As in many countries, Romanian film and television companies face considerable losses caused by the Coronavirus crisis. To remedy this, representatives of 230 film production and service companies have sent a letter to the national authorities, including the country’s President, Klaus Lohannis, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Economy and the Minister of Finance. The signatories ask them to adopt a clear and constructive approach to the film industry, saying: “The industry is not only a cultural sector, it’s also an economic sector which can neither produce nor sell its products at the present time or in the near future.”
Film professionals believe that culture, and film in particular, has been overlooked in the list of priorities. The industry’s representatives are calling for a state of cultural emergency to help their colleagues get through the lock-down crisis. 20 film companies and 35 directors have signed the petition.
The letter suggests three ways of supporting the film industry. The first is to revive the system of refunds which gave productions a discount on spending made on the national territory. It was abolished by the government in November 2019. Professionals also want the state to approve an aid budget of up to €50 million.
The Romanian Film Center (CNC) has endorsed the requests. Even though its director, Anca Mitran, has reservations about some of the proposals, she said the priority is to restart the industry. She too believes this involves reviving the system of refunds abolished last year.
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