[RO] Support for the Romanian cinema industry

IRIS 2019-2:1/22

Eugen Cojocariu

Radio Romania International

The Romanian Government and the national public broadcaster will continue to support the cinema industry in 2019 (see IRIS 2003-2/23, IRIS 2005-8/28, IRIS 2010-7/34, IRIS 2011-2/5, IRIS 2013-9/22, IRIS 2016-10/23, IRIS 2018-2/29, IRIS 2018-3/29, IRIS 2018-8/37).

The Romanian Government will continue to support the film industry by granting state aid to film producers who will promote the national cultural identity and national minorities in Romania, as well as geographical areas or a city in the country. The National Commission for Strategy and Prognosis announced the opening of the 2019 session for the submission of application forms for funding under the State aid scheme to support the film industry, starting with 3 January 2019. The Commission did not mention the budget for 2019. In 2018 it was originally RON 60 million (EUR 12.9 million) and was later supplemented to RON 232 million (EUR 49.9 million).

The Romanian Film Commission, which decides the recipients of the State aid scheme for the 2019 session is composed of Adrian Titieni, actor, Honorary President of UNATC (Romanian Film and Theatre University); Călin Stănculescu, film critic, member of the Film Critics Association of the Romanian Film Association, member of the European Film Academy; Sterian Alexandru, cinematographer, PhD in cinematography; Stan McCoy, Motion Picture Association president; and Dan Chişu, actor, director, and producer.

Applications for funding shall be analyzed in the order of registration and shall be settled within the approved commitment appropriations for the year 2019. The Commission will regularly publish on its website the list of financing applications submitted and the status of their analysis. Unsolved funding requests after the 2019 budget is exhausted will be returned to applicants, and the Commission will communicate on its website that no further funding applications can be submitted.

By 3 December 2018, 17 applications for financing totaling over RON 110.18 million (EUR 23.69 million) were submitted, out of which 6 were approved, the total of approved state aid amounting to over RON 39.92 million (EUR 8.58 million). Ten financing applications requesting state aid amounting to over RON 65.26 million (EUR 14.03 million) are still under evaluation. Further funding applications may be submitted based on Government Decision no. 421/2018, until the budget allocated for 2018 is exahusted - this will be communicated on the National Commission for Strategy and Prognosis website, and further applications will no longer be accepted.

In another development, the public broadcaster Televiziunea Română (Romanian Television, TVR), which contributes to the National Cinematographic Fund with 15% of its advertising revenues, has chosen the projects it will support following the financing session launched in November 2018. In the frame of the 2018 financing session, 19 independent Romanian producers will benefit from a total of RON 2.4 million (EUR 0.516 million). So far, Romanian Television has funded more than 120 films, of all genres, shot by debutants or reknowned directors, who have been awarded prizes in major festivals or had box office success.

Independent producers in the Romanian film market could benefit from the 2018 funding session under the following conditions: applicants for funding from the National Cinematographic Fund must be holders of a direct credit agreement with the National Cinematography Center; the applicants do not have/did not have a TVR financing contract, a contract whose performance was vitiated, suspended or interrupted for reasons beyond the control of TVR; feature fiction films and feature documentaries for which funding was requested must be in the post-production stage or, at least, in the shooting phase.

Evaluation of applications was conducted based on an analysis of synopsis, treatment, script; a 15 minute movie sequence; and the producer's acceptance of his fee ceiling, which will not exceed 5% of the total amount of RON 2.4 million allocated for financing. Documentary films will receive in total up to one third of the total amount of RON 2.4 million allocated for financing.


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