BUCHAREST: For Romania's European Film Promotion Producer on the Move Ada Solomon, the tips for being a good producer are "diplomacy, acting skills, being good in budgeting sudoku, keeping your feet on the floor and your head out of the clouds."
Described as "an engineer dreaming of becoming an actress," she never worked as an engineer (or as an actress), but in 1993 began working for Domino Film (www.dominofilm.ro). In 2004 she started her own company, HiFilm (www.hifilm.ro), which soon established itself as one of the most important Romanian film production companies. Solomon produced Cristian Nemescu's Marilena from P7, Radu Jude's The Tube with a Hat and The Happiest Girl in the World, Melissa de Raaf and Răzvan Rădulescu's First of All, Felicia, Constantin Popescu's Principles of Life and Alexandru Solomon's documentaries Cold Waves and Kapitalism - Our Improved Formula. She also initiated the NexT Film Fest (www.nextfilmfestival.ro) in Bucharest five years ago, co-owns two multiplex cinemas with fellow producer Tudor Giurgiu, and is the Romanian coordinator for EAVE (www.eave.org).
When asked how difficult it is in Romania to build a local production, Ada Solomon says, "Almost impossible! The support from the CNC is usually around 40% of the budget, TV stations are not co-producing or pre-buying local products - except for HBO Romania, but the amount is very low." As a result, Solomon relies heavily on foreign partners. "It's not easy to find the right person for the right project, but at the same time it's a pleasure to discover people that share the passion and the vision with you. I do have favorites - all the people I've already worked with," she told FNE.
Solomon will focus on three projects in Cannes. Valentin Hotea's feature film debut Roxanne, the story of a man who finds out after reading his file from the communist secret services that he might be the father of a high school colleague's child, is very personal for her since she knew the real people that inspired the film. About Paul Negoescu's debut film 365 New Years Eves, the story of a young man breaking up with his girlfriend on New Year's Eve, Solomon says she is "very keen to be next to Paul in this important step. We've worked on two shorts together, and I am very touched by his maturity." The third project, Alexandru Maftei's Supermarket, is her most ambitious project to date. It will be the first Romanian musical produced since 1989 and is a project that feeds her interest for "mixing arts in cinema." Next up, Solomon is producing Radu Jude's Everybody in Our Family, a Romanian-Dutch co-production shooting in June 2011.