Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan

Romania

Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan

director, producer

Imaginary Youth

"I see things are not changing for the better in my country and I think I need to take a break from Romania," says the FFF activist Stefania.
"I used to think that I need to stay here and do something in our country. Now I realize this is impossible," reckons the 16-year-old rapper Habet.
"I can't wait to study in Berlin!", Una exclaims in front of her friends and colleagues.
Una, a teen actress from an activist family, has the lead role in a theater play about her generation leaving the country. Torn between wanting to stay in Romania and fight for social causes, and the influence of her peer group, applying for scholarships at top universities abroad, Una doesn't yet know what to do, but she is pondering a life in Berlin, where a young artist's life is closer to her ideal. Habet is a rapper from a poor neighborhood. Migration is how his family survives and now it's his turn. But he has other plans. He wants to go to London and make it big with his rapping. Will dreams come before survival? Stefania is a young activist who spent her last 2 years protesting in the streets. While forceful and driven in leading protests, she feels the victim of over-protecting parents, and wants to get away. Her plan is to move across Europe once she reaches university. Those are the stories of Imaginary Youth. While focusing on these three young people from very different environments, our series brings to life a first major turning point in the coming-of-age process: what to pick for your life after high-school?

Chasing Stumps

While documenting illegal wood practices in Romania, filmmakers Mihai and Radu team up with Tibi, a self-proclaimed activist. Filming the activist’s bitter fight against the National Forestry Administration, the directors get sucked into Tibi’s obsessive endeavors. Radu and Mihaiu try to understand his true motives.
One day Tibi suggests a trip into the forest, to a spot he had visited before. Soon, 12 angry men with axes and bats attack them. Tibi was stripped naked, beaten violently, and humiliated. Radu took a blow to the head that caused him temporary memory loss. Mihai was beaten up, managed to escape, and called the police. The video camera was thrashed, and the memory cards disappeared. A media scandal brakes out, resulting in what Tiberiu calls: a perfect storm of public attention. The filmmakers try to figure out what happened. They sue their attackers, and together with their lawyer try to hold accountable those responsible, but fail, as the judicial system seems indifferent. Meanwhile, Tibi gets ill but manages to recover. The directors visit him only to discover that he has restarted his wood processing business, and the activist has turned into a profitable entrepreneur.
A national protest breaks out. All forest rangers working for the National Forestry Administration protest the new law passed by the Romanian Government. The law will transfer the forest state management from the Forestry Administration to private companies. Tibi, the newly turned entrepreneur, disrupt their protest. His hidden agenda is revealed. It seems that a media push has been orchestrated to destabilize the state-owned administration. The filmmakers uncover how all sides are in a battle for forest ownership. The forest falls victim to each side, trees seem to be the only ones with no hidden agenda.
Mihai has been planting trees on lands inherited for some time, Radu joins in, as the individual rebellion and action seems the best way to save our trees and forests.

Not in the Business of Making Friends

A rare window into the shadowy world of political espionage reveals a complex plan made by a group of corrupt elites to compromise a powerful person.
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