On September 15 2022, the head of the Romanian film fund (hereafter referred to by its Romanian acronym, CNC), Ms Anca Mitran, gave an interview in which she positions the CNC in conflict with Romanian filmmakers, rather than as a supporter and ally of local film productions.

    Ms Mitran begins by attacking art films: “Lately all of our directors make festival art films. And so we acutely miss audience films that have no pretensions for festival awards.” She waxes poetic about the kind of films that she would like to see in cinemas — films about great Romanian historical figures, broad comedies and love stories — then nostalgically nods to several titles produced and promoted during the Ceaușescu era as examples of what Romanian filmmakers should offer audiences, stating that she has “a different conception of film.”

    A civil servant’s “conception of film” does not matter under Romanian law. Yet time and time again in this interview, Ms Mitran indicates that she sees herself — and the CNC, as an extension of her own agenda — as an arbiter of taste, sole originator of artistic production, and maker of her own rules: “We make the entire film production. We make both shorts and documentaries, which are not meant for cinemas,” she says. Neither the CNC nor its Director make films; the CNC as an institution partly finances productions. And it is certainly not up to the CNC nor its Director to decide that entire film forms should be excluded wholesale from theatrical release. Yet Ms Mitran insists that “the law is meant to finance productions for theatrical release. Documentary film is not meant for cinemas.” This is just one of the misrepresentations of the Romanian cinema law that Ms Mitran makes in the interview.

    Not even the simplistic box office yardstick against which Ms Mitran chose to measure all Romanian productions holds up upon closer examinations. “In the last 10 years we made over 100 documentaries. How many have you heard of that performed?,” she says. Well, according to the CNC itself, in 2020 alone, 9 of the top 20 Romanian films with theatrical distribution were documentaries. The sole Romanian film that got nominated for an Oscar (not in one, but in two categories) is a documentary — Collective. Yet when confronted with these facts, Ms Mitran dismisses them, suggesting once more that her conception of “performance” has less to do with measurable outcomes than with content.

    Several times during the interview, Ms Mitran comes close to saying that Romanian artists are supposed to follow directions from the head of the CNC. Indeed, the entire interview reveals a feudal mentality in which the CNC is not seen as a public service whose mandate is to support Romanian filmmaking, but rather as an art benefactor disappointed with her commissions.

    Ms Mitran’s statements disqualify her from holding the position of Director of the CNC. Her mandate has been extended although she reached retirement age — though it is not clear why the Ministry of Culture has decided to do so, given that under Ms Mitran the CNC: failed to revamp Romania’s theatrical distribution system and to reopen the cinemas it seems so eager to fill; vanished for a year and a half during the pandemic, leaving the Romanian industry with no support in the midst of a crisis; and failed to adapt and modernize beyond punch-hole files until 2022. The latest interview only further clarifies that the Director of the CNC does not see  herself or the institution she leads as a supporter and ally of the Romanian film industry, but rather as an oppositional, censorious force.

    We demand that Ms Mitran resigns from her position as Director of the CNC, which has become untenable under these circumstances. We demand that the CNC be led by a qualified appointee who is open to collaborating with those who work in the film industry and whose vision of Romanian cinema is in keeping with the evolving realities of the 21st century.


    Dana Bunescu, film editor and sound designer

    Ioana Țurcan, filmmaker and cultural producer

    Gabriela Forfotă, filmmaker

    Eliza Zdru, filmmaker

    Mona Nicoară, filmmaker

    Andreea Lăcătuș,  filmmaker

    Andra Tarara, filmmaker

    Paula Oneț, filmmaker

    Alexandru Solomon, filmmaker

    Laura Căpățână, documentary filmmaker

    Nora Agapi, filmmaker

    Ruxandra Gubernat, filmmaker and researcher

    Roxana Andrei, filmmaker

    Andrei Dăscălescu, filmmaker

    Carmen Tofeni, DoP and filmmaker

    Dragoș Hanciu, filmmaker and photographer

    Andrei Tănăsescu, festival programmer

    Cristina Haneș, filmmaker

    Daniel Barnuti, filmmaker

    Anelise Sălan, filmmaker and researcher

    Mihai Dragolea, filmmaker

    Elena Martin, producer

    Cătălin Cristuțiu, film editor

    Andra MacMasters, film producer

    Alexandru Paul, photographer, videographer

    Bogdan Mureșanu, screenwriter and filmmaker

    Raluca Durbacă, documentary filmmaker

    Alexandra Gulea, filmmaker, visual artist

    Dorin Moldoveanu, filmmaker

    Irina Trocan, film critic

    Melinda Blos-Jáni, film scholar

    Flavia Dima, film critic and curator

    Călin Boto, film critic and curator

    Andra Chiriac Hera, film director

    Radu Jude, fiction documentary filmmaker

    Alexandru Maftei, film director

    Tudorița Soldănescu, cultural manager

    Raluca Hașu

    Tudor Cristian Jurgiu, filmmaker

    Radu Muntean, filmmaker

    Razvan Radulescu, screenwriter, filmmaker

    Carla Fotea, producer

    Tudor Platon, director of photography

    Cristina Elena Iliescu, experimental documentary filmmaker

    Alexander Nanau, filmmaker

    Monica Felea, film distributor

    Ștefan Bradea, film distributor

    Alexandru Gherman, filmmaker

    Maria Salomia, film editor

    Vlad Petri, filmmaker

    Anca Păunescu, festival programmer

    Ruxandra Ghițescu, screenwriter, filmmaker

    Alex Pintică, film editor

    Paul Dogioiu, cultural manager

    Iosif Prodan, film critic & journalist

    Florin Iepan, curator

    Andreea Dumitriu, filmmaker

    Anton Groves, filmmaker

    Călin Peter Netzer, filmmaker

    Ana Lungu, filmmaker

    Mihai Mincan, filmmaker

    Alexandru Radu, film editor

    Stere Gulea, filmmaker

    Dumitru Budrală, filmmaker

    Simona Constantin, filmmaker & curator

    Raluca R Gorgos filmmaker

    Andrei Butica, director of photography

    Radu Gorgos, director of photography

    Andrei Ujică, filmmaker

    Elena Vladareanu, writer

    Oana Ghera, film curator

    Cătălin Neagoe, UPM

    Sophie Reiter, film editor

    Ioana Bogdana, producer and scriptwriter

    Eva Todică, scriptwriter, director and producer

    Mihai Grecea, filmmaker

    Marco Meneghin, researcher and film curator

    Ruta Kiaupaite, documentary filmmaker

    Marion Molinari, documentary filmmaker

    Stefan Mihalachi, photography and documentary filmmaker

    Matteo Giampetruzzi, filmmaker and festival programmer

    Letiția Popa, filmmaker

    Andreea Chiper, film critic, documentary filmmaker

    Dan Angelescu, cultural manager

    Andrei Gorzo, film critic and scholar

    Imam Hasanov, festival director DokuBaku

    Farhad Hagverdyev, film editor

    Shorena Tevzadze, Filmmaker

    Jaskirat Singh, filmmaker

    Duhyun KO, Documentary Filmmaker

    Juyeon YANG, Documentary Filmmaker

    Adrian Sitaru, filmmaker

    Luiza Pârvu, filmmaker

    April Ibinceanu, filmmaker

    Nino Gogua, documentary filmmaker