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PRODUZIONE / FINANZIAMENTI Romania

Alexandru Maftei prepara il dramma storico The Passion of Ştefan

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- Il film esplorerà un giorno nella vita di Stefano il Grande che governò la Moldavia tra il 1457 e il 1504

Alexandru Maftei prepara il dramma storico The Passion of Ştefan
Silvian Vâlcu e Ioan Bastinaş interpretano personaggi secondari in The Passion of Ştefan

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After directing the romantic comedy Hello, How Are You? [+leggi anche:
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intervista: Alexandru |Maftei
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in 2010 and the horror Miss Christina [+leggi anche:
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in 2013, Romanian director Alexandru Maftei is breaking new ground in national genre cinema with The Passion of Ştefan (working title). This extremely rare Romanian historical drama is produced by Iuliana Tarnoveţchi on behalf of Alien Film.

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Written by Alexandru Spătaru and Maftei himself, the screenplay centres on a day in the life of Stephen the Great, a military leader who fought against the Ottoman invasion and who has since become known as one of the greatest rulers in Romania’s history. Given that Stephen’s history was significantly redacted during the communist era, the film is based on new information presented in Ştefan Gorovei and Maria Magdalena Szekely’s book Princeps Omni Laude Maior – A History of Stephen the Great, which states that Stephen’s interest in faith and religion (topics that were deeply abhorred in communist Romania) was far greater that we thought.

As Alexandru Maftei explained to Cineuropa: “The screenplay I wrote with Alexandru Spătaru covers Stephen’s struggles as well as his transformation from a military leader into a truly visionary ruler.” The film focuses on one day, 6 March 1486, when Stephen is in such dire danger that the aforementioned transformation takes place.

The Passion of Ştefan enjoys a budget of circa €816,000. The project was granted approximately €385,000 by the Romanian National Film Center in 2017. The shoot will take place in the second half of 2021 and at the beginning of next year, both in the studio and on location in various areas within the Romanian region of Moldavia, with Radu Aldea as DoP. Marius Damian plays the title character, while Vlad Corbeanu, Cezar Grumăzescu, Ioan Batinaş and Silvian Vâlcu all play supporting roles.

Producer Iuliana Tarnoveţchi revealed to Cineuropa that preparation for this film was unavoidably more complex and more time-consuming than it would have been for a contemporary film. “The costumes, the art direction elements, even the language of that time-period required extensive research, and it took a lot of time to make or find specific period items. This kind of production requires considerable financial resources. The film is being made with the help of historical consultants, to ensure we observe the historical chronology in question and for accuracy in terms of the costumes, weapons and architecture of the era. This is an ambitious production with unique qualities, which seeks to offer audiences a one-of-a-kind hero, together with one page - perhaps one of the most important pages – of the Romanian people’s history,” the producer enthuses.

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