She participated in the 2016’s edition of Aristoteles Workshop and came back to lend a hand to this year’s students. Maria Balanean will be joining us until the end of the workshop. With a small break though. Between 27th and 30th of July you can meet her in Piatra Neamț. She’ll be there for the screening of Ionas Deams of Rain/ Ionas viseaza ca ploua, the movie she worked for as an editor last year at Aristoteles, with the director Dragoș Hanciu and the cinematographer Ileana Szasz, and which you can watch in competition on July 28th, from 7.30 pm, at Filmul de Piatra festival.

AW: How come you returned to Aristoteles Workshop?

Maria: Last year’s experience had a pretty big impact on me. It was the moment when I became aware that I want to remain working in the documentary area. I kept in touch with the organizers and I was following Aristoteles Workshop 2017 on social media so I started missing it a lot. Initially, I told them I wanted to apply again, but that isn’t possible. At some point, they invited me to lend a hand, so I said YES without hesitation.

AW: How do you find different 2017’s edition in comparison to last year’s?

Maria: Besides the changing of the location, which offers the participants new stories yet undiscovered, it seems to me, though the people work a whole lot, they manage to relax in the evening. The camp fires and the nights spent outside were not happening last year.

AW: Do you keep in touch with last year’s participants?

Maria: I keep in touch with Dragoș Hanciu and Ileana Szasz, my teammates, we go out for a beer from time to time. We became friends. With everyone in Bucharest I meet at events. With other participants I talk online from time to time.

AW: Thursday you’re leaving for Filmul de Piatra. The documentary you worked for during the last edition is part of the competition. It premiered worldwide at Visions Du Reel and had the national premiere at NexT. Did you expect all these to happen with your movie?

Maria: Our purpose was to take advantage as much as possible of what the workshop was offering. Personally, I told myself ‘if a good movies comes out of it, it’ll be a bonus’. I definitely didn’t expect for it to have so much success.

AW: If you had one advice for this year’s participants, what would that be?

Maria: It would be not to focus necessarily on the final product, but on the process in itself. Enjoy the ride!

Maria Balanean studied film editting and sound design at the National University of Theatre and Cinema in Bucharest and debuted in documentary filmmaking with the movie made together with Dragoș Hanciu (director) and Ileana Szasz (DOP). Ionas Dreams of Rain/ Ionaș visează că plouă is one of the Aristoteles Workshop productions that were selected in important competitions and enjoyed international success.

In December 2016 she started working on Invizibilii/ The Invisible, her second documentary, directed by Iulia Stoian, a participant of this year’s edition.