Romania Approves New Film Law

    Corina Suteu - Romanian Minister of Culture Corina Suteu - Romanian Minister of Culture

    BUCHAREST: The Romanian government approved an emergency ordinance regarding the film industry shortly before the parliamentary elections set for 11 December 2016. Most of the articles of the draft proposed by the Ministry of Culture were approved except the ones regarding additional sources for the Film Fund.

    The new law was fashioned by the Ministry of Culture working with experts and was opened to public debate. It was supported and also contested by film professionals.

    The new law modifies the regulations of the film grants contest by making it more transparent and permitting the reciprocity of international coproductions by introducing a separate category for minority coproductions. Subvention for international coproductions cannot exceed 60% of the film's budget. For minority coproductions, the subvention will cover the budget of the Romanian production. The notion of ‘credit’ will be replaced by ‘subvention’.

    High school education is also among the novelties of the law, together with the notion of ‘micro-budget films’ (budget of up to 60,000 EUR, for which the CNC can allot up to 80% funding). The law also aims at simplifying the process of taking over of the old cinemas by the local authorities from RADEF Romaniafilm.

    According to the new law, the National Archives will move from the subordination of the Romanian Film Centre under the Ministry of Culture in order to provide a better protection of national heritage.

    Cinema theatres and open air cinemas will have to screen 10% Romanian films annually, of which at least 50% in the prime time. The percentage of Romanian films broadcast annually by TV channels should increase from 2 to 5%, and the TV channels will have to air at least 50% of Romanian films in prime time.

    Romanian filmmakers Cristian Mungiu and Tudor Giurgiu were part of a group of experts who have been working on the draft of the new law, which aims to bring the Romanian film law into line with European legislation. Cinema was a priority for the minister of Culture Corina Suteu, who was appointed at the beginning of May 2016, but discussions on the amendments to the Cinema Law began a few months ago under the former minister of Culture, Vlad Alexandrescu.

    The emergency ordinance aiming at harmonising Romania with the new Cinema Communication adopted by the European Commission in November 2013, was approved on 29 November 2016.