A Higher Law


World Premiere

Ecaterina, a high school Religion teacher and wife of the town priest, gets involved with Iuliu, a 16-year-old student with a troubled past. Ecaterina tries to keep him under control, but she loses her own sense of control in this process. As Ecaterina faces a genuine crisis of faith, Iuliu’s infatuation turns increasingly dangerous when he takes his sins to the priest – and her own husband.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Octav Chelaru
Script: Octav Chelaru
Cinematography: Barbu Bălășoiu
Editing: Dragoș Apetri
Sound: Johannes Doberenz, Sebastian Schmidt
Music: Martin Kohlstedt
Actors: Mălina Manovici, Sergiu Smerea, Alexandru Papadopol, Voicu Dumitraș, Richard Bovnoczki, Ana Maria Moldovan, Oana Ștefănescu, Marian Râlea
Production: deFilm
Producers: Radu Stancu
Co-production: 42film, EED Productions
Co-producers: Eike Goreczka, Christoph Kukula, Maja Popović, Vladimir Vasiljević
Costumes: Milica Kolarić
Production Design: Iulia Fulicea
Make Up: Tatjana Vidanović
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: Romania, Germany, Serbia
Production Year: 2021
Duration: 125'
Contact: Voodoo Films

Octav Chelaru

Octav Chelaru started making amateur films when he was 14 years old, using his relatives and classmates as actors. After being rejected by the film school, Octav started to be self-taught. While he was studying Computer Science in college, he directed music videos and commercials, produced short films for other directors and was involved as an assistant director for various projects. His last two shorts, The Parallel State (2020) and Black Clothes (2017), both premiered at Locarno IFF (Pardi di Domani competition). The latter was also selected in competition for festivals including Valladolid IFF, Grimstad IFF. His short Private Party (2017) was selected for Les Arcs IFF and Tirana IFF, whereas his short Occupied (2015) was the winner at the Timishort IFF. A Higher Law (2021) is his debut feature film.


2014 False Positive (short)
2015 Occupied (short)
2017 Private Party (short)
2017 Black Clothes (short)
2020 The Parallel State (short)
2021 A Higher Law