While her mother goes to work in Italy to provide for their needs, 15-year-old Georgiana looks after her six brothers and sisters in the suburbs of Bacau, Romania. Inspired by her own pain from a similar separation, the filmmaker paints a nuanced and tender portrait of a group of brave yet inevitably vulnerable children who must live with this situation while awaiting the summer.
- Best International Feature Documentary - Hot Docs
- Special Mention - Visions du Réel
- Best Documentary (over 30 mins.) - Karlovy Vary IFF
- Environmental Award - Reykjavik IFF
- Best Documentary in the Romanian Competition - Astra Film Festival
- Best Film - FIC Valdivia
- Joachim Philippe
- Michèle Hubinon
- Karim Baggili
My parents fled Communist Romania in 1988 and received political asylum in Belgium. I was seven at the time and had to remain behind, as a guarantee for the secret services that they would return. It was the only way they had found to flee the country. About a year later, I was allowed to join them, but their absence when I was a child, left a significant mark.
Remaining in close contact with my country of birth, I came to realize that history was repeating itself there, with the difference that children were no longer left behind for political reasons, but for economic ones. The impact on a child though, remains.
Economic migrants are occasionally given a voice by the media, but the (young) ones who are left behind, we seldom or never hear. That’s why I wish to tell their story: the story behind the story. I was lucky to meet the Halmac kids and their eldest sister, Georgiana, whose role touched me in particular. It was a great privilege to be allowed in their world and after spending so much time together, we all became like family, which gave this film its intimacy and—I believe—also its strength.
- RISE AND SHINE WORLD SALES
- CLIN D'OEIL FILMS
- A PRIVATE VIEW
Teodora Ana Mihai was born in Bucharest, Romania, under Ceausescu’s regime. In 1989 she came to Belgium and was reunited with her parents, who had fled the year before. In junior high, the opportunity arose to study in California and Teodora completed the last two years of high school at the French American International High School in San Francisco. Soon, inspired by her father’s previous passion for photography and the artistic environment of San Francisco she found that she wanted to explore reality through image and sound. She went on to study film at Sarah Lawrence College in upstate New York. Upon returning to Belgium, she first started working in the industry as a script supervisor and assistant director, followed by a stint in the TV industry. Soon, she started working on her own projects.
Her films take on the challenge of striking a balance between social relevance and audio-visual poetry. After directing the award-winning documentary WAITING FOR AUGUST, which was nominated for the European Film Awards in 2014, Teodora became a member of the European Film Academy. She continues her film work with enthusiasm, currently developing with her Belgian based company One for the Road bvba, two features set in Mexico, in collaboration with Mexican writer Habacuc Antonio De Rosario: LA CIVIL and LOS OLVIDABLES.
Her film THE PACKAGE, co-directed by Dušan Kasalica, was selected at the 51st Directors’ Fortnight. Her latest work is the movie LA CIVIL (2021) which was selected at the Sarajevo FF 2021.