Giurgiu nabs coin for ‘Snails’

Romanian filmmaker takes $490,000 for comedy

LONDON — Top Romanian producer and director Tudor Giurgiu has been awarded a Euro 389,000 ($490,000) grant toward the $1.3 million budget of his second feature as helmer, comedy “Of Snails and Men.”

The grant, from the Romanian national cinema center, is one of 15 financial awards given to debut and established directors.

Giurgiu, who produced British director Peter Strickland’s Berlinale

2009 Silver Bear-winner, “Katalin Varga” and established the Transylvanian film festival, made his debut film as helmer in 2006 with “Love Sick,” about an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister.

His new film, based on the true story of a state-owned Romanian car factory where thousands of workers will lose their jobs when it is sold to French owners to be turned into a snail cannery, takes a wry look at how the collapse of Communism affected ordinary workers.

Faced with losing their livelihoods or fighting back, the men in the factory decide to sell their sperm to a sperm bank — with a little help from the director’s sexy secretary who performs a striptease to egg them on.

Giurgiu’s wife Oana Giurgiu will produce through the couple’s Bucharest-based production company Libra Film.

Grants to other Romanian projects include $300,000 toward Radu Jude’s $640,000 budget project, “Everyone from our Family,” and $292,000 for Adrian Sitaru’s $906,000 budget “Domestic.”

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