STAMPILA

Moldovia / 2024 / 90 min / Romanian with English subtitles / Political Satire

A middle-aged woman decides to overthrow the powerful oligarch who controls her country. Armed with only her wit and a stolen government stamp, she must outsmart the oligarch’s henchmen, evade the secret police, and trick her countrymen into sparking a revolution. Facing off against armed riot police, water cannons, and deep fakes, she must stop the oligarch from stealing the people’s money and making her country the poorest in Europe. Along the way she’ll need to face her past and uncover the secret weakness of the system that keeps oligarchs in power

DIRECTOR: David Larson is a first time writer/director who grew up in Malibu, California. He received business degrees from Berkeley and Wharton, and worked on Wall Street. Following the September 11th attacks, David changed course and joined the Peace Corps serving first in West Africa and later Central Asia. David’s first film, “Stampila” (The Stamp), chronicles the fictional overthrow of a real Moldovan oligarch, filmed on location in Moldova while the real oligarch was still in power.

DIRECTOR STATEMENT: Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. It was controlled for years by a powerful oligarch known as “The Puppet Master.” In 2014, The Puppet Master and his associates looted over a billion dollars from the Moldovan treasury. This is the largest public theft in modern European history.

In 2018, The Puppet Master was at the height of his power. He controlled Moldova’s executive branch, parliamentary majority, and most of the country’s media. He even hired American political advisors to help him keep power. (One of his advisors went on to work for President Trump as Director of National Intelligence). The Puppet Master was both well-connected and above the law.

I personally believe that oligarchy (rule by a corrupt few) is the greatest threat to human freedom. I first experienced oligarchy 20 years ago when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan (another ex-Soviet Republic controlled by an oligarch). I lived through the bloodless Kyrgyz “Tulip Revolution,” and watched from my village as the people rose up and seized power from the oligarchs controlling their country. From that experience, I learned that oligarchs can only stay in power as long as people are afraid of them. Without fear, they will fall.

Contact: lauren@thefilmfestivaldoctor.co.uk

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CREDITS

DIRECTOR(S): David Larson
SCREENWRITER(S): David Larson Original Story by: I. Neil Irwin and Mariana Pasarenco
PRODUCER(S): David Larson, I. Neil Irwin, Mariana Pasarenco
CAST: Irina Rusu, Sinchevici Lia, Cobileanschi Ana Maria, Tommy Dickie, Shawn Law, Roșca Galina, Caras Igor, Scutelnicu Dragoș, Andronachi Tudor, Terentii Serghei

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