Netzer, Paunescu, Negoescu among Film Centre’s €2.5m funding winners
by Stefan Dobroiu
The Romanian National Film Centre has announced the winners of its 2011 funding competition. Ten features (of which three are debuts), three documentaries, three shorts and four animated films will receive an overall €2.5m. The feature winners follow, and are proof of a trend of an infusion of European talent, as several projects are written or co-written by foreign screenwriters or have foreign directors attached.
The biggest grant (approximately €360,000) went to Evadarea (“The Escape”), Andrei Gruzsniczki's second feature after The Other Irina (Best Romanian Feature, 2009 Transylvania Film Festival). Produced by Icon Productions (The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu [+see also:
film profile]), the project needs circa €800,000 for shooting, which could start at the end of this year.
The second biggest grant went to Romanian/French co-production Domnul de la curte, based on a screenplay written by Corneliu Gheorghita, who will direct, and Jean Samoullan. The Ro De Film production received €330,000.
Pozitia copilului (“The Child's Position”) received €260.000. The Hai-Hui Entertainment Production directed by Peter Calin Netzer (Medal of Honor [+see also:
film profile]) and written by Razvan Radulescu is the story of a 60-year-old woman who develops an “almost pathological relationship with her son”, the director told Cineuropa.
Romanian/Spanish co-production Noaptea vine in India (“Night Comes in India”) is produced by Strada Film (If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle [+see also:
interview: Ada Condeescu
film profile]) from a screenplay written by Spain's Chema Rodriguez and prolific Romanian director-screenwriter Catalin Mitulescu (How I Spent the End of the World [+see also:
film profile]). Rodriguez will direct this story about a dying Italian who travels to India with his Romanian maid.
Dramatic thriller By Pass, directed by Nap Toader (Wedding in Bessarabia, 2010), received €190,000. Screenwriter Alin Ludu Dumbrava mysteriously described the Abis Studio production as “the story of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation”.
Bobby Paunescu's Mandragora Movies won the last two features in competition, with the symbolic amounts of €1,000 and €840. The first grant went to Diaz, a project written by Daniele Vicari and Laura Paolucci about the much-contested events in the Diaz school in Genoa, where Italian police forces attacked a group of protesters during the 2001 G8 summit. Paunescu (Francesca [+see also:
film profile]) will direct the film with the financial help of yet unknown Italian production companies.
The second Mandragora project is Itaker, also a co-production. Based on a screenplay by Toni Trupia, Michele Placido and Leonardo Marini, the film to be directed by Trupia follows a young boy from northern Italy to Germany, to look for his father who left Italy in search of a better life (see news).
As for the debut features, the biggest grant (€170,000) went to America, venim! (“America, Here We Come!”), produced by Libra Film, directed by Razvan Savescu (Caviar) and written by the director, Oana Ioachim and Radu Gabriel.
Libra's Breaking News received €120,000. The film about a TV reporter who one day loses control will be directed by Iulia Rugina from a script she wrote with Ana Agopian and Oana Rasuceanu.
Finally, 365 de Revelioane (“365 New Year’s Eves”) also received €120,000. Paul Negoescu's debut feature is produced by HiFilm (The Happiest Girl in the World [+see also:
film profile]) with the help of Germany's Filmallee (see news). The script by Negoescu and director-screenwriter Vlad Trandafir centres on a 30-year-old who splits with his girlfriend on the last day of the year and starts looking for a former love, convinced she's actually “the one.” Shooting could start in December 2011.
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