Nomadic Night

Anca Damian & Bălănescu Ensemble

The Island

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About the event

An animated film by Anca Damian
English original version with French subtitles
Voices: Alexander Bălănescu (Robinson), Ada Milea (Mary), Cristina Juncu (Mermaid), Lucian Ionescu (Friday)
Music and musical direction: Bălănescu Ensemble and Alexander Bălănescu
Production: Aparte Film, Anca Damian, Komadoli Studio, Special Touch Studios, Amopix, Take Five, Minds Meet
Distribution: Eurozoom, Amel Lacombe, Romain Brosolo

Following its presentation at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and before its general release, the Nomadic Nights are proud to host the Parisian premiere of Anca Damian’s The Island, accompanied by a live soundtrack with the Bălănescu Ensemble. A musical fable inspired by Robinson Crusoe, or a cross between the Little Prince and Monty Python at a time of migrant crises and major climate change. This cine-concert can be enjoyed on the big screen in the garden of the Fondation Cartier!

Robinson is a doctor, and unlike the real Robinson Crusoe, he enjoys living alone. All day long, he philosophizes on the meaning of life, consumer capitalism, and his dreams. But his island, situated in the Mediterranean Sea, is invaded by migrants, NGOs, and guards. Friday is a castaway, the only survivor of a boat traveling from Africa to Italy. On this island, where the world seems ready to implode, Robinson crosses paths with some extraordinary individuals, and with great poetry, he confronts the absurdity of life from one day to the next. Everyone is seeking their own patch of paradise, and one is never sure who saves whom…

“Do you want to share my solitude?” Robinson asks the Mermaid.

Already noticed for her previous animation work—Marona’s Fantastic Tale, The Magic Mountain, and Crulic: The Path to Beyond,—Romanian director Anca Damian makes use of the Robinson Crusoe story and offers audiences a lively musical tale, filled with fantasy. At once joyous and critical, realistic and poetic, this film questions contemporary society: loneliness, migration, and environmental issues. The film’s immersive 3D-decors are rich in color, texture, and movement. Although it might look Hawaiian picture perfect with fluffy pink clouds and turquoise waters, there is a sense of something awry. The music, beautifully scored by the Bălănescu Ensemble—a string quartet directed by Alexander Bălănescu, known for his collaborations with Kate Bush, Pet Shop Boys, and David Byrne—plays a central role in the film, and the melodies are highly memorable.

For this Nomadic Night, Anca Damian invites the Bălănescu quartet to participate in this exceptional cine-concert shown on a large screen in the garden of the Fondation Cartier.


Born in Romania, Anca Damian studied at the Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in Bucharest where she majored in cinematography and later obtained a doctor’s degree in Arts, Cinema and Media. She worked as a director, screenwriter, and producer for several documentaries on art related topics. She was director of photography of two long feature films and several shorts. Her second feature the animated documentary, Crulic: The Path to Beyond (2011, Cristal Award in Annecy), has been selected in more than 150 international festivals like Locarno IFF, Telluride, New Director new films, and received more than 35 international prizes. Her extensive filmography includes Crossing Dates (2008), A Very Unsettled Summer (2013), The Magic Mountain (2015), Moon Hotel Kabul (2018), and Marona′s Fantastic Tale (2019). Her films were distributed worldwide and she has been awarded with numerous international prizes, including Cristal for Best Feature Film Award at Annecy, Best Director Award at Warsaw, Mirada International Award at Madrid, and Audentia Award by Eurimages. The Island is her seventh feature.

Romanian born Alexander Bălănescu is a prolific composer as well as one of the most visionary and exciting violinists of our time. As leader of the Bălănescu Quartet, which he established in 1987, he has been instrumental in transforming the string quartet from a ‘classical’ ensemble into a musical entity at the heart of the rejuvenation of new music, through revolutionising its repertoire and its relationship with the audience. Throughout his career Bălănescu has drawn inspiration from his collaborations. To mention a few; in the world of dance, Pina Bausch or Meryl Tankard, in the theatre, with Pippo Delbono, Matthew Dunster (for the Royal Shakespeare Company), Chiara Guidi (for Compagnia Raffaello Sanzio); in film he has twice been awarded the Gopo prize (Romanian national Award) for best original soundtrack including 2016 The Magic Mountain (dir. Anca Damian) and the FIPA prize for The Scandalous Lady W (dir. Sheree Folkson, BBC films). Bălănescu has refused to acknowledge divisions between different musical fields, consequently working with such diverse artists as Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, David Byrne, Kraftwerk, Pet Shop Boys, Jack De Johnette, Ornette Coleman, John Surman, Goldfrapp, Depeche Mode and Grace Jones.

Practical information


Regular admission
12€ (13€ sur place)
Reduced admission

Conditions of reduced admission.

Students (except for Tuesday from 6pm)
Job seekers
Over 65 years old
Teachers (Pass Education)
Pass Paris Visite
Members of partners institutions

8€ (9€ sur place)

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Additional information

Estimated duration: 1h.
Doors open at 8:15pm.
Seated concert, subject to availability.
In case of rain, the Nomadic Night will be postponed to the next day (Thursday, September 8). The purchased ticket will remain valid for this date, or will be refunded at the buyer’s request.
In case of rain on Thursday, September 8, the Nomadic Night will be cancelled (reimbursement will be made upon presentation of the entrance tickets).
Nomadic Nights begin at the time indicated: latecomers will only be allowed entry if this does not disturb the show.
The exhibition Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori will not be accessible during the Nomadic Night.