THE PROFESSIONAL PARENT

Time14 min
Genredrama
CameraDigital 4k/ARRI ALEXA MINI LF
Productiondog 95 film factory (Slovakia) & ROVA FILM (Romania)

Logline

A single woman Ingrid lives with her daughter and grandmother in the same household, in a village in eastern Slovakia, where there is a stigma towards the Roma population. Nevertheless, she decides to become a professional parent of a Roma girl so that she can survive.

World Premiere: Festival Internacional de Cine de Lebu 2024 (Oscar Qualifying)
Asian Premiere: Balinale 2024

Producer’s Bio:

Erik Jasaň – dog 95 film factory (Slovakia)

Erik Jasaň is a graduate of the Higher Vocational Film School in Košice, Slovakia. In his films, he deals with sensitive topics that concern the fate of people living in eastern Slovakia. His short films premiered at festivals such as the 8th Bengaluru International Short Film Festival (Oscar qualifing) or the 13th Youth Film Festival in Sarajevo. His music fiction video Dennyiah – RECALL (2022) starring Tatiana Pauhofová had its US premiere at the 45th Denver Film Festival. Erik also worked as Casting Director and 1AD for the HBO feature film The Car Gangs. He works as a co-producer of the feature-length documentary „THE WALLEY OF THE WIDOWS“ (director: Miro Jelok). The project was presented at 30th Febio Fest Bratislava and project won the FIPADOC award – Doc Around Europe Award at 38th DOK.fest in Munich.

Marian Crisan – ROVA FILM (Romania)

Marian Crisan (b. 1976) received his Bachelor’s Degree in Film and TV Directing at UNATC Bucharest in 1999. He directed the short films „Family Portrait“ (2006), „Amateur“ (2007) and „Megatron“ (2008) – which won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2010, his first feature film „Morgen“ won the Special Jury Prize at the Locarno Film Festival and the Best Director and FIPRESCI Award at the Thessaloniki Film Festival. „Morgen“ was also the Romanian entry for the 84th Academy Awards. In 2012, his second feature film „Rocker“ premiered at the 60th edition of San Sebastian IFF. „Orizont“ is Crisan’s third full-length feature film and will premiere ‚In Competition‘ at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in November 2015.

The film was supported by Litfond Slovakia and Košice Regional Film Office (www.vucke.sk, www.fk-ksk.sk www.kosiceregion.com).

The official distributor of the film is french originefilms. The company was created in 2012 and aims at producing eclectic and world-wide motion pictures. Olivier Berlemont and Emilie Dubois guide young film-makers from over twenty different nationalities through production, coproduction, and world sales. In 2019, Pablo Munoz Gomez’s Kapitalistis was nominated at the french César, after starting its career at Locarno (Medien Patent Award Winner). That same year, Erenik Beqiri’s The Van is their third Official Competition Selection at Cannes Film Festival, following Ziya Demirel’s Sali in 2015, and the winning of a Special Jury Mention in 2013 for 37°4S directed by Adriano Valerio. The company is currently developing its first feature film projects in France and on the international market, while pursuing its activity in the short film industry, with 40 films produced to this day and more than 300 in the world sales catalog.

I got to know the theme of professional parenting when my sister moved from Košice – a town in
Eastern Slovakia, into a small village called Krasnohorské Podhradie. My sister did not find any work in the village. Tackling various jobs, she but ended up working as a cashier in a small shop by day and working in the pub by night. My sister had a little daughter, that she did not see much during this time. After some time, she got to know her neighbour, who was working as a professional parent. She enrolled in an obligatory course and got her Psychological evaluation. She was frequently visiting children’s homes and one day came back home with two children of Roma origin, without telling the rest of the family. My sister’s name is Ingrid, same to the name of the film’s main character. After becoming a professional parent she had time for her daughter and herself, but the opinions on her work were varied.

In eastern Slovakia there is a strong stigma against the Roma population and the conflict between does not seem to be ending. Both groups try to avoid the other as best they can. An iconic example of racism against the Roma population in Košice is a bus stop of bus line 11, which segregates the stop into two parts: A Roma part and a part for the white people.

Visiting children’s homes in eastern Slovakia, I estimate that 85 percent of the children taken care for are Roma children. Profesional parents here care mainly of Roma children, who hope they get proper care and parental love. In many cases this is true, but there are also cases where the parents take children into their care for money. These people take the Roma children into their care not for them, but for the betterment of their financial situation and making their life easier, not for the benefit of the children.

This film is an important reminder of morality in the current situation, in which inflation destroys the wallets of families, leading to decisions morality has no part in. Film depicts people crossing their moral boundaries for gain. My story is about normal people, looking for options in an environment that does not give them a chance to breathe. An important story of hope and despair, captured as authentically as I could.

Cast & Crew