Award-winning Soviet-era filmmaker Emil Loteanu, known for his focus on romance and drama, died Friday April 18 in Moldova. He was 66. Moldova’s Filmmakers Union said that he died of “an incurable disease.”
Considered Moldova’s greatest filmmaker, Loteanu was born in the Romanian village of Clocusna, which became part of the Soviet Union three years later and is now part of Moldova. He made his directing debut with “Wait for Us at Dawn” in 1964 and went on to make more than 20 movies and documentaries.
Loteanu’s best known films include 1975’s “Gypsy Camp Rises to Heaven” and 1977’s “My Tender and Gentle Beast,” a heartbreaking romantic drama based on a Chekhov story.
His highly popular films focused on romance and passion and always featured stunning actresses (whom he often fell in love with), romantic sets and lush musical scores.
Loteanu’s films earned him international honors, including top prizes at the San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival.