To the North

Spre Nord

63rd TIFF: Greek Premiere

1996, open sea. During his shift on a transatlantic ship’s deck, Joel, a religious Filipino sailor, discovers Dumitru, a Romanian stowaway hidden between some containers. If he is spotted by the Taiwanese officers running the vessel, Dumitru is at risk to be thrown overboard. Joel decides to hide him, as a sign of his gratitude toward God. Soon, a dangerous cat and mouse game begins. When his crew, his own friends, and even God himself start to turn their backs on him, Joel learns that he has to face his cruel destiny alone. Inspired by a true story and first formulated as a radio documentary, this is a story – in the words of its own creator – “about moral choices, kindness and compromise, courage and fear. A film that could speak to people about their own lives.”

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Mihai Mincan
Script: Mihai Mincan
Cinematography: George Chiper-Lillemark
Editing: Dragos Apetri
Sound: Nicolas Becker
Music: Marius Leftarache
Actors: Soliman Cruz, Niko Becker, Bart Guingona, Olivier Ho Hio Hien, Alexandre Nguyen, Dimitar Vasiliev, Olivier Chen
Production: deFilm
Producers: Radu Stancu, Ioana Lascar, Cyriac Auriol, Konstantinos Vassilaros, Poli Angelova, Nikolay Todorov, Mikuláš Novotný
Co-production: Remora Films, StudioBauhaus, Screening Emotions, Background Films
Costumes: Iulia Fulicea
Production Design: Iulia Fulicea
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France
Production Year: 2022
Duration: 122΄
Contact: Best Friend Forever

Mihai Mincan

Mihai Mincan graduated from the University of Philosophy in Bucharest in 2002, followed by an MBA degree from the University of Poitiers. Since 2004, for 12 years, he’s been working as a journalist at some of Romania’s biggest newspapers and magazines. In 2008, he wrote his first script – the short film The Palm Lines, which was selected at Locarno, Rotterdam, Cottbus. He wrote and directed or co-directed, two short animations, three short films, and two documentaries, which premiered at festivals in Europe and Romania, while also working as a scriptwriter for other Romanian filmmakers. To the North is his debut feature.


2014 Alaska (short)
2015 Bondoc (doc, co-director)
2017 The Comet (short)
2019 Emigrant Blues: A Road Movie in 2 1/2 Chapters (doc)
2019 The Man Who Would Be Free (doc)
2022 To the North