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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Romania / Belgium / France

Anca Damian’s The Island to be finished before the end of the year

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- The director says the animation’s topic is uncannily in sync with the state of the world today

Anca Damian’s The Island to be finished before the end of the year
The Island by Anca Damian

The only Romanian director to have delivered animated features over the last decade, Anca Damian is currently in production with her newest project, The Island, which she describes as a musical comedy and “an upside-down Robinson Crusoe story”. The film is a co-production between Damian’s Aparte Film, Take Five (Belgium) and Komadoli (France).

The screenplay, written by Damian and Augusto Zanovello, shares characters with Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe, but in the animation, Robinson is a doctor who isolates himself voluntarily on an island, his seclusion soon to be interrupted by migrants, guards and NGO representatives. In Damian’s fourth animated feature, Friday is, for example, the sole survivor on a boat which had left Africa for Italy...

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The vocal cast comprises Alexandru Bălănescu, Ada Milea (both of whom are in charge of the score), Cristina Juncu and Lucian Ionescu, among others. The production received support to the tune of €209,000 from the Romanian National Film Center. It also received backing from Eurimages and Creative Europe - MEDIA.

Damian tells Cineuropa that the production hasn’t been affected by the controversial measures taken by the Romanian National Film Center (see the news), but rather by the current social-distancing requirements, as production necessitates in-studio work, which is more difficult to organise for the time being.

As for the story, she says that her film comments on a future that she expected us to face soon, “but not this soon. The entire movie resonates differently now: lines such as ‘I am alone, but I am alive’ or ‘Do you want to share your solitude with me?/That would be my pleasure’ have a different weight now. The solitude in the world we knew before was masked by agitation; it existed then, and now it is impossible to ignore,” the director explains.

Damian expects the movie to be delivered before the end of the year. She also hopes that The Island will world-premiere at a festival in 2021.

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