Secluded from the world, in XIX century rural Romania,
a widow and mother of three must defend what’s left of her family, at all costs, from an old family friend turned foe.
Based on one of the best-known Romanian folktales (The Goat and Her Three Kids by Ion Creangă), this film aims to unveil the true nature of the famed bedtime story
and to treat the audience to a different perspective, one that offers a glimpse of what the tragedy looks like beyond the happy songs and familiar characters.
* * *
The story of The Goat and Her Three Kids (the Romanian version of The Wolf and The Sever Young Goats - Brothers Grimm)
can safely be regarded as Romania's best known and most controversial children's tale.
Included in the primary education cycle shortly after its publication (1875) and illustrated in the opening pages of the ABC's between the 70's and the 90's,
the tale became ingrained into the Romanian culture. Finding a Romanian today not familiar with it would be, to say the least, impressive.
The story's popularity, is confirmed by the success its animated versions presently have on-line, gathering billions of views all over the world.
In Romania, the most popular animated version reached 28 million views on YouTube in the last 2 years.
Though, in recent years, the controversy formed around this story may be it's demise. Elements that for centuries have held their place into it's narrative are now euphemized or erased because of their violent nature. Transitioning it into film ensures it's preservation and survival, into a more proper context and medium, conferring everyone the opportunity to revisit the old, original version when ready to do so.
The movie follows in closely to the original storyline augmenting its subtleties and, for the most part, keeping its dialogs.
THRILLER | HORROR | ROMANIA | 4K | 5.1 | 83 MIN
D I R E C T O R
If you are taken aback by my approach on our childhood story, know that it is only normal. Most likely, you are not the only one thinking that this is not how the story went. I’d urge you to give it another read. It is our gift to come into this world equipped to experience things in their purest form and entirely neglect any foulness or malintent. This story is closely tied to our upbringing, our families, our first days of school, and our friends. So naturally, you carry with you a preconception as you walk into the cinema. I must admit it was the same preconception that swayed me to set out on this adventure and I must apologize for choosing such an important piece of literature for my debut as a film director! I underestimated the task that was at hand by thinking: "it’s just a short, simple bedtime story with a little hidden gore."
However, during the last 6 years of my life that I dedicated towards the completion of this project, I had plenty of time to come to my senses and, hopefully, managed to do it justice after all.
Before I go on, I must acknowledge that, so far, I have addressed only the Romanian public. That doesn’t mean the movie can’t be watched by anyone regardless of nationality! I just felt like I owed everyone that grew up with this story a special introduction.
Regarding "why this story?" the answer is rather simple. No one has ever done it before. The realization that there were no adaptations of this story out there to be watched was nothing short of an epiphany for me. And much more important than that, my wife was on board with the idea!
The first external source of inspiration had to be my former acting teacher, Romania’s acting icon and the fricking mother of God, Maia Morgenstern! It felt so natural that the two should come together, her and this iconic role, that I am confident it was just a mere matter of time till someone else would have made it happen. And how lucky am I to have been the instrument that coalesced them?
Now, I am not a superstitious man, nor do I hold any firm reasons to believe in destiny, but I must admit, sometimes, in retrospect, it feels like this project had a mind of its own and that we were simply there to do its bidding. Through a series of events, the antagonist of the story, the big bad wolf, came to life through the unique figure of Marius Bodochi who, through his talent, decades of experience, haunting voice and charisma, gave us all the wolf we never knew this film needed!
Finally, I’d like to leave you with this: If you happen to watch The Goat and Her Three Kids know that I have done everything that was in my power to make the movie I wanted to watch. To what extent I managed to pull it off really doesn’t matter! What matters is that, when you watch it, you’re seeing much more than just an adaptation of a famous plot. You are seeing the conglomerated result of combined efforts, of risk, passion, teamwork, immense sacrifice, and a childhood promise that I was fortunate enough to see fulfilled.
P R O D U C E R
One thing we’ve learned about the industry, living in the USA, is that the audience’s pre-awareness regarding your movie’s title is crucial. That’s one of the reasons we chose this story. The Goat and Her Three Kids is probably the best title the post-communist Romanian film industry has to offer.
After a 6 year struggle to produce it, this movie is the first of its kind in Romania, coalescing two of the country’s major landmarks: the famed story and Maia Morgenstern (the nation’s best known and most valued actress) into a genre not so common among Romanian movies (despite being extremely popular).
Coming out of postproduction, our movie began its life cycle as part of TIFF (Transylvania International Film Festival), the biggest film festival in Romania and top 40 in the world. There, both screenings were sold out 5 days in advance (unique performance in the festival) and the movie took home The Audience Award for Most Popular Romanian Film.
A craving for this production was obvious and, frankly, anticipated way before the movie even existed.
