Two Romanian films are registered in the Byzanfest Orthodox Film Festival, which is unfolding online between October 23 and November 8: a psychological drama where the main character turns out to be St Nicholas and a documentary showing an educational game with the children from the Orthodox Valea Plopului settlement.
“500” is nominated for the categories Best Short Film, Best Director and Best Photography.
Produced by Deep Wave Productions & Fundamental Film, the film tells the story of a young woman, played by Ana Maria Bercu, who saves from drowning a stranger played by Andrei Ciopec.
The stranger’s brief passage through her life brings miraculous changes, the most important being the raising from the sickness of her mother, played by Eliza Bercu. In the end, the film turns out to be about another saviour than the young woman.
Romanian actor Aureliu Surulescu also plays a detestable guy who does a good deed which closes the circle of the 500 Romanian Lei moving hands between the film’s characters.
“Searching for Happiness” is a short film produced by Pro Vita OrtoFilm. It documents an educational game organized for the children of the Valea Plopului settlement.
The game teaches them that happiness cannot be searched individually, but through an effort which always takes into consideration the needs of one’s neighbour.
The Valea Plopului settlement was established by Romanian Orthodox priest Nicolae Tănase and currently has almost 400 beneficiaries, mostly women victims of domestic violence and children saved from abortion.
Last year, the Award for Best Documentary went to another film about Valea Plopului and Father Nicolae Tănase. It featured photos and testimonies from the time when the Valea Plopului villagers built the village church, mostly at night and without approval from the communist authorities.
The short films can be viewed for free on the Youtube channel of the Byzanfest Orthodox Film Festival.
Each of the feature-length films can be viewed online in a pay-per-view system (Video On Demand).
The Festival Pass can be acquired until November 8 and it offers seven-day access to eight feature-length films with a 30% discount from the total fee.