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Dacian parody The Dac Side of the Moon to start production in June


- Robert Popa’s low-budget, independent comedy may well prove to be Romania’s next domestic hit

Dacian parody The Dac Side of the Moon to start production in June
Alin Panc and Iulian Ilinca, being pursued by some Romans, in a mood picture for The Dac Side of the Moon

Recent years have shown an unexpected trend in Romania: a string of independent comedies (the most recent being Miami Bici – see the news) that quickly became record breakers at the domestic box office. The next hit may very well be The Dac Side of the Moon (where “dac” is the Romanian word for “Dacian”), a parody helmed by first-time director Robert Popa that will start production in June. The project is being staged by Papa Pictures, with Alin Panc, Alexandru Pop and Cosmin Seleşi serving as producers, and co-produced by Compass Studio (Dorian Stan) and Erka (Ruxandra Şerban).

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The screenplay, written by George Lungoci and Popa, goes almost two millennia back in time, when the Dacians are under threat from the Romans, but pretty much any relationship the story may have with historical accuracy stops here: the Dacians are preparing a ship to go to the dark side of the moon, where they are supposed to find the all-powerful Ethereal Crystal that will change history forever. There is only one thing missing in order for their daring plan to become reality, and three courageous Dacians are sent to catch it (okay, it’s a magic dormouse!), but their mission will be more complicated than expected.

The film’s budget amounts to only €100,000, and the 15-day shoot will start on 7 June in the remote forests of Hunedoara County. The main characters are played by the producers (except for Stan), while Iulian Ilinca, Andreea Samson and Mariangela Coldea appear in supporting roles.

Producer and main actor Alin Panc tells Cineuropa that The Dac Side... serves “the primordial purposes of world cinema: entertainment and money”. He thinks that making movies for money (as opposed to making award-winning arthouse films that cannot find an audience at home) “is absolutely necessary both in a healthy society and in an efficient film industry. State-supported films are important, and without them, we [the feature’s unconventional team] would never have got it into our heads to be ourselves.”

Panc also says that, among other targets, his film will take aim at an interesting social phenomenon (also explored in Andrei Gorgan and Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan’s documentary Free Dacians [+see also:
film review
film profile
): the Romanians’ increasing obsession with the glorious (and mostly fictitious) deeds of their ancestors, the Dacians. “The parody will stress our [the Romanians’] eternal desire to be unique and powerful,” the producer explains.

The Dac Side of the Moon is expected to wrap post-production this autumn, with the team eyeing the month of November for the domestic release, which Transilvania Film will be in charge of.

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