Some of the world’s leading film-makers are scouting locations in a territory that is keeping busy despite having no financial incentives.
Romania is enjoying moderate success in attracting footloose productions with a quality infrastructure and crews that can be employed for less than in other European territories, even without a rebate.
Incentives would complete the offering but here as in Bulgaria, bureaucracy is a significant hurdle. The EU approved a new Romanian scheme to provide $30m a year until 2014 for film production, distribution and education. But the measure, which would boost local as well as international productions, has been stalled in the offices of Romania’s National Film Centre (CNC) since the beginning of the year. Local producers expect no movement before the autumn at the earliest.
‘We were looking for something Mediterranean. Romania had that and more’
E Bennet Walsh, producer, Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance
Nonetheless, the territory has hosted several large productions this year. Columbia Pictures’ Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance shot at Castel Film Studios outside Bucharest and on locations across the country. The story is set in Europe.
“We were looking for something Mediterranean. Romania had that, and a lot of different locations,” says producer E Bennett Walsh.
The territory’s reputed ability to handle big-budget productions drew Christopher Nolan to Bucharest early this year, where he scouted locations for Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises. Nolan met with Bucharest’s mayor when he looked at sites in the capital as well as a salt mine in the central part of the country.
Fu Works and Cadenza Films recently wrapped a six-week Romanian shoot with Castel Film on Dutch-language Holocaust drama Süskind. MPCA’s action-thriller Weapon, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Michael Damian’s romantic comedy Christmas At Castlebury Hall shot at MediaPro Studios earlier this year.
Upcoming shoots included MPCA’s One In The Chamber with Cuba Gooding Jr, and Arclight’s William Tell: The Legend starring Brendan Fraser.