Romanian Filmmakers Protest Delay of Application Deadlines for Public Funding

The postponement threatens to mess up production schedules.

MOSCOW -- Romanian filmmakers are protesting the decision to postpone application deadlines for public funding as producers are now set to miss February and March deadlines for Eurimages and Creative Europe-MEDIA, which, in turn, will mess up their production schedules.

Over 80 local filmmakers have signed a letter sent to the government condemning the decision to postpone the deadline for public film grants applications from Dec. 13 to Feb. 14, which was announced just one day before the original deadline, Filmreporter.ro reported.

The signatories, including director Tudor Giurgiu, documentary filmmaker Alexandru Solomon, cinematographer Vivi Dragan Vasile and producer Ada Solomon, described the decision by the board members of the National Film Center (CNC) as "incompetent" and "absurd."

Dec. 13 was supposed to be the only grant application deadline in 2013. The postponement means that Romanian producers won't be able to apply for European support in February and March and that no other local grants deadline will be announced next year.

The signatories also accused the CNC director board of "cronyism" and clandestine political maneuvering. Sources told Filmreporter.ro that the decision could be linked to plans to replace CNC's general director and adopt a new cinema bill.

The CNC board's decision comes against the backdrop of dwindling public-sector cash for Romanian filmmakers. The amount of public-sector cash available for the local film industry declined from $7.5 million (25 million Romanian Lei) to $12 million (40 million Romanian Lei) over the last six years.

Last month, when Romanian filmmakers protested proposed changes to the national film funding scheme and plans for privatization of movie theaters, the government gave in.

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