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INSTITUTIONS Romania / Moldova

Moldova nears the foundation of a National Film Center


- The country’s government has approved the application of a cinema law passed by the local Parliament in 2014

Moldova nears the foundation of a National Film Center
Director Igor Cobileanski (right) on the set of his new film, Eastern Business, which he is shooting in Romania

Last week, Moldova’s acting ministers approved the application of a cinema law that makes the founding of a National Film Center possible. The decision is extremely important for local cinema, as the new institution will support national film projects, film festivals and the promotion of Moldovan movies abroad. 

The struggling Moldovan film community (not a single local feature was released in 2015, and the country has no representative in the Best Foreign-language Film race at the 2016 Oscars) will meet government representatives this week for further negotiations regarding the National Film Center. Among the most important aspects of the law is one that stipulates that film projects will receive grants amounting to a maximum of 50% of their production budget, following screenplay competitions. The producers will have to secure the rest of the budget from other sources. 

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The National Film Center’s activity will affect how Moldovans watch movies. Producer and festival organiser Dumitru Marian, one of the law’s authors and promoters, told Cineuropa that the institution may herald the end of the domination of Russian film distributors, which screen films dubbed in Russian in a mostly Romanian-speaking country. Through a new set of regulations, the Center will have the power to force distributors to screen only Romanian-subtitled films in cinemas.

The Moldovan National Film Center is expected to collaborate closely with its Romanian counterpart. There have been several Romanian-Moldovan co-productions, among them Igor Cobileanski’s The Unsaved [+see also:
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, winner of a Gopo Award for Best First Feature in 2014. Because of the difficulties inherent in film production in Moldova, the Moldovan director decided to make his second feature film, Eastern Business, in Romania (see the news).

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