On June 22, 2022, after the World Refugee Day, the documentary film dedicated to the crisis of Ukrainian refugees in the Republic of Moldova was released. Since February and until now, over half a million Ukrainian refugees have passed through the territory of our country, and over 80 thousand are currently here, half of them children. During this period, over 100 Ukrainian babies were born in the Republic of Moldova, and over 6,000 children from the neighboring country were enrolled in our education system.
The premiere of the documentary “A Small Country with a Big Heart” (O Țară Mică cu Inimă Mare) took place at the ARTCOR Center for Creative Industries, where representatives of the Ministry of Culture, USAID, the creative industries, supporters of this project, local and international media met.
“ANTRIM has among its members 80 companies from the tourism industry and being so close to the sector, collaborating daily with it, I was there when the wave of refugees from Ukraine crossed the border of the Republic of Moldova. Our wineries, boarding houses and hotels have opened their doors wide to accommodate these people and offer them a helping hand. Focusing all resources and attention on helping and sheltering refugees. Inspired by what happened, by the solidarity and hospitality of Moldovans, we decided to film a documentary entitled “Small country, with a big heart”. The protagonists of the film are in fact – all the tourist guesthouses in Moldova, where some welcoming hosts are always waiting for us, full of goodness and true hospitality! ” mentioned Natalia Țurcanu, ANTRIM executive director.
The documentary was filmed this spring, when Ukrainian families fled the bombings that destroyed their homes, consequently crossing the border into the Republic of Moldova in search of safety and refuge. The film tells the story of Moldovans who immediately opened their doors and hearts, in a synchronized way, without anyone asking them to do so. So, simply.
“This documentary defines what we are still trying to tell the whole world, Moldovan hospitality. It is not an invented story, it is a documented, true one. And she deserves to find her viewer in the world, who simply doesn’t know her, but I’m sure she’s curious, just as she’s curious about the Little Country with a big heart, from somewhere in Europe “, said Daniela Donici, co-director of the movie.
The documentary focuses on and interviews the hosts of five rural guesthouses in different regions of Moldova, who offered safe haven and a welcoming smile to Ukrainian “guests of honor”. The film allows viewers to get to know the real life characters, the hosts who took the attitude to offer support and solidarity during this time: Sergiu Hanganu, Liuba Railean, Dan Aramă, Zaharia Aramă, Tatiana Aramă, Ana Statova, Olesea Cojocaru and Anatol Botnaru. They share their own experiences and the incredible experience of Ukrainian families that they have carefully housed in their homes and communities.
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Scott Hocklander, head of the USAID mission in Moldova, after the screening of the documentary, shared that the film revived the emotions experienced by all Moldovans and is a testimony to history that must not be forgotten.
“I am glad that these stories will be seen by many people abroad to understand what it means to be a ‘small country with a big heart.’ These families represent the culture and hospitality of the Moldovans, who offered an oasis of peace and security to the neighbors in great difficulty ”.
The documentary is a tribute to the people of Moldova, who opened their hearts and showed the whole world what Moldovan hospitality means, without proposing it. “We did what we had to do,” says Zaharia Aramă, one of the film’s characters from Palanca. The film does not take the stories directly from Ukrainian refugees, but through discussions with these Moldovans we feel and understand the close relationships between neighbors and people who have shared the same border all their lives.
Beyond these stories, the documentary takes you all over Moldova to the still undiscovered places of one of the least known countries in Europe. The team that traveled around the country this spring and made the film in record time is from the Republic of Moldova, made up of young filmmakers:
- Directed by Lucia Lupu and Daniela Donici,
- Image director: Lucian Spătaru
- Editing: Vlad Bolgarin
- Sound: Alexe Pupăzan
- Production: ANTRIM, Lulu Creative
- Idea & Concept: Daniela Donici
The film “A Small Country with a Big Heart” will be screened for the general public for the first time at “Chronograph Evenings”, and then at film festivals in the region, as well as at some guesthouses and locations in Moldova.
If you are interested in organizing a screening, either virtual or live, of the documentary film “A Small Country with a Big Heart”, please fill in the form with the necessary details. For more information about the film, please use the form above or send a message to: email@example.com.
This documentary is produced by the National Association for Inbound Tourism of Moldova (ANTRIM) and Moldova Travel with the support of the Activity to Support Competitiveness in Light Industry and Tourism (MCTA), funded by the USAID Project for Economic Development, Governance and Growth of Enterprise in Europe and Eurasia (EDGE).