Trying to build on the publicity from 2003’s “Cold Mountain” shoot, the Romanian Parliament is working on a 16% rebate for foreign film production. Recent films took advantage of the U.K. sale-and-leaseback scheme and the European Convention on Co-production. Romania’s competitors in attracting foreign films are its film studios, MediaPro and Castel. Romanian producers will be getting a boost in state financing, however, with $10 million promised, up from $3 million last year. That funding, however, is aimed at increasing the volume of national films, with a 65%-of-budget or $300,000 cap in effect. Romania continues to attract lower-budget action films, with the occasional foray into vampire action romances like Lakeshore’s “Blood and Chocolate.” Castel Film Studio participates as a co-production partner in providing services, while MediaPro recently began moving into international co-productions.
- Castel Film Studio: Web: castelfilm.com; Contact: CEO Vlad Paunescu.
- MediaPro Pictures: Web: mediapropictures.com; Contact: general director Andrei Boncea
“Joyeux Noel” (Merry Christmas), the Oscar-nominated foreign-language film from France’s Nord-Ouest, was a French/German/U.K./Romanian co-production, with 10% of its budget coming from MediaPro Pictures. Film was a prime example of European co-production, involving a multicultural story and cast from the French, German and British partners. Set construction and labor costs in Romania keep budgets 30% lower than Western Europe.