The latest film by director Liviu Mărghidan, “Castelul Crăiței/Craita’s Castle,” is set to hit the big screens in Romania on November 24, distributed by August Film. The feature film stars Judith State, Dragoș Olaru, Adela Mărghidan, Radu Mărghidan in leading roles, with additional cast members including Florentina Țilea, Mihaela Alexandru, Ionuț Achivoaie, Dan Bordeianu, Constantin Lupescu, David Neacșu, and Viorel Păunescu.
The movie tells the story of siblings Luca and Ana, who live in different countries following their parents’ divorce but reunite during their annual mountain excursion. However, their vacation takes an unexpected turn when the children go missing during a clandestine expedition, causing panic. The film concludes with a surprising twist, complemented by breathtaking visuals for the audience to savor on the big screen.
Director Liviu Mărghidan expressed, “I consider it the first of its kind in Romania, one that hasn’t been attempted before. It doesn’t solely cater to mountaineers but appeals to all nature enthusiasts. Given that it’s a unique and slightly unconventional film, I can’t predict its impact on the general moviegoers, but based on the special screenings we’ve had, I’m happy that people stayed in the theater, discussed the film, delved into the theme of fractured families, admired the locations, and even recognized them.”
The film was shot in well-known hiking and climbing areas, including the Plaiul Foii area, Zărnești, the Piatra Craiului massif (Cabana Curmătura, Colții Chiliei, Turnurile Dianei, Prăpăstiile Zărneștilor, Peștera cu lilieci, Malu’ Galben, Brâul de Mijloc, and the Vârful Ascuțit, Speranței, and Diana refuges). Filming took place in July-August 2020 and August 2021, totaling nearly 30 days. The idea for the film originated from director Liviu Mărghidan’s personal experiences, and the pre-production phase involved numerous location surveys and mountain route selections, along with special training for the actors and the crew to tackle challenging filming conditions.
“Castelul Crăiței” had its national premiere at the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) in the summer and was also featured in the official selections of Alpin Fest (where it received the Audience Award), Anonimul International Independent Film Festival, and Bucharest International Film Festival (BIFF).
The film addresses two significant topics: a love for the mountains, offering the most daring and visually engaging Romanian cinematic perspective on mountaineering, and the complexities of family dynamics and how our parents’ relationships can influence our life trajectories. Moreover, it’s one of those fortunate situations where the director is undoubtedly the right person to tell this story. The authenticity and sincerity of the narrative are evident, making it a film that would delight all nature enthusiasts,” said Matei Truța, co-founder of August Film.
This is Liviu Mărghidan’s third feature film, following “Străjerii” (2018) and “Străjerii Deltei” (2021), both dedicated to the youngest cinephiles and bringing to the forefront, along with thrilling adventures and spectacular landscapes, valuable lessons about responsibility and ecology.
The film’s screenplay is written by Alexandru Popa, with contributions from Liviu Mărghidan, while Ruxandra Flonta (known for “Început,” “Pororoca,” “Mo”) serves as the film’s producer. Mircea Valentin is the director of photography, and Tudor D. Popescu (“Câteva conversații despre o fată foarte înaltă,” “Mo,” “Urma,” “Taximetriști”) is responsible for editing, while Ștefan Drăgușin and Alexandru Dumitru handled the sound. The original music for the film is composed by Alin Zăbrăuțeanu, an artist known for several independent music projects in Romania, including Omelette, Jazzadezz, Kepler not Kopernicus, and Balkan Taksim.
Further details about the film’s cinema release and special screenings with the film’s team present will be announced soon.