Please join us for a Q&A about the award-winning documentary Lives, Not Grades, Nov. 4 at 4:30pm PST. We'll be joined by director Daniel Druhora and cinematographer Teodora Totoiu. Moderated by Radu Smîntînă, ARCS board member.
About the documentary:
A team of USC college students travels to Moria Camp in Greece, known as "the worst refugee camp on earth," to design and build innovations that can improve the lives of the refugees fleeing wars and natural disasters.
The film is available to stream on PBS for free. Sign up for the Q&A here.
Daniel has worked on the development and post-production of feature films The Land, Gangster Squad, and The Lego Movie. Following his own experience as an émigré to the U.S. in the aftermath of Romania’s 1989 Revolution, Daniel has been involved in humanitarian development work in several countries which influences his work. His screenplay “Climbers” about Rwanda’s Olympic cycling team has been optioned by Paris-based Forecast Pictures. Daniel is the co-founder of U.K.-based Safe Passage Films and is currently producing I Am Sarah about Olympic swimmer, humanitarian and accused “criminal mastermind” Sarah Mardini for European broadcasters ARD and ARTE. His short film “Elie’s Overcoat” won an MPSE Golden Reel Award. Daniel teaches "Innovation in Engineering and Design for Global Crises" - a course open to all majors - and serves as an advisor to student teams launching social innovation startups. He is also the creator and co-host of "Escape Velocity," a podcast about the human side of engineering.
Teodora Totoiu is a Romanian-American cinematographer based in Seattle. Her background in anthropology and photography inspires her creative approach when shooting scripted narrative and documentary film. With a passion for visual storytelling, she enjoys collaborating and working creatively to echo each director's vision through texture and movement that best supports story. Her recent work includes "Waterschool" (2017), which is currently streaming on Netflix, "Francesco" (2020) directed by Academy Award-nominated Evgeny Afineevsky and most recently, "Lady Cameraman" (2020) which premiered at EnergaCAMERIMAGE in November 2020. Her work spans internationally with projects in Brazil, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Austria, Romania, Uganda, India, China and across the U.S.
Radu was largely raised in Western Washington, alongside several Romanian families who immigrated approximately the same time as his own. Since moving to the States as a child, his Romanian community has become a second family that he is immensely proud of, and grateful for.
As a former English Language Learner and high school teacher, he is passionate about bettering outcomes for students in public education. After transitioning out of his teaching role with Denver Public Schools, Radu moved back to Washington to work at an education non-profit. He attended the University of Washington as an undergrad and graduate student, earning a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on Education Policy. He currently works at OneAmerica as the education coalition manager where he partners with educators, families, and community members to move work that benefits immigrant and refugee students.
He is excited to join ARCS in promoting Romanian culture, particularly among second generation Romanian Americans.