23-10-2020

FNE at Ji.hlava IDFF 2020: Emerging Producer: Anda Ionescu - Romania

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JIHLAVA: Anda Ionescu is participating in the 2020 Emerging Producers programme of the Ji-hlava International Documentary Film Festival, which runs 27 October - 8 November 2020.

Anda Ionescu This Romanian with an MA in Corporate Communication in Denmark started freelancing as a producer for the Romanian companies Alien Films Entertainment and FilmLab. Since 2018 she has been a producer and managing partner at Tangaj Production.

FNE: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work over the past six months?

Anda Ionescu: The past few months have been driven by uncertainty and changes, but I tried as much as possible to go about my work with finalising several projects in postproduction or about to be released in festivals. The work pace is still intense, however the perspective has changed quite a lot: releasing my films in 2020 was more than challenging, we postponed the shooting for one of our feature films for next year, financial perspectives are scarcer than ever, industry financiers or key players are also changing their ways, so on a wider scale, there was a lot to consider.

FNE: Emerging Producers provides a networking platform for young documentary producers. But as the COVID-19 pandemic has had the effect of cutting off international collaboration, has this changed your approach to networking with colleagues in other countries?

Anda Ionescu: Since this year has been governed almost entirely by online interaction, industry platforms and their organisers made efforts to quickly adapt to the new rules. Some industry events work quite well in the online environment, I think for markets and one-to-one meetings, using online tools proves to be quite productive and time saving, cost-effective.

However, workshops and events that normally assume networking amongst participants, sharing experiences, are highly limited by the online medium. It’s much harder to bond with peers over Zoom or have fruitful group discussions with tutors, so I am very much hoping and looking forward that Emerging Producers will be held in physical form, at the end of October 2020, in Jihlava. (Editor’s note: After this interview, the festival announced it would take place entirely online.)

FNE: Do you expect the landscape of documentary filmmaking to change because of COVID-19?

Anda Ionescu: Things can hardly be the same after such an impactful event as COVID-19, the environment is changing surely and rapidly. New doors could open for innovative formats and content, in the documentary landscape and not only, platforms and the online are key, viewers are changing their habits. The hustle would get harder, with festivals, cinemas and financing being challenged, especially for freelancers and independent filmmakers. Some of the changes were already on their way and they now get accelerated. At the same time, the hustle would get harder, with cinemas, festivals and financing being challenged. Everyone has been shaken and, in Romania, the film industry landscape and the financing perspectives for 2021 are not at all optimistic, unfortunately.

FNE: Are you working on any projects that are directly related to this crisis? Why or why not?

Anda Ionescu: As the past few months were mostly dedicated to completing several films in postproduction and dealing with projects that were already in development, I haven’t taken over any new project for now, related or not to the crisis. I think it is a challenge to deal in a unique way with this topic now, in a - probably - multitude of projects that are being initiated on this subject, but it might be easier and more relevant to watch such stories at some point, looking back, when we are out of the woods. Particularly on the topic, I am consulting Andrei Dăscălescu's latest documentary Videograms of a Pandemic, a collective diary of very intimate stories during the lockdown months.

Anda Ionescu
Tangaj Production

Holy Father / Tatăl nostru (2020), Producer
Otto the Barbarian / Otto barbarul (2020), Delegate Producer
Us Against Us / Noi împotriva noastră (2020), Producer
Mia Misses Her Revenge / Mia își ratează răzbunarea (2020), Producer

The 24th Ji.hlava IDFF will take place online this year from 27 October - 8 November 2020.