Bianca Oana • Producer, Manekino Film
"Awards are opportunities, not final destinations"
- The Romanian Producer on the Move discusses her recent success with Collective and her upcoming projects
Romanian producer Bianca Oana has been active in the film industry since 2009. Through Manekino Film, she has produced Adina Pintilie’s 2018 Berlinale Golden Bear winner Touch Me Not [+see also:
interview: Adina Pintilie
film profile], executive-produced Alexander Nanau’s Toto and His Sisters [+see also:
film profile] and was one of the producers on his Oscar-nominated documentary Collective [+see also:
film profile]. She is currently working with Pintilie on her new film, Death and the Maiden. Oana has been selected as one of the EFP’s Producers on the Move for 2021.
Cineuropa: You have worked on two of the biggest Romanian films in recent years. How do you pick your projects?
Bianca Oana: I have this perhaps strange belief that the projects are choosing me, not the other way around. Almost all of the films I've worked on have sprung from meaningful human interactions with the directors or the place, or the characters I've happened to meet.
But beyond professional choices, I am considering what will make me grow, what I am genuinely interested in investing the next few years of my life in. Something that is important for me personally, but also for as many more people as possible. I am attracted to projects that have a particular artistic approach and a high potential for social impact. Where there is the risk of an unbeaten path, let's say.
What was your experience like with Collective at the Oscars? What are the most important takeaways from it for you?
Being the first Romanian film ever to be nominated at the Oscars puts a well-deserved highlight on the story and its protagonists. It was the huge work of a large team, headed by Alex, who has worked ceaselessly for the past 20 months. We were happy to be able to participate in person and we salute the effort of the show producers to make it happen live. I was glad that I got to meet our other fellow nominees in person, and actually my most important takeaway was the tremendous wave of support coming from people from all over the world, who were rooting for the film and had sent messages before and after the nominations. It also confirmed that the highest reward is in the process itself. And that in our world, which is now so focused on achievements, awards are opportunities, not final destinations.
Tell us a bit about your new project, Death and the Maiden.
Golden Bear winner Adina Pintilie's second feature is a look into the emotional archaeology of a couple, who take a cinematic walk down memory lane together with a film crew, to understand and hopefully solve their present relationship crisis.
What does participation in Producers on the Move mean to you?
It's a great opportunity to meet people, especially my 19 other colleagues from around Europe. It puts a spotlight on my work that boosts the visibility of the project I am here with. I am very happy to be among this year's selection, and looking forward to all the inspiring panels we have lined up this week.
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