×

Romania: Location & costs lure productions

American Film Market 2012: Global Locations - Eastern Europe

Romania’s film industry has benefited from both the country’s spectacular locations — encompassing river deltas, dense forests, ancient cities and majestic mountains — and its reputation for cost-effectiveness.

Established studio players such as Castel and MediaPro have recently hosted projects, including Klaus Menzel’s indie feature “What About Love” starring Sharon Stone and Andy Garcia as a U.S. senator and his wife who rekindle love in Bucharest, and Fredrik Bond’s debut, “The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman,” starring Shia LeBeouf.

Bucharest also boasts other facilities, offering a wide range of amenities to international and domestic producers shooting in and around the capital.

Businessman and financier Bobby Paunescu, who runs Solar Pictures in the U.S. and founded Mandragora Movies in Romania in 2005, has two outdoor studio facilities in Bucharest.

Paunescu, whose business interests include wind energy parks, insurance, transportation, hotels, agriculture, mining, real estate development and media, says the studios have “attracted films from all over the world,” with drama “Closer to the Moon,” starring Vera Farmiga, Mark Strong and Harry Lloyd, currently shooting there.

Popular on Variety

Some Romanian film industry insiders, reflecting on the intense local competition, say the studios lack facilities and amount to a rented former factory site, certainly not in the center of Bucharest, where the former owners of Mandragora Movies, the director Cristi Puiu and his wife, built some facades and a couple of streets about two years ago.

The studio website shows images of a modern set, an exact replica of a contemporary European street with construction spreading over 18,000 square meters, greenscreen and interior sets.

The second studio boasts an exterior period set from the ’60s.

“Filmmakers can conveniently get both modern and classic environments with these two fully functioning facilities and can save more in costs than shooting in more developed countries,” the studio says.

More Film

  • Ariel Winograd'TOD@S CAEN' film premiere, Los

    Viacom International Studios Signs First Look Deal with Ariel Winograd (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Adding to a powerful and still growing talent roster, Viacom International Studios (VIS) has clinched a first-look deal with Argentine writer-director Ariel Winograd whose latest movie, “The Heist of the Century,” has just become one of the biggest Argentine openers in history. The multi-year pact takes in the development and production of not [...]

  • William Bogert Dead: 'Small Wonder' Actor

    William Bogert, Who Appeared in 'War Games,' 'Small Wonder,' Dies at 83

    TV, film and theater actor William Bogert, who appeared in a recurring role on 1980s sitcom “Small Wonder” and in films such as “War Games,” died Jan. 12 in New York. He was 83. On “Small Wonder,” which ran from 1985 to 1989, Bogert played Brandon Brindle, the Lawsons’ neighbor and Harriet’s father who became [...]

  • 1917 Movie

    Why '1917' Is the Last Film That Should Be Winning the Oscar (Column)

    There’s a feeling I always get at the end of a long Oscar night when the movie that won isn’t a terrible choice, but it’s the safe, blah, MOR predictable choice, the one that conforms to the dullest conventional wisdom about the kinds of movies Oscar voters prefer, because in the core of their being [...]

  • Civil Rights Drama 'Praying for Sheetrock'

    Civil Rights Drama 'Praying for Sheetrock' in the Works as Feature Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    Enderby Entertainment is developing a feature film based on Melissa Fay Greene’s civil rights drama “Praying for Sheetrock,” Variety has learned exclusively. The non-fiction book, published in 1991, was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, Georgia Historical Society Bell Award and the ACLU National Civil [...]

  • Jared Harris arrives at the 26th

    No, Jared Harris is Not Playing Doctor Octopus in Marvel's 'Morbius'

    The first-ever trailer for Marvel and Sony’s next Spider-man spinoff “Morbius” left comic book fans reeling with theories. While the plight of the main character, Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) – a scientist dying of a rare blood disease who accidentally turns himself into a vampire – seemed ripped right out of the comics, the [...]

  • SAG Awards 2020: What You Didn't

    SAG Awards 2020: From Charlize Theron to 'Parasite,' What You Didn't See on TV

    Brad Pitt made a crack about his marriages. Robert De Niro got political. And Jennifer Aniston talked about appearing in a commercial for Bob’s Big Boy. Those were just some of thing that happened on stage at the SAG Awards that were broadcast on TNT/TBS on Sunday night. However, Variety was inside the Shrine Auditorium [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content