Romania - With the success of Cristian Mungiu and Cristi Puiu at the latest Cannes festivals, one might imagine Romania to be a country in love with cinema. But these big names fall on deaf ears when it comes to most people living in Romania's villages. Some of the older folks haven't seen a big-screen movie since Ceausescu's Kino caravans roamed the villages projecting propaganda movies.
But that's where Tudor Baciu steps in, or rather, drives in with his "Cinemobile". The 28-year-old came up with the idea two years ago, while awaiting the TIFF film festival, held in his hometown, Cluj-Napoca. He envisioned himself driving around the country in a small van bringing movies, free of charge, to people who have no access to a cinema.
Baciu had spent many months in the countryside as a child and grew to appreciate the simplicity in its way of life. For years, he dwelled on the idea that he wanted to do something to improve the lives of villagers in Romania.
His friends loved the idea. He was able to obtain some money from a crowdfunding platform that allowed him to recondition his van, a Volkswagen T3 from the 1980s, and buy some basic equipment: the screen and sound system.
The first movie screening took place in Cojocna, a village some 25km from his hometown. Ever since, he has travelled around the country to more than 25 villages.