[RO] Rules to resume film production and screening

IRIS 2020-7:1/12

Eugen Cojocariu

Radio Romania International

On 29 May 2020, the joint Order of the Minister of Culture and Minister of Health on the measures to be taken to prevent contamination with the new coronavirus and to conduct safe sanitary activities in museums and art galleries, libraries, bookstores, film and audiovisual production, outdoor activities and drive-ins (see inter alia IRIS 2020-5/30) was published in the Official Gazette of Romania No. 460.

The measures are being applied during the state of alert, in the conditions of the gradual lifting of the restrictions, in connection with the need to ensure the development in conditions of sanitary safety of the activity of cultural institutions and economic operators in the cultural field.

Film production activities are considered as having a medium to high potential for the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. The special precautions taken include: avoiding the prolonged presence of actors belonging to at-risk groups when filming (for example, aged over 65 and/or suffering from associated chronic diseases); make-up and hairstyling will be performed in compliance with universal precautions: maintaining physical distance, limiting close contact, sanitising hands and disinfecting surfaces before and after the make-up/hairdressing session; separate make-up and locker rooms for actors and extras.

Foreign citizens arriving in Romania who are members of film crews will be granted a special derogation from the 14-day home isolation/quarantine measure. They must test negative upon arrival in the country and a second test will be performed in Romania within 2 to 5 days of their arrival, or immediately, if they show symptoms of the respiratory disease.

With regard to cultural events/actions organised in the open air, including cinematographic projections, the organisation of the space must be done in such a way as to maintain a physical distance of two metres between people, with no more than 500 participants; if the location is organised using mobile chairs, the organiser will position the chairs two metres apart; if the location has steps, the organiser will mark the available places on them, with a space of two metres between them; if the location does not have chairs or steps and is an open area (grass, earth, slag, etc.), and the public comes with their own blankets or pillows, the organiser will mark the ground so as to create spaces that respect social distancing for each person, as well as larger spaces for families and/or groups of up to three people. Only persons with a maximum temperature of 37.3 °C will be allowed to attend the event.

The measures are similar for drive-in events. Access is exclusively by car; the parking lot will be arranged in such a way that there is always a distance of two metres between two vehicules, and during the drive-in event, spectators should not leave their cars, unless they want to go to the toilet.

The National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) decided to issue licences for low-power frequency usage in the FM band, which will help ensure the soundtrack of drive-in events (cinema and live concerts), so that the audience can fully enjoy the show safely from their cars using the car stereo. In order to maintain the strict delimitation of the low-power frequency from the audiovisual media services, respectively from the broadcasting programme services, the National Audiovisual Council offered ANCOM the following minimum requirements: low-power frequency usage shall be granted only during the event, and for not more than 30 days; it is intended to cover the area immediately adjacent to the venue of the event (for example, a radiant power of not more than 50 MW); a maximum of two such licences per year shall be granted to the same applicant so as not to harm the interests of local broadcasters; the event should not be organised or funded by political parties or local public authorities or by NGOs for purposes other than those for which they were established; the frequency usage should not be promoted as radio services, nor should it contain audiovisual commercial communications, other than for the promotion of the event.

On the other hand, on 27 May 2020, the Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban spoke with representatives of the film industry severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic about measures to support the film sector in the medium and long term, including rethinking the Ministry of Economy's state aid scheme, investing in local productions, and identifying tax concessions for cinematographic cultural products. On 11 May, more than 230 film production and services companies, 35 Romanian directors and almost 20 cinematography associations requested the support of the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, and of the Prime Minister, Ludovic Orban, regarding the government's implementation of the proposals for relaunching activity in the field of cinematography and the establishment of a so-called "Cultural Emergency".


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IRIS 2020-5:1/30 [RO] Emergency measures for the Romanian Film Industry during the State of Emergency

This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.