruction for the screen. The men were sentenced to death while the woman received a life sentence. She was released in 1964 and escaped to Israel, where she died in 1977. The chapter marked one of the more bizarre and inexplicable spectacles during Romania's hardline dictatorship period.

    Shooting took place on locations in Bucharest and its surrounds in 2011 on a budget of about 4.4m EUR/20m RON, Conon told FNE. The main characters are played by English and American actors: Vera Farmiga, Mark Strong, Harry Lloyd, Anton Lesser, Christian McKay, Tim Plester, Joe Armstrong and Alan Corduner. No sales agent has been signed.