Production: Barry Gifford brings Phantom Father to Romania

By Iulia Blaga

    The American cult screenwriter Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, City of Ghosts) plays a small part in The Phantom Father, the first feature from Lucian Georgescu, based on Gifford's story.

    Principal photography recently wrapped in Romania. The plot follows an American professor (Marcel Iureş, Mission: Impossible, Amen, The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 2) on his journey to Vienna, Transylvania and Bucovina, former Austro-Hungarian Empire provinces.

    The story is partly biographical. Gifford's grandfather left Bucovina for Vienna and finally settled in the United States. In 2003, when he first visited Romania, Gifford followed a sort of similar journey. He then travelled to Bucovina together with a man he just met at Transylvania Film Festival (TIFF) in Cluj-Napoca: Lucian Georgescu.

    "The film is a roadmovie, but I don't want to make it look like either Borat or the Romanian realistic movies," the director (a screenwriter who worked in advertising) told FNE.

    The producers call The Phantom Father (www.thephantomfather.com) the first part of a trilogy of "bitter comedies and fantasy tales of foreigners visiting a mysterious land which whom they share love and hate past stories, memories or ghosts."

    The €1.1 million film is produced by Generic Audiovizual SRL (GAV) - Romania (www.gav.ro) and Germany's Von Vietinghoff Film Productions (www.vonvietinghoff-film.de ). It received a grant from the Romanian Film Centre (http://www.cncinema.abt.ro/), and a €20,000 grant from the MEDIA Programme.

    The film is co-financed by the Romanian companies Mediacom, Starcom Media, Initiative Media and Media Direction. There is no sales company yet.

    Joachim Von Vietinghoff is Senior Consultant Producer. The music is composed by the German Johannes Malfatti, and the DOP is Liviu Marghidan (California Dreamin').

    The film is in English, although the cast, except Gifford, is entirely Romanian. Principal photography, which took place in Romania and Hungary, was completed in December, 2008, with some additional shooting now underway in Bucharest. The release date is to be determined.

    Company information

    GAV (Generic Audiovizual SRL)

    Bucharest 48 Plantelor Street 023975, Sector 2, Romania

    Tel: 0040-21-31.71.356

    Fax: 0040-21-31.71.286

    Mobile: 0040-


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    MediaCom Romania

    Bucharest, 39 Frumoasă Street, Sector 1, Romania

    Tel: 0040- 21 - 314.50.10

    Fax: 0040- 21 - 314.50.15

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    Starcom Media
    13, Nicolae Iorga Street, Romania
    Tel: 0040-21-201 6140
    Fax: 0040-21-201 6141

    Initiative Media

    Bucharest 17 Ceasornicului Street, Sector 1, Romania

    Tel: 0040-21 - 3010100

    Fax: 0040- 21 - 3010199

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    Media Direction

    Bucharest 41Argentina Street
    Sector 1 Romania

    Tel: 0040-21-230.60.22

    Fax: 0040-21-230.60.36


    Director, screenwriter and producer: Lucian Georgescu

    Based on a story by: Barry Gifford

    Cinematographer: Liviu Marghidan

    Cast: Marcel Iureş, Mihaela Sârbu, Mihai Constantin, Valer Dellakeza, Nicodim Ungureanu, Barry Gifford