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Romanian Grants procedure

2011-08-30

The grants contest in Romania takes place twice a year, following the Government's Ordinance No.39/2005 and the contest regulations approved by the Minister of Culture and National Trust by Decree No.2335/2006. The main body for film and film financing is the National Centre for Cinema/ Centrul National al Cinematografiei (4-6 Dem. I. Dobrescu street, Sector 1, Bucuresti 010026, Romania, Phone:+4.21. 310.43.01, Fax:+4.21 3104300, www.cncinema.abt.ro, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

CNC provides Direct credit, meaning reimbursable interest-free credit granted from the Cinematographic Fund for film production and project development, and Non-reimbursable financial support, which is non-reimbursable funds allotted from the Film Fund for the distribution of the Romanian films, the organization of or participation in specialized festivals and fairs, ans for educational programs.

CNC is coordinated by an administrative board of seven members: five appointed upon recommendation of the film associations, one recommended by the Ministry of Culture, and the general director of the CNC (who is also the chairman of the board).

The Film Fund - the supporting fund - consists of: 2% contribution from the price for sale/rental of recorded video cassettes, DVDs, etc; 4% contribution from the publicity minutes purchased by public and private television stations; 3% contribution from the price of the publicity minutes sold by the cable television companies; 3% contribution from the film exploitation; 1% contribution from the monthly income of cable, satellite and digital companies; 20% of the income obtained from the privatization of the cinema halls and parks. The Government's Ordinance No.39/2005 also states that the public television (www.tvr.ro) has to contribute to the Film Fund with 15% of its advertising income. It can also opt for the direct financing of film production.

The Film Fund was 31 million RON in 2010, the lowest amount in the last five years (35,849,793 RON in 2006, 40 million RON in 2007, 44 million RON in 2008 and 32 million RON in 2009). The Government approved the exemption from the contribution to the Film Fund of the national lottery Loteria Romana, which until 2009 contributed 4% to the Film Fund. The budgetary support to the Film Fund also stopped in 2006.

CNC finances (by direct credit) the production of short fiction films, feature films, documentaries and animated films, and also the developement of such projects. A production grant cannot exceed 50% of the budget, with the exception of low-budget and difficult films (which can be supported with up to 80%). The producer can spend at least 20% of the film's budget inside the EU member states or the states having agreed with the Central European Free Trade Agreement.

A Romanian co-producer cannot enter into a multilateral international co-production with less than 10% of the budget, and with less than 20% in a bilateral co-production. Direct credit cannot exceed 50% for a Romanian co-producer, with the exception of a low-budget or difficult film.

The grant contest has three selection committees: fiction, documentary and animation, made up of professionals proposed by the filmmakers associations. The selection committee for fiction evaluates the features and short films projects, as well as the development of projects. The selection committee for documentary decides the production and development grants for short and long documentaries. The selection commitee for animation does the same for animated films.

From a grant session, 5% usually supports first feature films, 5% short fiction films, 10% documentaries, 10% animated films, and 59% long feature films, while 1% goes for developing long features, documentaries and long animated films. A maximum of 50% of the total sum may be granted at the beginning of the preparation, up to 20% (upon the request by the producer) at the end of the shooting, and 10% (upon the demand by the producer) once the standard copy is delivered. A direct credit can be reimbursed in 10 years.

CNC announced at the end of 2010 that production companies that don't respect their contracts with the CNC and producers who dropped projects which were awarded at previous sessions will not be eligible to apply for the next grant session. The European Commission (ec.europa.eu) approved €80.68 million (RON 347 million) in state aid for the Romanian funding scheme at the end of 2010. The scheme approved by the European Commission will be run by the Romanian authorities until 31 December 2014. It allows producers to spend up to 20% of the film budget within the European Economic Area (EEA), not just in Romania.

In 2010, 19 features were produced in Romania, the highest number in the last five years (18 in 2006, 11 in 2007, 9 in 2008, 18 in 2009). Of those, eight were made with a production grant from CNC, nine entirely financed in Romania and ten co-productions. The National Cinema Center supported almost all the big successes of the Romanian New Wave. For a Romanian co-producer, the support of the CNC is indispensable. Moreover, if he wants an international co-producer, he has to have the support of his national body.

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