The closing scene supposedly takes place in the city of Siret, but filming was done in Braila, hundreds of kilometers to the south, where the crew were able to find an 80 year old cinema with its original façade intact.
The credits mention three names that aren't present in the film. "Balkanski" is the name of director Lucian Georgescu's father, "Stein" was the name of Barry Gifford's father before emigrating to the US, and "Bose" refers to director Ovidiu Bose Pastina, who was originally supposed to direct the film but unfortunately passed away before production commenced.
The character Sami is based on a real, traveling projectionist of the same name, whom Barry Gifford and director Lucian Georgescu encountered on their trip in Bucovina. Sami was an projectionist by descent, the last of a line of projectionist and also the keeper to the local Synagogue keys. Shortly before filming was completed, the real Sami passed away.
The turbo-folk song (called "manea") heard in the bar scene where Traum first encounters the Ukrainian gangsters, was written and performed entirely by Johannes Malfatti, the film's soundtrack composer. Although unfamiliar with this type of music and the Romanian language, Malfatti insisted on singing the lyrics himself.
The goose seen at the end of the film posed a real challenge for lead actors Iures and Sirbu, as the motorcycle noises and presence of the crew irritated the animal to the point where both of them were bitten by the bird throughout the shoot. Marcel Iures was actually bit on the forehead several times.
For actress Mariana Mihut, The Phantom Father represents a return to Romanian cinema after an absence of almost 20 years. Her last film before The Phantom Father had been "Cel Mai Iubit Dintre Pamanteni", in 1993.