Start Anew World

START ANEW WORLD is an untold story of sacrifice from a forgotten generation of Romanian immigrants. An NYU Tisch Grad Short Film directed by Luiza Parvu.
Toma Peiu
New York, New York
United States
3 Team Members

With your enthusiastic support, we have come a long way already! But we don't have much time left and we still need support to reach our goal.

Check out our NEW VIDEO above, featuring the all-star Cast & Crew of our project :)



If you're new to the page and our project, make sure to check out our Pitch Video below!


We have a unique opportunity to produce a complex period movie based on actual events on a shoestring. Join the crew and make it happen!


Start Anew World is an ambitious 20 minute short film scheduled to shoot very soon in New York City. It tells a story of sacrifice from a forgotten generation of Romanian immigrants, who came to the States back in 1907. 

  • It is an independent Romanian-US production, supported by the NYU Tisch School of The Arts Grad Film Program
  • The project is widely supported by partners and friends, and a highly trained international cast and crew works for free to deliver this story to the big screen
  • We want to make it big with this movie and take a chance on the most important festivals worldwide, to create public debates around it and raise awareness for a less explored chapter in both Romanian and American history, which affected the lives of millions of immigrants and their descendants. We would like to premiere nationally in Transylvania, in June 2014. We also have hopes of premiering internationally in an A class festival in Spring 2014!

Who we are


We are two Romanian filmmakers based in New York City, USA. This is our sixth short film collaboration, and our most ambitious project so far. 

We have released three of our short films so far: My Baby (2013), Draft 7 (2011), The Birthday / Aniversarea (2010). They were well received internationally, winning over 20 awards, and screening in more than 80 film festivals worldwide, from New York to Abu Dhabi, Karlovy Vary to Moscow and Cluj to Yerevan. Two more of our shorts are on their way to the big screen, to be released in 2014!

Director Luiza Parvu is currently a Dean's Fellow at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, pursuing an MFA started in 2012. She was nominated for the 2012 Gopo Romanian Film Industry Awards for directing Draft 7. She is one of the most acclaimed Romanian directors in her generation, and potentially the first filmmaker from our country to graduate the same program that folks such as Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen or Spike Lee have undergone before.

Writer Toma Peiu has an extensive portfolio as a screenwriter, film professional and film programmer for Romanian and international film projects - events and movies. He is a graduate of the National University of Drama and Film in Bucharest, holding a BA in Screenwriting, Film Studies and Media.

We have previously collaborated on five short films, two of which will be released in 2014.  

Start Anew World marks a milestone in our careers, by the personal story amount put in it and the stake it sets. It is, hopefully, our final and potentially most accomplished work in short film, before we move on to features. 


Out of empathy and dedication to the story and the director's vision, three very talented Romanian actors are starring in Start Anew World.

          Florin Penişoară                    Olimpia Melinte                        Ioan Ardelean 

A Story Based on Actual Events

Start Anew World is set in the coal mining region of western Pennsylvania, in the wake of the deadly blast at the Darr Mine in Van Meter (December 19th, 1907), where, out of 239 dead, over two thirds were nationals of Austria Hungary. Here is the complete list of casualties and part of their life stories.

Shabby coal mines and factories were some of the most profitable, however risky, enterprises of the time. Thousands of immigrant men and boys were working in life-threatening conditions in hope of a better future, for an 80 c./day salary.

Hundreds of thousands of Romanian ethnics from Transylvania immigrated to the US before WWI, in a massive wave of immigration that is largely forgotten nowadays.

The story is also based on personal family history, from the writer's own family. It's been haunting us ever since we came to the States, a year and a half ago. And now's our only chance to turn it into a film. We're this close!

A coming of age story about crumbled dreams and new hope

Cobbler Petru Chotlos needs to break 20 year old Anna the news of her husband Pavel's death, in the explosion at the Darr. But this is no easy job as seven months pregnant Anna has just reached their home in Pennsylvania after a long trip from their village in Transylvania.

