One Step Behind the Seraphim

Daniel Sandu

Romania201790 MinRomanian

Subtitles: FR, EN, PT, IT, UA, DE, ES

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The opening of ONE STEP BEHIND THE SERAPHIM offers that instant satisfaction of knowing you’re watching a talented novice director and cinematographer who has learned their craft and understand what to do with it.

- Variety -

One Step Behind the Seraphim

(Un pas în urma serafimilor)

Gabriel is a 15-year-old teen living in Romania who wants to become a priest. He is thereby admitted to an Orthodox College. Trying to fit in first but finally realizing the system is totally corrupted and abusive, he is rapidly with 3 other classmates labelled as rebel students by the school board. Caught in the fight for power between an incorruptible but abusive priest and a cunning, crooked and unscrupulous secular teacher, the students learn that lying, stealing, cheating, gambling and betraying are things they have to master in order to survive in the seminary. Who will graduate and become a priest? What kind of priests will they make after spending several years in this system?

  • Filmfest Hamburg 2018
  • Transilvania International Film Festival 2018
  • Annonay International Festival of First Films 2019
  • Starring:  Stefan Iancu, Vlad Ivanov, Toto Dumitrescu, Cristian Bota, Alfred Wegeman, Stefan Mihai, Ali Amir, Lucian Pavel, Niko Becker, Marian Popescu
  • Production:  HI Film Productions
  • International Sales:  Indie Sales

A close look into an Orthodox theological seminary in Romania, inspired by the director's own experience. ONE STEP BEHIND THE SERAPHIM is a powerful coming-of-age story that sheds light on a secret universe of ambitions, betrayals and hypocrisies. It features the sarcastic humour and sense of historical analysis that are the hallmarks of the new Romanian cinema. In the role of an unscrupulous priest, Vlad Ivanov (SNOWPIERCER, TONI ERDMANN, THE WHISTLERS) is once again formidable.

- Olivier Père, Director of ARTE France Cinéma -

Daniel Sandu

Daniel Sandu, born in 1977 in Piatra Neamț (Romania), is a director and screenwriter. When he was a teenager he wanted to become a priest and enrolled in the seminary. He quit after 5 years and this experience inspired ONE STEP BEHIND SERAPHIM (2017) which allowed him to attract public attention and critical acclaim. The film won 8 Gopos (the national Romanian film awards). Daniel Sandu prepares his second feature film, THE FATHER WHO MOVED MOUNTAINS, produced by Palm d'Or winner Cristian Mungiu (4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, 2007).

When I was a Film Academy's student I used to tell my friends and colleagues the memories about my experience at the seminary to become a priest. Their reactions were interesting, so I realized that if they reacted that way I could tell the story in a film.