First proof of this was our short film (same title, same actors) that came before the feature and which turned out to be quite successful and a major step forward. Its trailer reached almost 200k organic views on a YouTube channel with 64 subscribers and 0 marketing.
In order to find private investors for the feature film, we organized a tour taking the short film across the USA, going from one Romanian community to the other. The tour included 11 cities: Chicago IL, Boston MA, New York NY, Philadelphia PA, Cleveland OH, Washington DC, Atlanta GA, Denver CO, Seattle WA, San Francisco CA and Los Angeles CA. Within little less than two months, every city mentioned was sold out, having all the events lined up and waiting for us, proving once more the popularity of this story and the demand for it.
With the tour cut short after Ohio, because of the pandemic outbreak, we returned to Romania with most of the budget sought out for, began production and ultimately concluded our project.
photos by ADRIAN NASTASE
A C T O R S
It’s impossible to imagine a better fit for the iconic role of the widowed mother than MAIA MORGENSTERN, movie star and a symbol for the whole Romanian theater, winner of countless international awards and easily the best known and most appreciated Romanian actress.
On the flipside of the same coin we have MARIUS BODOCHI, a theatrical star, valued by the entire country and a treasure of the National Theater of Bucharest , who through his unique style and distinctive voice brought flesh to bone to the famed antagonist.
Interpreting the roles of the three kids are ANTONIO GAVRILĂ, RAZVAN ILINA and SILVIU CORBU each reminding us in their own personal way that at the rut of acting lies the pleasure and capability to play.
photos by ADRIAN NASTASE
C R E W
Writer and Director - VICTOR CANACHE
Producer and Art Director LUANA GEORGIŢĂ
Director of Photography - LULU DE HILLERIN (The Protégé)
Editing - TUDOR D. POPESCU (Gopo Award for best editing) and VICTOR CANACHE
Sound recording RADU NICOLAE (The Nun)
Sound design and music SEBASTIAN SZEMLYE (Gopo Award for best sound)
VFX Supervisor OCTAVIAN URECHE (Jurassic World; Hawaii).
photos by ALEX BRENDEA
Transilvania International Film Festival 2022
Audience Award - Most popular Romanian Movie
FIPRESCI Prize - Romanian Days
Best Feature Film - Romanian Days Award
„I ALWAYS FOUD THIS STORY DISTURBING, BUT I NEVER REALISED WHAT AN INCREDIBLE MOVIE IT WOULD MAKE, CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT. „
"FOR REAL? I CAN’T BELIVE IT! HOW LONG I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS MADE BY US... IT’S UNREAL. MAIA AND MARIUS FIT THE ROLES SO WELL...”
"GOD, I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE, I DON’T THINK I’VE EVER BEEN SO EAGER TO WATCH A MOVE BEFORE. IT’S AUTHENTIC, IT’S A LESON FOR ALL GENERATIONS.”
„WOOWW!!!! THIS IS ROMANIA!!! HOW MUCH POTENTIAL, FASCINATING TOP QUALITY!!! WITH POSITIVE EXASPERATION I WOULD GLADLY PAY FOR A TICKET!!!!”
„FINALY A ROMANIAN MOVIE WOTH SEING IN THE CINEMA”
„DAMN! CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT”
„WOW! THIS IS PURE GOLD!”
A B O U T T H E P R O D U C T I O N
C R E D I T S
a film by
BASED ON THE GOAT AND HER THREE KIDS BY ION CREANGĂ (1875)
LILIANA ONIȚĂ LENCO
director of photography
LULU DE HILLERIN
TUDOR D. POPESCU
sound design and music
THE GOAT AND HER THREE KIDS
ISABELA VON TENT
efecte speciale filmare
machiaj si machiaj prostetic
director de imagine
director de imagine echipa a 2-a
focus puller camera A
asistenţi camera A
focus puller camera B
asistent camera B
director de imagine material aditional
pilot drona A
operator cameră drona A
pilot drona B
best boy electric
best boy electric
best boy grip
coordonator de cascade
studio post-producție imagine
post-producție și efecte vizuale
supervizor efecte vizuale
BIANCA MARIA PĂUN
IOLANDA MUTU JR.
RALUCA DANIELA OPREA
LULU DE HILLERIN
IOTU IONEL (ȘEF TOTO)
PENSIUNEA ENOTHERA ROSEMA
CENTRUL DE ECHITAȚIE LA COPACI
PSG INSURANCE BROKER
R3 FILM RENTAL
XTR LOGISTIC FILM
CREATIVE PRODUCTION DESIGN
APOSTOIU MIRELA EMILIA
PIEPTARE POPULARE BISTRIȚA
ATELIER FOARTE FRUMOS
IRINA GEORGIȚĂ †
MĂRIOARA TOMOROGA †
CASA DE FILME NOUĂ
TUDOR D. POPESCU