Petru's is struggling between his love for Anna and the friendship to his late cousin, while Anna is unknowingly living her last moments as a teenager. A shrewd character is also interested in the unaware young widow's coming to town. Petru needs to make up his mind, do the right thing and break the troublesome news that might change her forever, before this man steals Anna away from him forever. 

How Indiegogo works 

  • Our goal: to raise 8,500 dollars
  • The deadline: November 13th, Midnight (US Eastern Time Zone)
  • You contribute with an amount of your choice to help reach our goal, and we offer you rewards (as well as our utmost gratitude).
  • The bigger the contribution, the more significant the reward (for 25 $ you get a DVD; for 1,000 we can produce a promotional video for you or your business).
  • We will invest al of the funds received here in our movie. However, if we don't reach our goal, we might not be able to make what we dearly wish and strive out of it. 
  • If we surpass our goal, we'll be able to invest some money in post-production as well. This will help bring us some steps closer to actually shaping up the movie.
  • Indiegogo takes a 4% fee of our income if we reach or surpass our goal. However, if we don't, our funds will be even more diminished, as the fee will be 9%. To any of these fees, we own 25$ extra for the wire transfer, as we are Romanian residents.
  • Therefore, our goal to reach the amount we need by the deadline comes hand in hand with your goal of getting the best rewards - because both you and us want this movie to be as good as we can do it! If we don't achieve them, this story might remain untold.

Why We Need The Money

We invested ourselves around 3,000 dollars - everything we could spare for this project. 

But shooting independently in NYC - even on a shoestring! - is expensive. We need 8,500 more to pay for our location, rent additional equipment, set design, cast and crew's transportation and meals, and the main crew's lodging on Staten Island (to avoid putting our actors and DP through the burden of a daily 4 hr. + commute).

If you compare these money with the film's production value (a period piece shot on RED EPIC 5K, with a cast of three and a crew of 20, inside a historic town), you can easily see that this amount is very little. We're basically doing a 100,000 $ short for 11% of its value, due to the unique combination of resources that we were able to put together.


Whatever you may contribute, you get something back: for as little as 1$, you get to see a movie, for 10$ you get to see 3, for 25$ you get a signed copy of the Start Anew World DVD. 

Because your support is not only financial and logistic help, but also a morale and confidence booster for us, for higher contributions you can even have us engaged in YOUR family story or in YOUR personal or professional life.

Did you notice that for a 1,000 $ or more pledge we are producing a promotional video for you or your business (additional costs, not included, of course)? Or that, for the highest bid out there, we can plan a screening especially for you and your guests, in your hometown?

Be a part of our crew and we'll be a part of yours!


We have managed to put together a talented and hardworking international crew, working in New York and Bucharest:

Luiza Parvu (Romania) - Director, Producer

Toma Peiu (Romania) - Writer, Producer

Adriana Racasan (Romania) - Co-Producer, Art Director

Doris Alina Sangeorzan (USA) - Executive Producer

Shan Jin (China) - Director of Photography

Letitia Stefanescu (Romania) - Editor

Lulu Petrescu (Romania) - Production Designer

Erin Vassilopoulos (USA) - Set Designer

Rezwan Sumit (Bangladesh) - Sound Mixer

Lucia Reis (Brazil) - Script Supervisor

Emily Nan Iason (USA) - Unit Production Manager

James K. Ferguson (USA) - Camera Assistant

Cenk Erturk - Gaffer

Woonjae Park - Gaffer

Antoine Combelles - Key Grip

Brittany Fennell (USA) - Grip & Electric / Art Dept.

Alexis Bensaou - Boom Operator

Ten reasons to support Start Anew World

1. You haven't seen this story before.

2. The story is relevant to a large number of people in the US and Europe. 

3. It is a unique opportunity to play a part in the making of an incredibly low budget - high value production.

4. The crew and cast offer a unique blend of experience and youth. Some of us are more experienced, others have only started filmmaking a couple of years ago, but everyone brings good energy and will to this project. 

