Private Project

Romanian Wooden Churches

The documentary intends to show wooden churches in Romania - buildings with a high value in terms of national and European architecture and history. The documentary focuses less on religious aspects, but mainly on churches’ history, architectural types, their liaison with the community and eco-system.
To connect the old and sometimes forgotten churches with the present, the documentary also presents the surroundings and the communities living around these churches.
The documentary has a dynamic cut, making use of the aerial shooting and hand-shot images. Only a few images are photo-like, especially to show how the churches were in different stages of being built. To illustrate the architecture details and construction phases, animated cartoons were used.
To fill in the images, we interviewed professionals around the churches: priests, local government, architects and historians.
Some of the elements which appear in the documentary:
- the reason behind building in wood is somehow lost in history - some say there was a law, back in 18th century, when the Romanians were not allowed to build in anything else but wood. Other say that, given the nearby mountains, wood was an affordable material.
-the entire church was build in wood - even the nails and the lock
-the churches used to travel from place to place - this was either because the community was moving around (because of the weather, mainly), or because the community changes and they wanted a bigger church. In this case, they would sell the old one to another community
-churches were mainly build on the highest point in the area, and this is why now they still have a beautiful scenery around.
-some of the churches have beautiful towers; their hight was settled by the community economical power and its wish to be “better” than the other communities around them.
- all the churches have beautiful painting (some of it missing), but also beautiful wood carving. The decorations are different from region to region
-to build a church, there was an entire circle - the trees were only cut in a specific period of time and then everything was done by hand by local craftsmen.

  • Kiki (Cristian) Vasilescu
    Therapy for murder
  • Kiki (Cristian) Vasilescu
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  • Cristina Iordache
  • Cristina Iordache
  • Brian E. Katona
  • Harriet Plaskitt
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Biserici de lemn din Romania
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    48 minutes 32 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 3, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Romanian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • South East European FIlm Festival, 2016
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 29, 2016
Distribution Information
  • East Movies
    Country: Romania
    Rights: All Rights
Director - Kiki (Cristian) Vasilescu