Romania to Launch New $100,000 Regional Film Fund

Warner Bros./Courtesy The Neal Peters Collection
'Casablanca' director Michael Curtiz shot his early films in Cluj, home of the new Romanian regional fund

Transilvania Film Fund, backed by regional authorities, to open in April

Romania is to launch Eastern Europe's latest film fund in a bid to attract filmmakers to its locations.

The Transilvania Film Fund, the first regional film fund in Romania, opens in April with an annual budget of up to $113,000. It is designed to attract filmmakers to the north-western region of Cluj-Napoca, home to the annual Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF).

The fund will be used to support local movies and international co-productions, training schemes and the creation of a film commission.

Situated mid-way between Romanian capital Bucharest and Hungary's capital Budapest, the region will be able to tap both national and Hungarian film tax credits.

Hungary offers incentives worth up to 25 percent of a film's budget, including money spent in other countries on Hungarian films. Romania's National Film Center distributes around $7.5 million a year in development and production funding and Romanian box office is on the up.

Backed by authorities in regional capital Cluj, the new fund was developed by TIFF founder, producer/director Tudor Guirgui and the festival's executive director Cristian Hordila during last year's School of Film Agents (SOFA) workshop in Wroclaw, Poland, with the support Eurimages head Robert Olla, Israeli Film Fund chief, Katriel Schory and other mentors.

SOFA is a Europe-wide annual intensive workshop, founded by Berlinale Eastern Europe selector Nikolaj Nikitin, that supports international film professionals and administrators to realize film cultural projects.

Hordila told The Hollywood Reporter that SOFA was a key factor in creating a project. He hopes it will put back on the map a region once used by Casablanca director Michael Curtiz, who shot his first films in a studio in Cluj a century ago.