The oldest coal mine of Romania in Petrila had to be closed down due to European regulations. However, this decision has some serious effect on the city. To the inhabitants it was not only a mine: it was their source of living and the intersection point of their community life. Now, one former miner, turned artist and activist Ion Barbu uses art and absurdism to stop local authorities from demolishing its historic buildings. His quest is not only to preserve the history and identity of his hometown, but also to find new ways of keeping the community from irreversibly falling apart.

Andrei Dascalescu (born 1984) started as a radio DJ in his hometown during his teenage years. He then moved to Bucharest to study Sound and Editing at the Film University, at the same time working as a freelance editor and sound engineer for BBC World Service Romania and on many films, including Francis Ford Coppola’s Youth Without Youth, as the assistant of the legendary editor Walter Murch. He moved on to make his own films with the awarded short feature Fly, then made his documentary debut with Constantin and Elena, a film that achieved worldwide recognition through multiple festival selections, awards and broadcasts. Planeta Petrila is his second feature-length documentary.