Toronto-based outfit Syndicado Film Sales has picked up Romanian duo Monica Stan and George Chiper-Lillemark’s Venice Days selection “Immaculate” (Imaculat).
The film follows Daria, whose junkie boyfriend ends up in prison, and she is taken by her parents to rehab to quit heroin and become a good daughter again. Inside the clinic, Daria’s unwavering loyalty to her boyfriend makes her exceptional in the eyes of the male junkies and saves her from their sexual pressures. Being desired yet protected by everyone makes Daria feel special for the first time in her teenage life. She relishes her position until a new mysterious patient is committed. His arrival confronts Daria with her own desires, triggering wild competition among the men. Suddenly trapped between everyone’s clashing expectations, Daria must find her own path.
The cast includes Ana Dumitrașcu, Vasile Pavel and Cezar Grumăzescu.
The film is written by Stan and stems from her own experiences. “I was 18 when I ended up in rehab and was struck by how good it felt to be inside,” says Stan in her director’s statement. “In my usual middle-class environment I was the corrupted one. There among the other junkies I was seen as special. Being an insecure teenager, I was instantly hooked. The image others have of us can seduce us to such an extent that we embrace it as our own identity, until we become painfully aware that it is a dangerous delusion.”
Stan has several credits as a screenwriter including Camerimage nominee “Coureur.” “Immaculate” is her directorial debut. Co-director Chiper-Lillemark previously made “The Man Who Would Be Free,” which was nominated for best documentary at Romania’s Gopo awards. He also served as cinematographer on Adina Pintilie’s 2018 Berlin Golden Bear winner “Touch Me Not.”
“Reading Monica’s script I felt attracted by the relationship between the continuous chatter and the painfully concrete longing for closeness, to put it in other terms, words are creating a deceiving veil of intricate power and gender dynamics in contrast with their lingering bodies, at times abandoned in a warm and all accepting togetherness,” says Chiper-Lillemark in his director’s statement.
Syndicado’s slate also includes Darrell Varga’s “Bread in the Bones” and James Mackenzie’s “An American Zealot.”