She’s one of the most powerful female directors in Romania. She is succeeding as a screenwriter since the beginning of her career. Since 2010. Her best known movies Selfie (2014) and Selfie 69 (2016) are shaping in a humoristic way our reality. With her stories she touches our hearts, awakens new passions, and change the way we see things. She formed her own film company, Zazu Films, which gives us hope that more beautiful stories will come to life. Cristina Iacob inspires, delights, amuses with her talent behind the camera for crafting memorable movies.
1. Is there something in your upbringing that stirred the passion for what you do today?
I think it’s important to have a life filled with all kinds of experiences if you’re working with the arts. This is precisely why they don’t let you study Film Directing in America if you’re under 25. Fortunately enough for me, my childhood was like a rollercoaster ride and this helped and forced me at the same time to grow up at an early age. Besides, I’ve always been the creative, romantic and funny type. I would always make everyone at the table in our family laugh. Directing, however, was actually a choice I made after trying out other three professions. People who get it right the first time are very lucky, but as far as I’m concerned, everything I did before film directing helps me a lot in what I’m doing now.
2. What was the biggest challenge at the beginning of your career?
Nothing really comes to mind now that I think about it. Even though I was a newcomer, the fact that I didn’t know what I was in for and that drive you have as a beginner to do a good job just went hand in hand with my craziness and boldness. I think I have much more challenges to deal with now than I had when I got started. I can’t allow myself to make mistakes like I used to when I was a beginner, you know.
3. From your experience, does the film industry in Romania reach European parameters?
Yes, it does. European standards are not that difficult to reach and we have already proven this at many film festivals. We are among the few to win awards every year at Cannes, Berlin, Venice and other important festivals. With Selfie we even tried to surpass European standards and aim for American standards because this is what young people are used to and therefore their expectations with regard to the quality of the film are very high.
4. Do you have in Romania the creative freedom you wished for?
I always try to adapt to the given conditions and create some freedom in the country where I’m filming based on the script. For example, if I had to shoot a story which takes place in the summer at the seaside and right now it’s winter time in Romania, I just couldn’t. This is exactly why I’m forced by circumstances to wait until summer begins to shoot my next film, the comedy Bite me, Ramona!. Nowadays, professionally speaking, we can find specialists we need in other countries, if there aren’t any here for a specific job. However, we mostly have every professional we need, thanks to the fact that a lot of European and American films are shot in our country.
5. Were you tempted to move to a city that was better known as a cinematographic center?
Yes, I was. That’s why I chose to study Film in London and get my MA there. I soon realized that there was something wrong in that way of thinking. In the global village we live today and depending on the
script and co-production, films can be made anywhere. I mean I just saw Inferno which was shot in Italy, Istanbul and Hungary with local film crews. No filming in America necessary.
6. What makes you choose the stories behind your movies?
My own experiences basically. However, I’m always wondering what the public would like to see now. That’s how I got into comedy. There were so many films with a negative vibe about the end of the world that just made me think that comedy isn’t given the attention it deserves.
7. How do you see the cinema scene changing over time?
It’s already changing a lot as we speak and I think the transformation we are witnessing now is one which means to create live reality as much as possible. I think the future of cinema lies in live films.
8. It seems you are very careful when selecting the projects that you work on. How long did the scriptwriting process for a movie take?
It depends. There are scripts I’ve been working on for several years now. And then you have ideas that just pop out of nowhere and you just know this is the right time for them and that’s how both the development and production stages start. The scriptwriting process typically takes between 6 months and a year.
9. Are there any new plans you are working on that you can talk about?
Yes. We’re working on the comedy Bite me, Ramona! and casting starts next week. It’s a casting process which takes place both in Romania and abroad. I am also working on two other film scripts and a totally unusual theatre project which resembles film.
10. What do you do when you’re not making or watching films?
I try to enjoy life and get as much inspiration as I can from it. I’m open to all sorts of surprises really. It’s good for creativity. I listen to music, watch films, paint, do sports, go grocery shopping and cycling. I write down ideas I have.
11. What are your favorite places in Bucharest?
Herăstrău Park with its lake, the area where I live and the patio of a restaurant called Unicovero which reminds me of my grandmother. I also like the Kiseleff Road when it’s closed and the markets at Domenii and Agronomie
by Dana Chels