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Mandragora Movies
Promotion materials for the movie “Francesca”

Promotion to match the quality of the Romanian movies in the new wave


In the past years, a few Romanian filmmakers have done what no one thought possible: they have brought the Romanian cinematography back in the attention of the public, critics, producers and festival organizers from all over the world. But a good movie doesn’t necessarily become a successful movie. Behind every international award-winning production there is a complex machinery in motion. In Romania, this machinery is only now taking shape. And the materials that help promoting a movie are still way behind the ones from other countries – from every point of view. But the production companies are beginning to invest time, energy and money for them.

In September 2009, Bobby Paunescu’s movie has had the international premiere at the Venice Film Festival in the Orizzonti section, where trends in the international cinematography are presented. The production company Mandragora Movies has commissioned to Re:ply the communication materials for the presentation of the movie at the festival: poster, post cards set, A4 folder and press-kit containing digipack with DVD and leaflet, featuring, among others, the movie synopsis, the director’s comments and facts about the actors.
“Although realizing such materials is still incipient in Romania, given the fact that only for a few years now the movies participating at festivals are correctly promoted, the conception and production of the materials for “Francesca” was not new for Re:ply. Our agency has previously developed promotion materials for “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” and “Megatron”, for the Cannes Film Festival”, says Cristina Armas, Account Manager at Re:ply.
“Francesca” is a film about the identity crisis that societies from ex-communist countries are facing, being affected by the lack of any landmarks and values. It is “a contemporary story about family, relationships, the need to trust, and facing up all the risks involved; it is also a mirror of our world nowadays – violent, aggressive and unsafe”, says director Bobby Paunescu.
Francesca (Monica Birladeanu) is a 30 years old teacher at a kindergarten in Bucharest who wants to immigrate to Italy. Through a middleman, she finds a job in Milan, but the opposite reactions of her family and friends when finding out the news make her hesitate about her leaving. And when Francesca finds out that her boyfriend (Mita, interpreted by Dorian Boguta) can’t pay back his loan to the loan sharks, things get complicated and decisions more and more difficult to make.
Bobby Paunescu has named the film after Francesca Cabrini, the patron saint of the immigrants, who lived at the end of the 19th century. She helped Italians immigrating to America integrate to a society where they were victims of prejudice and intolerance. That is why she has been canonized. The director thinks that Italy is now for Romanians what America was then for Italians: “The Promised Land”, a place full of possibilities, where people want to build a better life.
At the Venice Festival, “Francesca” has been welcomed with appreciation and applause by the public and critics, but it has also stirred up controversy, caused by the reaction of Alessandra Mussolini, member of the Italian Parliament from the Neo-Nazi party, and of Flavio Tosi, the mayor of Verona, who declared they were offended by some of the lines in the movie.


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