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Protest interrupts Romanian kudos

Film funding bill foes storm Transylvania fest ceremony

Romanian filmmakers stormed the stage of the National Theater in Cluj during the closing ceremony of the ninth Transylvania Film Festival on Saturday night to demand an end to “outdated and centralized” film funding.

The protest was sparked by last month’s change to Romania’s film law. It removes film critics from input on what projects get funded and gives state cultural authorities enormous discretionary power.

Fest topper Tudor Giurgiu invited everyone onstage who felt the new system set progress “back 15 years.”

The call for more transparency and support for the new generation of Romanian filmmakers struck a popular note among the international critics, scouts and buyers present, many of whom signed petitions that will now go to the government in Bucharest.

Romanian Peter Netzer won helmer kudo for “Medal of Honor,” his look at Cold War-era political and moral legacies, while his leading man, Victor Rebengiuc, scored actor.

Thai helmer Anocha Suwichakornpong’s “Mundane History” took best film.

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