Romania to appoint new minister of Culture


    BUCHAREST: A new culture minister, Kelemen Hunor, has pledged his support for increasing the number of cinemas in Romania, a perennial issue for the film industry after many were taken off line following the fall of the Iron Curtain.

    Hunor, who was approved by two commissions for culture in Parliament, will also be vice-prime minister because the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR/UDMR) is joining the government.

    Hunor was minister of culture between 2009 and 2011, and a secretary in the ministry from 1997 to 2001. He has also been president of the UDMR party since 2011. In front of the commissions for culture of the parliament he said that RADEF Romaniafilm, which inherited the pre-1990 state cinema network, "is not coping very well with the challenges of the market" and that it should be restructured over a two-to-four-year investment period and supported by the state.

    The organization should be run "as a network of cinemas," Hunor said, according to the Mediafax press agency. "42-44 cinemas should be kept in the public system," he added. RADEF currently operates 32 screens in 21 towns. In 2008, the organization handed 107 cinema halls to local councils but only three of these are still screening films, despite the legal requirement that this function continue for 15 years. In 1990 RADEF had approximately 600 cinemas.