Stefan Kloos’ German production company Kloos & Co, whose co-production credits take in Oscar-nominated documentary “Last Men in Aleppo,” is also on board for the project.
Romanian-born writer-director Călugăreanu is best known for her debut documentary feature, “Chuck Norris vs. Communism,” a 2015 Sundance player.
Vernon Films plans a Spring 2021 release for “Celluloid Dreams,” currently in pre-production.
The five-seg miniseries is one of the five episodic content projects selected for pitching at the upcoming edition of Los Cabos International Film Festival’s Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund sidebar.
“With a relatively modest budget for an independent production, the project is being financed through a mixture of broadcast and equity,” according to producer Mara Adina, Vernon Films co-founder alongside sister Ilinca Călugăreanu.
Chicken & Egg Pictures, the U.S.-based organisation aimed at funding non-fiction films from women directors, is also supporting the project.
The series tells five staggering stories of courage and wonder in five different corners of the world -India, North Korea, Sierra Leona, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan-, showing how movies can change people, and sometimes, the world.
There, a projected image, a video, a glimpse on a small screen becomes a window to the free world or to a better life.
“We chose these stories because of the incredible characters and narrative structure which makes them exhilarating entry points into cultures beyond the multiplexes of the western world,” Adina said.
“The series is exciting for so many reasons, from these untold stories of the magic of cinema from five fascinating countries we rarely get to hear about, exhilarating characters at the centre of each episode, to the creative stylistic approach of the series overall,” she added.
With Călugăreanu as showrunner, each “Celluloid Dreams” episode brings a different female creative voice at the helm.
“Each episode is directed by a female director local to the story, they in turn give audiences unique access to stories in countries that are inherently difficult to access in any other way,” Adina said.
She added: “The hybrid format gives us a huge amount of flexibility, the ability to experiment and create a unique visual language for the series. Our goal is to create an immersive and entertaining experience that will allow these incredible stories to travel and reach audiences around the world.”
The Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund promotes the development of new talents in the film industry committed with a fresh approach and new ways of telling stories.
“At Los Cabos, our main objective is to meet U.S. broadcasters and equity funders interested in short form episodic with an international appeal,” Adina added.
Winners of the GFFF Development prize will be announced Nov. 17 during the closing ceremony of the eighth edition of Mexico’s Los Cabos festival, which runs Nov. 13-17.