by Stefan Dobroiu
- Cineuropa met up with Anamaria Antoci, producer at 4 Proof Film
With a professional background in cultural project management, Anamaria Antoci began working in film production after joining 4 Proof Film in 2012. In 2014, the EAVE graduate independently produced her first feature, Adrian Sitaru‘s Illegitimate [+see also:
interview: Adrian Sitaru
film profile], which was selected at this year’s Berlinale.
Cineuropa: What made you produce Illegitimate independently?
Anamaria Antoci: Illegitimate was thought of as a low budget film from the very beginning. The decision to produce it 100% independently was a totally committed one, though quite challenging, especially because of the rather particular artistic approach. A difficult producing path brought us all to Berlin presenting a unique film tackling difficult choices. Actually for my first experience producing a feature film, such a challenge was the best school I could have had.
You are one of the authors of an open letter that accuses a certain regulation handed down by the Romanian National Film Center as discriminatory to first time producers. How do you comment on the Center’s position?
Our open letter came against a very clear background of frustration. Last year the Center invited the industry to work together on bringing improvements to the current regulations. We took the time and energy to draft the most important suggestions that could be implemented in the frame of the existing law, and everything ended up in a document that was shot down as soon as it crossed the desk of the Center’s director.
This January the minister of culture Vlad Alexandrescu invited young producers to an open debate. We attended a working group moderated by the minister’s advisor on cinema, we reviewed the document drafted in 2015 and we submitted it again to the Center. One week later, the Center made the shocking decision to completely ignore our input when a new production support contest was announced. The rather non-transparent funding process, which makes it difficult for emerging producers to enter the system, has personally affected me. We have a great cinema industry, but we need a healthy system to support it.
A new cinema law and new regulations for the Center are expected this year. What are the most urgent changes to be made?
Now, after minister Alexandrescu’s recent forced resignation, I’ve started to lose some optimism – it’s highly unlikely we’ll have a new law any time soon. It would be most important to find new financing sources for the film fund, to implement a transparent funding process and a minority co-production scheme, and to provide support for career development. We don’t have a proper school for film production; therefore I have developed professionally through several international programmes (EAVE, Ex Oriente), which was possible solely through the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute, given the lack of interest from the Center.
What are your next projects?
I’m currently working on several projects, mainly Shadow and Dream, the first feature by Hadrian Marcu, and Andrei Dascalescu’s new documentary Planeta Petrila. The story of Shadow and Dream centres on Petru, a man in his mid-thirties who is about to start a family bu, after an accident at his workplace, must face a difficult choice. Planeta Petrila is built around Ion Barbu's work, a 61-year-old ex-miner turned artist and activist, who sees taking down the buildings of the Petrila coal mine as a crime against the town's soul and identity.
What are your expectations regarding the Producers on the Move program?
I see Producers on the Move as a unique networking and career-developing environment, so I look forward to benefiting from the opportunities it encourages. Being among the 20 selected producers, I am sure I will have the chance to establish new professional connections, enabling me to bring new stories to the big screen.