The Dry Valley

29 min, 2018

The Dry Valley is a portrait of a Romanian village and its inhabitants. For the Roma of Valea Seaca, Scandinavia has become a second home. Many travel regularly across Europe to earn money for their families at home, often through begging or street work. Two Norwegian filmmakers embark on a journey through the village in search of traces of Scandinavia. An unexpected and poetic portrayal of the effects of migration on those who leave and those who stay behind.


Rent or buy the film through Vimeo on Demand (English subtitles).

Previously broadcasted on NRK and Al Jazeera Witness.

Director: Julie Lunde Lillesæter
Co-Director: Julia Dahr
Producer: Julia Dahr & Julie Lunde Lillesæter
Associate Producer: Mihai Stoica
Director of Photography: Julie Lunde Lillesæter
Editor: Adam Thomas
Sound Design: Karoline Fjugstad Wendelborg

Financed by Norway Grants and The Fritt Ord Foundation. Developed at ESoDoc and Viken Pro.

The Norwegian Documentary Film Festival, 2018, Norway
Nordic/Docs, 2018, Norway
Odense International Film Festival, 2018, Denmark
Bergen International Film Festival, 2018, Norway
Montecatini International Short Film Festival, 2018, Italy
Balkans Beyond Borders, 2018, Serbia
Budapest International Documentary Festival, 2019, Hungary
Andaras Film Festival, 2019, Italy
Oslo Short Film Festival, 2019, Norway
The International Short Film Festival FROM Returnees, 2019, Serbia
London Migration Film Festival, 2019, UK
Long Story Shorts International Film Festival, 2019, Romania
Short Film Breaks, 2020
London Migration Film Festival, 2020, UK
International Migration Film Festival, 2020, Turkey
Annual Aarhus Film Festival, 2020, Denmark

Best Short Documentary (Nordic/Docs 2018)
Best Short Documentary (Oslo Short Film Festival, 2019)
Honorary mention (The Norwegian Documentary Film Festival)

"It is a well-photographed, warmly told story, giving intimate portraits of the people portrayed. The director has chosen to focus on the story behind the story, and done it so very well." – Nordic/Docs

"This documentary takes a humanistic look at the untold story of a well-known issue. The filmmakers use a poetic language which results in a film that says a lot more than what the images show. The film gives a feeling of hope in a hopeless situation." – The Norwegian Documentary Festival

Are you a teacher in Norway? Screen the film for free in your classroom and use the accompanying lesson plan to engage your students in questions about ethnicity and group identity. The lesson plan is made by the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights, and can be found through their website: The Dry Valley lesson plan (in Norwegian).