TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


La Civil

Teodora Ana Mihai, Habacuc Antonio De Rosario

Belgium, Romania


Cielo’s teenage daughter is kidnapped by a local drug cartel in a small North Mexican town. Despite significant efforts to gather enough money with her ex-husband Gustavo to pay several ransoms, the girl is not returned.
When Gustavo adopts a fatalistic attitude and the authorities offer no support in the search, Cielo takes matters in her own hands beginning her own investigation in search of her child. She manages to earn the trust and sympathy of an army Lieutenant who agrees to assist her – off the record – in exchange for intel which she can provide as a local.
No longer the passive housewife she once was, Cielo obsessively pursues the cartel members who wronged her, unaware that this will pull her into the vicious cycle of violence that made her a victim in the first place. Despite making progress in her own investigation and – in the process – helping other victims, Cielo is unable to reunite with her daughter; her relentless search however, puts her in the crosshairs of cartel members and dubious officials alike.


Everyone knows about the Mexican drug war, but not many of us have followed a collateral victim to understand the impact of traumatic events we might read about in the newspaper. After researching the subject for over two years, this story became more and more urgent to me, realizing it was unfortunately no longer an exception in today’s Mexico.
“La Civil” was actually inspired by many testimonies of drug war victims, but particularly by one mother’s account. Losing her daughter at the hand of a drug cartel made her spiral from victim to perpetrator, perpetuating the vicious cycle of violence that had victimized her to start with. I felt this story carried an important message about the chronic environment of violence that people are subjected to and that it has to be known internationally for any improvement to take place.
It was important for me to ally myself with award-winning Mexican writer Habacuc Antonio De Rosario to write out an authentic script on this delicate subject matter. Together, we set out to shed a light on this reality, and doing so through the rare point of view of a female protagonist, which gives “La Civil” its additional relevance and strength.


A mother’s extraordinary transformation after her daughter’s kidnapping by a violent drug cartel.
Teodora Ana Mihai

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Habacuc Antonio De Rosario

Writer, Scriptwriter

production notes

original title
La Civil

directed by
Teodora Ana Mihai

produced byOne For The Road
Meelstraat, 12
9000, Ghent

in co-production with
Luna Film – Romania

written by
Teodora Ana Mihai
Habacuc Antonio De Rosario

total production budget
€ 1.283.584