Paul Chirilă (1984) is a film director and cinematographer based in Bucharest, Romania. His best works as a cinematographer include : “Kurgan Oblast” (2012), a prized short documentary about the soviet deportations from Bessarabia and a feature documentary about Leo Feigin, an avant-garde jazz producer – a project that started in 2019 and is still in progress.
In recent years, Paul took the double role of director and cinematographer:he made “A letter from Romania” (2020), a medium-length portrait of an elderly communist activist. Currently, he is working on two projects: “Ariel”, a short film about a syrian actor and “5000 km”, his feature film debut regarding the Ditrău events from january 2020.
On the 15th of January, 2020, two sinhalese bakers arrive in Ditrău, a small village belonging to the Székely community from Romania, to work at the local bakery. The locals express their disapproval on a Facebook group that includes 2500 members and the local priest sermonizes about the dangers of incoming immigrants. The locals request a referendum that would ban the hiring of foreign workers and Ditrău gains the attention of national and international mass-media.
On the 1st of February, the mayor organises a village assembly in order to address the accusations of racism coming from the media and to solve the problem; over 300 locals, journalists, and dignitaries are participating. After presenting a letter from the owner of the bakery, the mayor invites the locals to share their complaints. One at a time, the villagers talk about the working conditions at the bakery and their fearful feelings of losing their identity and traditions with the coming of many more foreign workers.