While doing a news coverage on a factory explosion, Alex Mazilu, a 35 year old famous breaking news reporter, arrogant and workaholic, insists on shooting from inside the factory. He and his reluctant cameraman cheat the firemen and open the news with live images from inside the burning factory. But the ceiling collapses. Andrei, the cameraman dies.
The television network decides to make a huge in memoriam campaign, ending with a live broadcast from the funeral. Alex decides to go himself to Sibiu, his hometown as well. He will make a 30-minute reportage on his colleague’s life.
His journey to Sibiu starts 3 days before Christmas. He is working non stop without anything else on his mind except his job. Until he meets Andrei’s mother at the chapel where he is doing the first live broadcast. The meeting with her, her kind and human hug triggers emotions that Alex seems to have forgotten. From that point on, every step he takes back into Andrei’s past takes him closer to knowing this 22 year old cinematography graduate, that has lived most of his life in Sibiu, has made student films with friends, has been a normal student in school, has loved girls and has been impressed by small things, like the way laundry hangs all frozen in winter, on a deserted snowy road in some village far away.
Alex is haunted by the guilt and responsibility of having led Andrei to his death for the stake of exclusive footage. His own memories start to intertwine with Andrei’s. Alex starts, little by little, to go back into his own past – first he visits his house from his childhood, then he meets a friend he used to play Nintendo with. It all culminates with meeting Eva, the woman he tried to erase from his memories. But now he reached the point where he cannot erase anymore people and things that harm him.
The material turns out to be the opposite of what the TV network wants, Alex seems to have lost track of his job and it all climaxes with the confrontation between him and the television executive, who clearly points out that Alex is no longer able to do his job properly. Too much involvement on a personal side will never go together with his job. So the fight in Alex between proving he can still do it and admitting he is too involved, too guilty and too destroyed by all this, makes him try and do the hardest interview so far – the one with Andrei’s girlfriend, the one who clearly accuses the network of having led Andrei to his death. Alex confronts her in what turns out to be one of the most emotional meetings for him. He is very close to admitting to her that it was him who made Andrei go inside the burning factory, but he doesn’t. All his guilt gathers up inside and bursts out in one moment – the night before the live broadcast.
All this tension, but also another meeting with Eva, which has a very strong emotionally impact on him, makes him face what he did. During the live broadcast at the funeral Alex says word by word, action by action, what happened at the factory the day Andrei died. He, Alex Mazilu, is the one who decided to go into the factory. Andrei had no choice.
After the live broadcast Alex realizes he can no longer stay in Sibiu, but neither can he go back to his job. He leaves Sibiu and finds no where else to go but the village Andrei was talking about in the day of his death. It is a small village in the middle of nowhere, where Andrei saw for the first time the frozen laundry hanging on wires. He rents a small room to spend Christmas alone, with the only human connection he can afford right now – the memory of the man he mistakenly killed and the frozen laundry hanging outside his window.
Ana Agopian graduated The National University of Film and Theater “I.L.Caragiale”, Audio-Visual Communication Department (screenwriting and film critics). During university she was granted one year scholarship at the European College of Liberal Arts (ECLA), Berlin.
During University she worked as a scriptwriter for the short films Hi Cristina! Bye Cristina and Friday around eleven which were shown at national and international film festivals (such as Cleremont Ferrand, Cottbus, Oberhausen, Munchen, Ludwigsburg, TIFF etc.). After she graduated she co-written (with Oana Rasuceanu and Iulia Rugina) two other short films (Stuck on Christmas and Tabasco) and a feature film (Breaking News). With the script for the feature film she participated in the script development workshop Sources 2, in Graz; and won, with the same project, a script development scholarship at the Nipkow Programme in Berlin. In August 2009 she was part of Sarajevo Talent Campus, workshop organized by Sarajevo Film Festival.
At the moment she collaborates with Media Pro Pictures as a script writer for which she signed the screenplay for three film series and two TV movies.
Iulia was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1982. She studied film directing for four years at the National University of Theatre and Film “i.L. Caragiale” in Bucharest. During school she has directed 4 short films and worked on over 20 others. Her films (Friday around eleven and Hi Cristina! Bye Cristina!!) have been screened in Cleremont Ferrand, Cottbus, Oberhausen, Munchen, Ludwigsburg, Tribeca, Singapore. She been activelly involved in scriptwriting, in the same team of three that kept going until now. She co-wrote the script of all her films, including the first feature script Breaking News.
In 2009 Iulia wrote and directed, with the support of the Sarajevo Film Festival, the short film Museum of Broken Relationships.
She is now pursuing a master in film directing at the the same univeristy, where, together with her co-writers, she is also teaching basic screenwriting and directing to first year students.
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