Romania skips grant funding in 2009

By Iulia Blaga

    The National Centre for Cinema (www.cncinema.abt.ro) will not distribute film production funds in 2009, since no grants competion has been organised this year.

    The last session of the contest took place in November and December 2008 and incited the local industry into a new phase of debates over the contest regulations. When Cristian Mungiu, a former member of the grants jury, suggested modifications, the CNC and the Ministry of Culture (www.cultura.ro ) welcomed ideas from industry professionals. The new regulation is expected to be finished and agreed to by the minister of Culture.

    Eugen Şerbănescu, the general manager of the National Centre for Cinema, told FNE that this gap is actually due to the fact that his institution sent the plan for state aid at the EU in Brussels just two weeks ago. The EU agreement for state aid until 2014 is essential for the next session of the contest, although the CNC had 7 million euro in grant money in 2009. The funds will be carried over for 2010. The previous state aid plan is expiring this year.

    "We have, however, 15 premieres in 2009, 15 in 2010, and 60 features in production, and we are spending some 8 million euro each year for the film production," Şerbănescu told FNE, stressing on the fact that a year with no grants contest is not the end of film production. He added that it is expected that the first session of the contest will be at the begining of 2010, and that it will follow the former regulation, while the new regulation will be completed during 2010.