BUCHAREST: The plan to build an art house cinema network in Romania was the core of a meeting of local exhibitors, distributors and filmmakers, and also representatives of Europa Cinemas and the European Commission. The meeting was held during the 20th Europa Cinemas Network Conference in Bucharest (24-26 November 2017).
The idea of a network including local art house cinemas was part of the new Film Law elaborated by the Romanian Ministry of Culture under the minister Corina Șuteu and rejected by the Parliament in May 2017.
“What I have learned from my experience as a minister of Culture is that creating an art house network is the starting point for the re-launching of the whole cinema system in Romania”, Corina Șuteu told FNE.
Six art house cinemas presented case studies. Some of them were part of the old RADEF- RomaniaFilm, the cinema network during the communist era, and are now managed by local authorities, which gave them to enthusiast programmers.
“It is obvious that in some cases there is a lack of competence in programming, some cinemas are less equipped than others and local authorities are afraid to invest, but the first step has been taken today. If you have an enthusiast group of programmers, political will and the capacity to develop cinema projects and do programming, in time you will develop an active audience and an audience for art house films”, Șuteu also said.
Nico Simon, the President of Europa Cinemas, and Lucia Recalde, head of MEDIA unit, said that their institutions might start helping the network when it is in place.
The help from Europa Cinemas can come as professional training at all the levels involved in running an art house cinema.
A second meeting is set to take place during the 17th Transilvania Film Festival (TIFF, 25 May - 3 June 2018) and a third one might probably be during the next edition of the Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest Festival in 2018.