Strigoi, the Real Vampires of Transylvania


There are 1480 steps cut into the side of Mount Cetatea that lead to the ruined castle of Vlad Dracula. There's no one around but a few stray dogs and a murder of crows marking our destination above. The light is failing and dark clouds gather ominously. At the top of the steps we find the remains of Vlad's castle adorned with two large fang-like stakes protruding from the ground. In an eerie coincidence the stronghold was ruined in 1888 when an earthquake sent a large portion of the castle into the river Arges below in the very same spot where Dracula's wife, believing her husband killed in battle, had thrown herself to her death 400 years earlier.

Strigoi, the Real Vampires of Transylvania will unfold in three sections: Interviews with eyewitnesses claiming to have encountered vampires, interviews with Greek-Orthodox clergy, who will provide a look into the church's tumultuous and deadly relationship with vampires, and lastly interviews with the vampires themselves.

The project's proposed itinerary will begin in Danc, a frozen-in-time Transylvanian village where the filmmakers will interview Ana and Marioara and get their in-person accounts of their encounters with vampires. The journey then continues to Cluj-Napoca, the academic and religious capital of Transylvania wherethe filmmakers will interview Marius Ciprian Pop, Greek Orthodox priest and believer in the banishement of vampires.

The next chapter will document the search for the vampire himself, Vlad Dracula and his vampire coven, beginning in Sighisoara, Vlad's birthplace, and continuing on to his childhood castle in Targoviste to his famed escape from Castle Poenari and through the Carpathian Mountains to Comana Monastery where he is allegedly burried. In 1589, one hundred years after Vlad Dracula's death, the Comana Monastey was completely demolished and rebuilt.

Was Vlad Dracula a vampire or was his supernatural nature a figment of Bram Stoker's imagination? If vampires still exist, and we believe they do, we're going to find them and conduct a real live interview.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Ingrid Serban (writer/director) is a musician and filmmaker whose first short film, All Sales Final screened at Asheville Cinema Festival, Chennai International Short Film Festival, Tiburon International Film Festival, Ahmedhagar International Short Film Festival and Albuquerque Film Festival where it won Best Short Film on a Smart Device. She produces short documentaries and narrative short films as well as music videos. While Transilvania Frumoasa, a short documentary, is set to debut at the Nevada City Film Festival this fall, Strigoi, the Real Vampires of Transylvania will be her first documentary feature.

Film Details
  • Country(ies): Romania, USA
  • Language(s): Romanian, English
  • Year: 2016
  • Running time: 90 minutes
  • Director(s): Ingrid Serban
  • Producer(s): Forest Sun
  • Writer(s): Ingrid Serban
  • Cinematographer(s): Ingrid Serban, Forest Sun

FSP 1529