5. It's ambitious, cinematically and production-wise. It's just not the regular short you're used to seeing.

6. It's got what it takes to have a long run in festivals.

7. It's based on actual events.

8. It's one of the very few Romanian - US co-productions.

9. Our rewards show that your contribution will attract our contribution!

10. Probably, if it's not made right now, when we've managed to put together all of these invaluable resources, this movie will never get a second chance. 

Can't donate? Don't worry, you can still help!

If you can't donate at this point, don't worry! You can still help by letting other people know about our project and putting it out there, so that our project still stands a chance of being seen and supported. In fact, this is huge help you could be giving us!

For social media, use the Indiegogo share tools. They're easy and friendly. Plus, our Facebook page already plays host to a nice and friendly community that stays close to the movie. And our teaser video is a great way to briefly introduce our story and drive to peers you think might be interested in them!

Find This Campaign On
raised by 91 people in 16 days
58% funded
No time left
$8,500 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 13, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Lottery Ticket

    You just picked a lottery ticket that might help get you to America. You get: - a password-protected link of Luiza Parvu's award winning short film Draft 7 - a digital copy of a signed postcard from the cast and crew, at the end of our last day of shooting. - "Thanks" credit on our campaign page - updates and news of future screenings of Start Anew World! Keep in touch and let us know about your thoughts in reply!

    9 out of 200 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $10USD
    Train Ticket to Sighisoara

    You just got us closer to The New World - we made it to the nearest town! Thanks! You get: - password-protected links of the three award winning shorts released by Luiza Parvu and Toma Peiu so far: The Birthday, Draft 7 and My Baby + ALL of the above

    10 out of 300 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $25USD
    Clothes and pics

    You've helped buy a set of new clothes for the trip and a session of studio photos that the family back home will keep for good to remember the lost child. You will receive: - DVD of movie, signed by cast and director, when it's released + ALL of the above

    18 out of 40 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $50USD

    You have been issued a Passport that allows you to immigrate out of Europe legally! You get: - hi res film visual artwork: poster, trailer, stills - a hi res copy of the Ciotlos Family Group photo + ALL of the above

    5 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $100USD
    Ticket to Fiume

    You made it to the shore of the Adriatic. You will receive: - surprise Romanian American goodies. They're very good! - word from us to let you know when we're traveling, so we can meet for coffee and thank you in person - a Special Thanks credit on the movie and on IMDb + ALL of the above

    13 out of 150 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $250USD
    3rd Class Ticket to New York

    You will receive: - RESEARCH done by us on your ancestry story in the New or Old World (if you have such a story) OR - a digital personalized, vintage photo of yourself, produced by the Start Anew World Art Department, using the templates in the film (if you don't / you prefer it) + ALL of the above + Our friendship

    1 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $500USD
    1st Class Ticket to New York

    You're traveling across the Atlantic in a nice apartment. You'll have priority customs clearance and safety boat access. You will receive: - an invitation for two for one of the movie's screenings in your area - complete digital artwork package including original score, bonus scenes, making of, poster, still photos + ALL of the above + Appreciation

    1 out of 60 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Out of Ellis Island

    You made it to the New World! We'll shoot and edit a VIDEO of your choice, for you or your business AND You also get a "Supported by" credit, on the OPENING credits of the movie. + ALL of the above + Esteem

    0 out of 7 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $2,000USD
    Owner and Proprietor

    You have your own share of land in the New World. - You're an Executive Producer, congrats! Your name will be on the opening credits of the movie and on IMDb, as well as ON STAGE and in interviews - An invitation for two for the movie's PREMIERE or for at least one of the movie's screenings in your area, should you be unable to attend - PRINTED vintage portrait of yourself or a person of your choice. + ALL of above + You are our best friend!

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $4,000USD
    Citizen of the New World

    Congratulations! You can now walk in and out of the country, vote for the president or even run for the office at the White House. - You're a PRODUCER, welcome to the crew! Your name will be associated with the movie in every possible medium + you get to walk on stage at the movie's premiere! This comes with a public or private screening of the movie in your own town or city, and our help and expertise to organize and promote it. + ALL of the above + You are family!

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.
Other Campaigns You Might Like