Moldova will soon have a National Film Center
by Stefan Dobroiu
- A new cinema law is bringing the local film industry closer to Europe
After five years of efforts and pressure from the local community of filmmakers, the Moldovan Parliament has finally passed a cinema law, which makes the founding of a National Film Center possible. The institution will support Moldovan film projects and is expected to work closely with the Romanian National Film Center, which has already supported several Moldovan-Romanian co-productions directed by Moldovan directors. The most recent example is the first feature by Igor Cobileanski, The Unsaved [+see also:
Producer Dumitru Marian, one of the law’s main authors and promoters, told Cineuropa, “The new cinema law completely changes the local funding system. Film funding used to be obtained on the basis of a State Order, a monstrosity inherited from the Soviet Union, where the state announced a topic and only film projects about this specific topic were financed.” The new law stipulates that state funding can be provided for up to 50% of the film’s budget for the grant winner, the rest of the budget being secured by producers from other sources. Also, the producer will own the film’s rights. Before the new legislation, state-owned production company Moldova Film was the only studio that could apply for financial support. The firm then remained the owner of the rights after the production ended, regardless of the talent involved.
The law will also have a profound effect on film distribution, making room for new companies. This sector in Moldova, formerly part of Romania, is currently under the control of Russian film distributors, explains Marian, which means that the films released in the country’s cinemas are dubbed in Russian. The new law stipulates that from now on, “all screenings will be subtitled or dubbed in Romanian”. Marian also says that the Moldovan National Film Center will need the help of its Romanian counterpart in order to escape the Russian influence on local film distribution.
The regulatory framework for the new institution is expected to be finalised within six months, which provides hope that the Center may start its activity at the beginning of 2015. There is no information about when a first film project contest may take place, nor about the amount that the Center will divide among the winners.
“It is a small step, but in the right direction,” concluded Marian. We, on the other hand, would say it is an enormous step in the right direction.