The Romanian film “Two Lottery Tickets” directed by Paul Negoescu and starring Dragos Bucur, Dorian Boguta and Alexandru Papadopol is presented at the 8th edition of the European Film Weeks in Bosnia-Hertegovina with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Vienna. The feature film “Two Lottery Tickets” was premiered at the Film Festival in Zurich held over September 22nd-October 2nd, winning the special mention of the jury.
The Romanian comedy also entered the competition of the International Festival of French-Speaking Films in Namur, Belgium. It was screened in cinemas in Romania eventually. With a budget of only 30,000 Euros shot in just 15 days as an independent film, Paul Negoescu’s second feature after “A Month in Thailand” has scored an unexpected box office success.
Director Paul Negoescu: “It’s funny that Romanian audiences reject Romanian films for various reasons: because the film frames are long and boring, the film deals with social topics, the main characters are often poor people, people belonging to disadvantaged categories or people who have legal problems, whores, brawlers, etc. In addition to the communist regime, we have all those ingredients and still ours is a box office number one film. After all, that is the most interesting thing because in recent years, the Romanian films, which have scored a box office success have been either Cannes or Berlin award winners or films in whose promotion a lot was invested. We don’t fall in either category.”
The film tells the comic story of three men in a small provincial town who win the lottery jackpot but after a short while, the winning ticket can no longer be found, so the three men have to set off on a journey to get it back. Director Paul Negoescu tells us how he ended up screening the story of the three men.
Paul Negoescu: “Dragos Bucur gave me a ring to suggest I make a film with students from actoriede film.ro. an acting school founded by Dragos Bucur, Dorian Boguta and Alexandru Papadopol, who play the lead roles in the film. In the beginning, I turned down his offer, but as he insisted on it, I accepted to make this film. I took it as a challenge; I knew I was going to work with amateur actors too, I knew what budget I would have and I knew the lead roles would be played by Dragos Bucur, Dorian Boguta and Alexandru Papadopol. I still needed an idea enabling me to make best use of all those ingredients. So, I came across Ion Luca Caragiale’s short story “Two Lottery Tickets”, which I didn’t want to screen or adapt. But I used its story about a person who gets a lottery envelope, wins the jackpot and then loses the winning ticket and starts looking for it. I used that story because it gave me the possibility of shifting the main characters to several locations and of having many secondary characters played by acting students.”
Dinel is the name of the character played by actor Dorian Boguta in the film “Two Lottery Tickets”, about which he says: “He is the kind of man best fit to repair my car. He is a decent, honest, slightly naïve guy, who is sometimes feeble-minded. We can surely find such characters in real life and even quite often. Somehow he is the type of the poor but good-hearted provincial boy who drowns his troubles.” Actor Dorian Boguta tells us about his experience at the Film Festival in Zurich.
Dorian Boguta: “It was exciting to have this film, a truly Romanian film, participate in the Film Festival in Zurich. I wondered if people with a mentality different from the Romanian one would understand something from the film, because I find German people different from us, Romanians. For me it was a great surprise to see people respond with so much warmth, empathy and humour. And I’m not referring to the jury that gave us an award. I’m referring primarily to the ordinary spectators who understood and appreciated the film although it presented a kind of society that is different from the one they lived in. I’ve also been pleased to get a lot of messages from people who want to see the film for the second time.”
The Romanian comedy “Two Lottery Tickets” has been selected to participate in the Balkan Survey section of the 57th International Film Festival in Thessaloniki, alongside three other Romanian feature films: “Sieranevada” by Cristi Puiu, “Dogs” by Bogdan Mirica and “Scarred Hearts” by Radu Jude. The film will be screened with director Paul Negoescu, actor Alexandru Papadopol and director of photography Ana Draghici attending.