CLUJ-NAPOCA: The city of Cluj-Napoca, located in north-western Romania, has unveiled a 30 m EUR multi-purpouse building with a sound stage and offices for film companies. The sound stage is currently the site of an initiative from French director Michel Gondry to involve amateurs in the filmmaking process.
The Home Movie Factory was constructed as part of the Transilvania IFF at a cost of 130,000 EUR, and will stay in place for two months through the end of July. The concept includes a variety of small film sets constructed in the studio, where groups of 10 – 15 people are guided through the process of creating their own film from story development through editing, all within a three-hour time period.
The project is a way of introducing the film studio to the community, but organisers have larger plans for the space. The impressively designed modernist building, located some 10 miles from the city centre, was built as a space for the arts. Cluj-Napoca has a large arts community and it is also an emerging IT centre, making use of Romania’s tax incentives for IT professionals to work in Romania.
The film-designated part of the building takes up two floors. The two-storey high sound stage is located on the ground floor. Adjoining it is a floor designed for film school and R&D projects, and another floor with offices for film companies. The Transilvania IFF is one of the first tenants to make use of the space.
In the long run, it is hoped that film productions will make use of the building, especially with the advent of 45% film incentives. After six years in the making, the film centre and sound stage fulfill a long-held dream of Cluj-Napoca native and TIFF director Tudor Giurgiu to bring the film industry to Cluj-Napoca. Giurgiu told FNE that the Home Movie Factory project was one of the most significant aspects of the 2019 TIFF. It also marks one of the ways that TIFF is extending its impact in Romania, beyond the normal activities of a film festival. Industry pros expect that the studio and its surrounding empty space are more likely to attract film productions from Austria or Hungary rather than pull production away from Bucharest, which is an eight-hour drive away without a connecting highway. The region is still home to significant Hungarian and German communities.