19th Titanic Filmfestival

Festival Films Programs Press News

The director of Elevator was here

The Titanic International Film Festival had the honour to host Romanian filmmaker George Dorobantu last weekend. The Q&A-s took place in Örökmozgó and Toldi Cinemas. 

In Dorobantu’s Elevator two teenagers get stuck for days in the lift of an abandoned building. The psychological drama demonstrates the physical, emotional and mental stages of the time period spent in a space of 2 quarter meters.

The director told the public about the shooting conditions: the crew had to work without any state subsidies, from as much as 200 Euros. „We wanted to make an independent movie, we didn’t intend to get more money.” The crew consisted of only five people, the post-production process lasted 2 years, and the shooting took place in the good lift of an old Bucharest theatre, Odeon, within 18 days.

The creators’ aim was to detach the story from time and space by omitting precise information: for example, we do not get to know whether we are in the 90s or in the years 2000. The film is in 90% an accurate remake of the theatrical play it is based on. The same actors, Cristi Petrescu and Iulia Verdes, 17 and 18 at the time of the shooting, were starring in the stage version and they did not improvise in either, citing the written dialogues word by word.

The basic idea originates from a 3-line long article: a young couple found in a London good lift after 3 months without any documents, therefore they could not be identified for years.  Later the autopsy revealed that the girl could stay alive in the closed space for 3, whereas the boy for 5 weeks. The director also mentioned that although the story is rather depressing and tragic, the viewers will hopefully discover the positive content in Elevator. In order to emphasise this, the authors decided to reverse the chronologic order of the film by adding the last scene.

As a response to the viewers’ question, Mr. Dorobantu gave some information about the two actors: while the boy has become a photographer in Italy, the girl attends a film school in Bucharest, and her career as an actress has triggered. The director is planning to begin his next work in autumn which is going to be a „post-apocalyptic road movie”, again on a minimal budget: „I stick to independent film making, but I would not like to shoot in such a limited space ever again”.



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