Romanian writer-director Adrian Sitaru is gearing up for a November shoot in Bucharest for his third feature film, Domestic.

The story will build on themes he explored in award-winning 2010 short The Cage (although the storyline is not directly lifted from the short). Domestic is about “relationships between people and domestic animals, but mainly about human beings,” Sitaru says. “Part of the situation is inspired by my childhood.”

The film will be comprised of separate characters in the same neighbourhood who struggle with relationships with animals as pets or food. It’s “not a classical structure,” Sitaru said.  

His own Bucharest-based company 4 Proof will produce (Monica Lazurean-Gorgan will supervise production for the company), and Germany’s Una Film has now come on board as a co-producer after discussing the project at Sarajevo’s CineLink. The production has some Berlin funding and has also applied for Eurimages backing.

The budget will be about €500,000. Romania’s CNC has backed the film with €300,000.

It is likely to shoot for 22 days at studios in Bucharest.

His first two features are 2007’s Hooked and the new Best Intentions (which world premiered at Locarno).

Sitaru spoke to Screen at the Reykjavik International Film Festival, where he was the ‘Emerging Master’ from this year’s country of Focus, Romania. The festival screened his two features and three shorts. Of being honoured as an ‘emerging master’ Sitaru said: “After I saw my picture next to Bela Tarr’s [another RIFF honouree], I felt ridiculous. I hope to deserve it one day, I’m very honoured.”