BUCHAREST: For Romania’s Anca Puiu becoming a film producer was a “natural growth.”
“I was a manager since my second grade, from the age of eight,” she told FNE. After a career in business, she moved to cinema because of her husband, acclaimed director Cristi Puiu. “I was working in two different business fields as country manager, but even if it was a new domain for me it was kind of easy to take over this new kind of job.”
She established together with her husband and Alexandru Munteanu the film company Mandragora in 2004. Mandragora’s first worldwide success was Cristi Puiu’s The Death of Mr Lăzărescu (2005), awarded Un Certain Regard Prize in Cannes.
Anca Puiu produced Marian Crişan’s short film Megatron awarded the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2008. She also produced Crişan’s first feature, Morgen, awarded the Jury Prize in Locarno in 2010, Cristi Puiu’s Aurora (2010), the documentary Victoria (2010) by Ana Vlad and Adi Voicu, and the second feature of Marian Crişan, Rocker (2012).
Mandragora is a busy company. When asked about her current projects, Anca Puiu provides a long list including the next two features of Cristi Puiu which are in development, Sierra Nevada (planned for shooting autumn 2013) and The Manor House, the first feature of Peter Kerek, 4 Blows (the first part was already shot with a Bosch Stiftung grant), Ana Lungu’s debut feature, The Adventures of a Dutiful Daughter (in development) and the first features of Liviu Săndulescu and Adrian Drăgan, and of Mircea Nestor. She also plans to produce two short films and three documentaries (two by Ana Vlad &Adi Voicu, the other by Tudor Botezatu). Three features by Adi Voicu, Tudor Botezatu and Dorian Boguţă are in script development.
However being a film producer is not easy task. “It is completely madness to finance a film these days, and everything requests a huge amount of work, care and attention to all details,” Puiu says. Her dream project is an animated film, but for now she is one of the first publishers of Romanian BD.
What does she finds the most appealing in film producing? Being close to the process of making art and to the directors as well, whom she greatly admires. “The pleasure and opportunity to be one of the first persons witnessing the birth of a new film from the very beginning. For me it’s a privilege to be able to discuss directly with the filmmakers. I very much admire the people determined to say something to mankind using cinema. So, I do pay attention to the authors who come to me, being at the same time very honest with them,” she says.
In the same sense of honesty, Anca Puiu’s advice to new producers comes naturally. They should “make only the projects they like. Sorry, only the projects they really love! Because in the art house cinema these days this joint venture is for a lifetime. So, do it with all your heart from the very beginning!”
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