CEMA FILM AWARD 2021
In the turbulence after the fall of the Berlin Wall, many Eastern Bloc countries are filled with hopes for a brighter future.
Dora (32), a Romanian comedienne is trying to live in this new world, but she is gaining notoriety for the wrong reasons.
Despite the end of Ceausescu’s brutal and repressive regime, several communists have remained in positions of power and influence. Dora’s knowledge of these key figures who physically abused and threatened her for her political comedy stand-ups lands her on the blacklist.
Realizing that her life is in danger Dora flees to France where an illegal immigrant co-worker offers her a way out through Belgium. Late one night at the Zeebrugge Port, Dora is smuggled inside a cargo ship’s container on a journey to Canada without guarantees.
Using humor to distance herself from her hard reality, Dora writes, and performs new comedic material for the other passengers in the container: Gabriela, a middle-aged mother and former communist member living on the edge of paranoia; and Alex, a hot-headed young man, who grows violent at the slightest challenge.
Innovative and surreal, Box of Freedom takes us on a breakthrough journey to liberty that so many desperate refugees have attempted and too many have not survived.
An emotionally overwhelming voyage; a quest for personal freedom that will inspire and impress the audience to appreciate the value of liberty and human rights.
Innovative and surreal, Box of Freedom takes us on a journey of discovery that only desperate refugees attempt.
"What good is freedom of speech, if we don't have anything to say?" Substance over glamour. Weighty and substantial. Food for thought.
In the still-harsh world of post-Communist Romania, ‘comedic companion’, Dora is a defiant, mirthful beacon for freedom. She flees in a cargo ship’s container bound for Canada. Her claustrophobic journey becomes a surreal meditation and her comedy becomes a survival mechanism she uses as she struggles to come to terms with her values and especially her feelings about the four-year-old son she has left behind.
Box of Freedom is a dramedy and adventure story of survival inspired by a true story.
In this film, the claustrophobia of the container is broken up through fantasy sequences. Some of the scenes take place in a stand up comedy club as a reflection of Dora’s past life events.
The stage symbolizes Dora’s performance with herself and the world. As Dora is forced to deal with her own repressed memories and feelings, her story plays out on stage in a theatrical way.
“Box of Freedom was an exciting challenge to be a part of. The script had great strength, and combined with Adelina Suvagau’s strong vision we were able to craft an engaging story of persecution, perseverance and the pursuit of freedom. Working with such a small budget forced us to think “outside the box” more often than not, which ultimately lead to a uniquely crafted film that oozes passion.”
– Cinematographers Marco Bossow and Andy Brown
Writer, Director, Producer
John Philip Alviz
Production Manager, Producer
Writer, Producer, Editor
1st Assistant Director