Can a filmmaker highlight a social issue -- on a tight budget?

Sabin Dorohoi, age 30, is a film director, writer, producer -- and sometimes even a cameraman -- from Romania's Transylvania region, with over 20 awards, beginning with his film projects in high school.

Sabin is building his own film production company, Western Transylvania Studios, which already has its own sound stage, a set-construction labour force and fleet of vehicles, and is offering partnerships with professionals for film gear rentals, aiming at support for mainly medium-budget and low-budget projects.

Sabin's total budget for a 13-minute short feature, "Way of the Danube", which had its premier in Hollywood back in May 2013, was less than USD $15,000.

The full version of "Way of the Danube" can now be watched online. It deals with the over one million children who have been left behind in Romania with grandparents because their parents moved abroad to find jobs:

Scurtmetraj Calea Dunarii / Way of the Danube - Shortfilm (13-minutes)

For future, more ambitious projects, Sabin realized that investors and others would be intrigued to watch the actual film-making process, in all of its complexity: auditioning of actors, choosing costumes and makeup, rehearsing actions, perfecting the sound, color and special effects. So he assembled a video about the behind-the-scenes work on "Way of the Danube", narrated by him, but with commentaries by the actors and the technicians:

Official making of "Way of the Danube" short film (7-minutes)

To further promote awareness of the 'children-with-absent-parents' problem, one of Romania's best-known pop-rock bands, 'Voltaj', has recorded a music-video called "De la capat" (All over again) using selected scenes and sets from Dorohoi's "Way of the Danube" movie.

Their original song was selected to be Romania's entry in the 2015 Eurovision Song Competition, to be held a few days from now, appropriately in Vienna:

Voltaj - De la capat (Official Video) - 4 minutes

A new documentary film by Dorohoi called "Dragon of Banat", currently in production, needed $150,000 in funding, but succeeded, Dorohoi told an interviewer, in raising $200,000 through a internet crowdfunding site, thanks to Dorohoi's superb reputation, earned during a decade of successful past film ventures which achieved high artistic standards with low financial outlays.

Actors and technicians in Romania, eager to work with film director Sabin Dorohoi, sometimes will demand no fee. :-)

11 MAY 2015