From the director of
7 Words comes Nothing but Ashes

... a feature film inspired by true events, about the Phoenixes of Romania, rising from their ashes daily, defying the odds with a smile on their face.

A movie about children who were destined for abortion, who ended up being abandoned or parentless, about teen mothers, broken families, Romania’s social ills and two champions: a sportsman with a rags-to-riches story and the guardian angel who gave him a lifeline.

Based on a true story, Nothing but Ashes sheds light on extraordinary lives. One simple, abortion-bound child from a poor background becomes - thanks to a broken wheel and a twist of fate - one of the champions of world sport. His road crosses paths with the figures of two great Romanian priests - father Gheorghe Calciu Dumitreasa and his disciple, father Nicolae Tănase, and with the lives of those who had been in his stead: the outcasts of Romanian society.

A film brimming with emotion, dealing with despair, suffering and salvation.

A film honoring our unsung heroes.

Nothing but Ashes is a cry from the depths of our conscience, a film about role models, who will inspire the next generation.

In 2020, find out how a generation of Life's winners has risen from the Screzii Valley.

Father Calciu, the mentor of Father Tănase. Nothing but Ashes is born out of 7 Words

The social facilities in Valea Plopului burnt to the ground several times, yet over and over again hope emerged unscathed from the ashes. The biggest credit for this goes to a man touched by God: father Nicolae Tănase, a former pupil, at the Theological Seminary in Bucharest, of the late Father Gheorghe Calciu Dumitreasa, the protagonist of 7 Words, a documentary by director Andrei Negoiţă Zagorodnâi. Father Calciu spent 21 years in Communist prisons for his ardent faith in God and his love of country.

The connection is not fortuitous: the good seeds planted by Father Gheorghe Calciu bore fruit in Screzii Valley, thanks to the dedication of Father Tănase.

Director Andrei Negoiţă Zagorodnâi wants to highlight, in Nothing but Ashes, the master - disciple relationship between the two, and how Father Tănase and his team are supporting the good cause in Screzii Valley for over 20 years now, in spite of various crises, disappointments, hardships of all kinds - all, from an overwhelming love of fellow humans.

“In one of his frequent trips to Romania, Father Gheorghe Calciu made the effort of paying me a visit at my parish in Valea Plopului. He wanted to find out for himself if what he had sown, years before, bore the sought after fruit. He visited the place, asked for information, enquired about things yet to be done...

... I would find out his assessment much later, when I would read his account on coming back to the States. He had been pleased by it all.”

~ Father Nicolae Tănase

Nothing but Ashes follows the extraordinary men and women who committed their existence to the widows, the orphans and the elders, while also showcasing the life story of an orphan who came out on top despite coming from humble origins. A film which will open your eyes, a testament to the extraordinary phenomenon of human redemption witnessed in Screzii Valley and Plopului Valley. The place were winners are born from their ashes. The place where it all began.

Production Team


Cristian Dinu

Cameraman, DoP, copyright provider for the video archive of the Pro Vita Association

Cristian Dinu settled in Valea Plopului 20 years ago, moved by the drama in the area and eager to support the social works of Father Nicolae Tănase. He has a degree in theology and is a polymath: he has been, amongst other jobs, a mechanic, driver, educator, translator, guide, typist, sculptor, painter, chorister, a producer of kids’ shows, a cameraman and a video editor.

Since coming to the village, Cristian filmed over 340 hours of footage, which ended up being used in our promotional clip for the fundraising campaign of Nothing but Ashes.

A character out of Cinema Paradiso and a constant help of the Pro Vita Association, Cristi brings many smiles on the faces of children in Screzii Valley, with his regular movie projections.


Mircea Zanian

Editor, Executive Producer

Mircea Zanian is an actor, director, screenwriter and producer. He graduated from the College of Arts, Hyperion University, Bucharest with a Bachelor’s degree in Film Directing and Cinematography. He produced and directed several shorts (Lost, Skizo, 2-Minute Breakup), while also being an editor and a post-production assistant for various TV commercials and music videos.


Florin Iordache

Executive Producer, DoP

Florin-Alexandru Iordache graduated in 2011 from the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers at the Politechnic University of Bucharest. For the next five years he worked as a software engineer at IBM Romania.

He is currently enrolled in the College of Theatre and Television at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj and pursuing a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on documentary filmmaking.

His first documentary, The Garden with Hazel Trees (2014) drew praise from moviegoers and experts alike. Florin was selected as one of just 20 young filmmakers by the European network Remembrance and Solidarity to help shoot Freedom Express, a documentary film commemorating the 25th anniversary of the end of Communism in Eastern Europe.