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INDUSTRY / MARKET Romania

230 Romanian film companies call on decision makers to save the industry

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- The national initiative also offers suggestions on a range of tools that could revive the industry in the wake of the health crisis

230 Romanian film companies call on decision makers to save the industry
Romanian Minister of Culture Bogdan Gheorghiu, one of the decision makers whom the letter was addressed to

The representatives of 230 production and film-service companies, together with 35 directors and film associations, have sent an urgent, open letter to the Romanian authorities calling on them to adopt a clear, constructive stance regarding the film-industry situation. The letter has been addressed, among others, to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Minister of Culture Bogdan Gheorghiu, Minister for the Economy Virgil Popescu and Minister of Finance Florin Cîţu.

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A community usually divided by the fierce competition for the few millions that the Romanian National Film Center dishes out yearly in production support, the film professionals have united in an unprecedented effort as culture in general, and the film industry in particular, seems not to have been deemed worthy of a place on the list of priorities in Romania.

Stating that the industry is one of the most badly affected by the health crisis, as it is now in a situation where it is impossibleto either produce new content or distribute already-finished films, the letter summons the authorities to acknowledge the necessity of culture in times of need, asking for the declaration of a so-called Cultural State of Emergency to help the medium survive the health crisis.

The letter also suggests three main strategies for reviving the industry, the most important of which being the revival of the cash rebate scheme, which was phased out in November 2019. “The immediate revival of the scheme will assure not only the activity of a large number of Romanian companies and employment in the industry, but it will also send a strong signal of normalcy and trust for both foreign partners and the local industry.” The letter asks for a cash rebate scheme budget of €50 million to be approved by the authorities as soon as possible, with projects to be funded through the scheme as early as 15 June.

The film professionals also ask for a Protection and Prevention Fund of approximately €1 million and a Backup Insurance Fund of €1.68 million. These measures are expected to counteract the effects that the pandemic has already had on the industry and to prevent any further effects that future restrictions will have on local film production in the long term.

Finally, the professionals ask for legislative changes that would ensure contributionsby international VoD platforms such as Netflix, HBO Go and Amazon Prime are made to the film fund used by the National Film Center to financially support domestic film projects.

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