I was born in Cluj, “capital” of Transylvania, Romania, a city with ancient university and cultural traditions. I’m the descendent of two very old aristocratic Transylvanian families that have contributed a lot to the Romanian history, politics and art. From these families I would mention: Alexandru Vaida Voevod – the three times Prime Minister of Romania in the interwar period and one of founders of Greater Romania (1918) – and Sextil Pușcariu – academician, philologist, first rector (1919) of the University of Cluj.
I had the privilege of growing up and receiving an education in an environment that instilled in me beautiful principles of life, love for peers, for mankind, for nature, foreign languages and the sensibility for artistic expression, as I was always surrounded by artwork in my house. I had the fortune to meet and know great personalities of Cluj and Romania who visited our house, from the medical field (my mother and my maternal grandfather were doctors), engineering (my paternal grandfather and my father were engineers) but also from the cultural artistic one (my maternal grandmother was a painter).
So far, my professional path was particular, I think…
I always loved films, of any kind. The power that I realised Chaplin had, about 100 years after the making of his films, of still making us laugh or cry, it was impressing! I dreamed of it so I saw again and again all of his films. Or the Disney films. Or the much improved animation that blow me away in 1996 with Jurassic Park – part 1…
So immediately I wanted to became a filmmaker or, “at least”, work at Pixar. But, first thing first, I followed the more “traditional and safe path”. I initially focused on a theoretical scientific direction, but with particular interest towards the processing of images and animation (graduating from a theoretical high school, followed by a faculty in computer science, where I’ve also completed a master). I’ve continued my trajectory with a PhD in Medical Informatics, with a topic (cinema-therapy – the use of movies in the treatment of children with psychological disorders) in which I could mix everything: films, medicine and computer science.
The film was always more than just a simple passion. While proceeding with my studies, I’ve attended a number of workshops and also I’ve started making short films. Since finishing my PhD I focused only on making films so I’ve started a Master of Arts at London Film School from where I graduated in 2012.
But I felt that I didn’t know enough about directing actors so, during my final term at the film school, I was very fortunate to become assistant director to the great Andrei Șerban (legendary theatre and opera director, chair at the Columbia University NY, USA). This collaboration continued with other of his theatre and opera shows that he directed around the world.
In April 2013 I had my debut as a theatre director with the play “Old clown wanted” by M. Vișniec. The play was a co-production with the National Radio Company. It followed “Sister Beatrice” written by M. Maeterlinck two years later. This one was in Hungarian with 7 actors from the State Hungarian Theatre. Both plays were very well received by both the public and critics and we were invited to festivals.
In the meantime I managed to start an educational program, for primary and high school children, that I’m very proud off. About 400 students watch a number of 10 films each year. It’s a follow up of my cinema-therapy PhD. We’re dealing each year with different topics: bulling, discrimination, self esteem, etc. We are in the 4th year now and the project keeps expanding.
I consider myself extremely fortunate as I’m able to do what I always dreamed off. It’s such a privilege to be able to tell stories, to meet and work with people from around the world. Now I hope to further my experience and proceed into my career. I’m working on a couple of feature films, one fiction, one documentary.
As an epilogue, I am thinking of Akira Kurowasa’s words, one of my favourite directors: “Although human beings are incapable of talking about themselves with total honesty, it is much harder to avoid the truth while pretending to be other people. They often reveal much about themselves in a very straightforward way. I am certain that I did. There is nothing that say more about its creator than the work itself”.
I hope it will and it’ll make you interested!