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Romania: No tax breaks yets, but still ways to save

Location: Europe - Romania

The push by local filmmakers and producers for a tax incentive scheme has yet to yield results. A film law passed in 2010 that would have introduced reforms to the funding system resulted in mass protests among Romanian bizzers last year because it would have increased state control and decreased coin. But no credible measure offering either a tax-break system or a rebate on local spend has yet been forwarded.

STUDIOS & FACILITIES UPDATE
Castel: Busy Castel Film, with its eight soundstages and 104,000-square-foot back lot, has won over clients from HBO’s “The Girl’s Guide to Depravity” to Mark Schmidt’s “The Glass House” to sequel “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.” The modernized facilities have production offices, gated parking, makeup rooms, dressing rooms, wardrobe rooms, storage facilities, and a full-service catering area.

Mediapro: MediaPro Studios is Romania’s largest, with full production and post services on site and some 19 shooting halls, the largest over 45,200 square feet, plus four indoor water tanks and a 100-acre backlot with an assortment of standing sets, meetings spaces and a 35mm screening room.

RESOURCES & CREW DEPTH
Two major foreign productions can be accommodated simultaneously by Castel Film and MediaPro. Most international productions book the studios although an increasing number of the more adventurous (or budget-conscious) ones have been opting for the country’s locations instead, making use of the dramatic landscapes of Transylvania and other locales unspoiled by development.

POST & VFX
MediaPro Studios’ fx workshop features a wide range of technologies and partners with London-based Effects Associates to run the biggest inventory of equipment in the country, plus well-trained local technicians and designers. CGI, Telecine and color grading are all routine and the suites are run by Oscar-winning veteran fx guru Nick Allder, who coordinated the work on “Ghost Rider” and “Christmas at Castlebury Hall.”

FILM COMMISSION CONTACTS
Romanian Film Promotion
Produces an annual shooting guide and sponsors the Transylvania fest and Gopo awards, two top national film galas.
Web: romfilmpromotion.ro

THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Productions with a bit of savvy and local contacts find they can save over shooting in more developed countries even without incentives here.