<< Back
Romanian-Born Filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu Named First-Ever Further Fellow
Mon Jan 22 2018 21:00:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

(Park City, Utah/Washington, D.C. – Jan. 22, 2018) – National Geographic Documentary Films together with Sundance Institute announced Ilinca Calugareanu as the inaugural recipient of the Further Filmmaker Fellowship. Emerging Romanian-born filmmaker Calugareanu was selected for her embodiment of National Geographic’s ethos, pushing the boundaries of exploration, science and storytelling FURTHER. She receives a cash grant along with a personalized experience at the Sundance Film Festival that includes industry meetings, networking opportunities and screenings.  

“At National Geographic, we believe in empowering new visionaries,” said Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production for National Geographic. “With a background in anthropology, Ilinca is uniquely positioned to create films that truly immerse viewers into different cultures. We are thrilled to honor her with this award and are looking forward to working with her in the coming year.”  

“Becoming the Further Fellow is very personal for me,” said Calugareanu. “National Geographic played a very important part of my formative years growing up in Romania. Not long after the fall of communism, I saw my first-ever issue of National Geographic magazine. It was then that I realized the power of an image and the importance of storytelling. National Geographic became my window to the world, and I am so thrilled to receive this incredible honor. Thank you National Geographic Documentary Films and Sundance Institute!”

“Ilinca brings a bold palette to her visually rich, captivating nonfiction storytelling,” said Tabitha Jackson, director of Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. “Her filmmaking combines a powerful driving narrative with high cultural stakes whether in Eastern Europe or the South Bronx.”

The fellowship builds on National Geographic’s long history of creating opportunities for the next generation of storytellers, including Nat Geo WILD’s Wild to Inspire short film contest, now in its fourth year, and the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, which gives young scholars the chance to hone their communications skills during a yearlong expedition abroad.

National Geographic Documentary Films is responsible for the award-winning documentaries Before the Flood, Water & Power: A California Heist, LA 92 and Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS. The banner’s most recent release, JANE, from award-winning filmmaker Brett Morgen, has been hailed as “one of the best documentaries of all time” by Vogue magazine, and is the recipient of the National Board of Review’s Best Documentary Feature award and the Critic’s Choice Documentary Awards’ Best Documentary prize. JANE is also one of the top 15 documentaries in contention for this year’s Academy Awards nominations and a BAFTA nominee. 

# # #

Filmmaker Bio
Ilinca Calugareanu is a U.K.-based Romanian director. She has a background in anthropology and studied ethnographic documentary at the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology in Manchester (U.K.) before moving on to directing and writing. Calugareanu has a skill and passion for melding fiction and documentary into beautiful films. Her short films have been screened at festivals around the world. Her most recent feature film, “Chuck Norris vs. Communism,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Calugareanu’s credits include the short documentaries “Endgames” (2008, U.K.) and “VHS vs. Communism” (2014, commissioned by the New York Times Op-docs). Her recent short film, “Erica: Man-Made,” supported through a grant from the Sundance Institute Short Documentary Fund, launched on the Guardian platform to phenomenal success. Calugareanu is now in production with her second feature documentary, “A Cops and Robbers Story.” She is also a managing director of Vernon Films (London), an independent film production company that she founded in 2012 with her sister and producer, Mara Adina.

About National Geographic Documentary Films
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to bringing the world premium, feature documentaries that cover timely, provocative and globally relevant stories from the very best documentary filmmakers in the world. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 171 countries and 45 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Erin Griffin, National Geographic, 202-912-6681,
Kristin Montalbano, National Geographic, 202-912-3244, 


Please be patient, we are preparing your asset(s) for download. This could take a few minutes depending on the number of assets.

Please do not reload or exit this page until your download is complete.

Thank you.