Country Focus: Romania
The voice of independent directors gains strength
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Things have come a long way since the year 2000, when absolutely no Romanian feature, with or without state support, was produced. During the early years of the new millennium, it was almost inconceivable to produce a film without financial support from the Romanian Film Center (CNC). According to CNC information, the future of local independent production looked bad even in 2009 and 2010, when only one independent feature was produced, but the present situation looks much brighter: nine independent productions may be domestically released or produced this year.
2013 was a boom year in terms of independent productions: five features were made outside the state system, with Iulia Rugină's debut film, Love Building [+see also:
interview: Iulia Rugina
film profile], becoming the second most successful domestic release of the year, behind the all-powerful Golden Bear winner Child's Pose [+see also:
interview: Calin Peter Netzer
film profile]. The film's positive reception led the producers to plan a sequel, Love Building 2, which is in development for a 2014 shoot.
Kiki Vasilescu will release his Therapy for Murder this summer, while Andrei Gheorghe is planning an autumn release for his first feature, It Takes Two to Fence, a romantic drama starring Olimpia Melinte. Nicolae Constantin Tanase's The World Is Mine and Dan Chişu's Bucharest Non Stop [+see also:
film profile] are also expected in the autumn. Among the many minimalist dramas, there is even a post-apocalyptic science-fiction project in the works – George Dorobanţu's Omega Rose. Newcomers Ana Lungu and Andrei Ştefănescu are in pre-production with their projects The Adventures of a Wise Girl and Linear A, respectively. Corneliu Porumboiu's independently produced experimental documentary The Second Game [+see also:
film profile] was released last Friday, after a world premiere at the Berlinale's Forum sidebar.
With new and inexpensive technology readily available to very young directors, there is pressure on the CNC to create a separate funding contest for micro-budget features. Given that production grants from the CNC are allocated following a complicated procedure which weighs up the previous film successes of both the director and the attached production company, newcomers are often put at a disadvantage by established directors. This may change when a new cinema law is approved.