Interview with Tudor Giurgiu, President, Association for the Promotion of the Romanian Movies
For six years, the month of March has brought on the red carpet, in an atmosphere more and more fastuous every year, famous names of the Romanian cinematography. When and how did the idea of this Gopo Awards Gala appeared?
The idea to organize the Gopo Awards Gala appeared at a moment when the Romanian movies were high abroad, but the attention it received from the part of the public and of the press in the country was extremely reduced. In 2006, one year after Moartea domnului Lazarescu (Death of Mr. Lazarescu) had been distributed around the world, A fost sau n-a fost? (Was It or Wasn’t It?) and Cum mi-am petrecut sfarsitul lumii (How I Spent the End of the World) had been awarded at the Cannes Festival, Legaturi bolnavicioase (Sick Connections) had had its premiere in Berlin, and Hirtia va fi albastra (The Paper Will Be Blue) in Locarno, the Romanian cinematography, freshly "born again" after a traumatizing decade, needed a moment to receive the highlights in the country as well. That is how the Gopo Awards Gala appeared, and was named thus in honour of one of the most important directors of the native film history, at the same time the first Romanian awarded at Cannes.
How much do the associations and partnerships count for this event?
Besides the fact that, in Romania, this type of events cannot be supported without having aside strong sponsors and partners, it is very important for us that the partners of the Gopo Awards Gala would mean as much in their fields as much the Awards mean for cinematography. We are especially interested in encouraging, rewarding and supporting long-term partnerships. From our point of view, we wish to build mutually advantageous partnerships, it is important to have aside traditional partners, old and good friends that we want to keep many years. Without them and without those who are with us year after year, the Awards could not exist and develop. We are grateful for that.
For five years, we have driven actors, directors, producers in Dacia cars at the Romanian Movie Industry Awards Gala. For five years, the Romanian values have been going together. What are the terms that would describe the evolution of the relationship with this partner?
The partnership with Dacia for the Gopo Awards Gala is one of the priorities of the Association for the Promotion of the Romanian Movies. The association of these two brands is a very natural one, under the conditions when both the Romanian movies and the national car bring consistent image benefits to the country. We have an excellent relationship and we intend to carry it further.
You belong to the young and active generation of the directors, with a rich record, from ’93 until at present. Legaturi bolnavicioase (Sick Connections) brought much audience in the cinema halls in Romania. Where or what do you get inspired from?
Inevitably, the inspiration sources are the things that happen to you or those you run into, around you. For example, Legaturi bolnavicioase (Sick Connections) is a screen transposition of a novel that moved me and that I immediately saw as a movie. For my next movie – that will have its premiere this year – I know that the screenwriter Ionut Teianu was inspired by a piece of news from the mid-90s, in the years when the other great motor factory of Romania at those times was kicking the bucket.
I am inspired by honest stories, I always try to understand my characters so as they would be as authentic and human as possible and I hope that the audience will feel that in this case, too. It is very important for me that the real emotion, humor, but also the dramatic situations would be present in any kind of stories, as we all find them around us.
What can you disclose about your projects under development now? What movies do you prepare? What is the stage of their accomplishment?
The second long movie that I directed will be released this year and I look forward for the meeting with the audience. I had the chance to work with very talented and creative actors, of different ages and formations - Monica Birladeanu and Andi Vasluianu, Valeria Seciu, Ion Besoiu, Dorel Visan, but also the French actors Jean Francois Stevenin and Robinson Stevenin. It is a comedy that I hope to be well received by the audience, in which I tried to capture the color and the confused innocence of the 90s.
I also have under preparation a third long movie, in relation to which I still keep a little more suspense.
There are more and more movies with young, talented but not very well known actors. Do we have a valuable school in Romania? Do you think they will remain attached to the Romanian movies or will try their "luck" and record outside the borders?
I think that, in a country like Romania, that cannot be praised for an avid cinema audience (for multiple causes, the lack of the cinematographic education from the learning system being one of them), the fame within the wide audience is earned in years and with much perseverence and seriousness. But, at the same time, the fact that there are produced, annually, much more movies than 10 years ago, most of them with offering parts for the young actors, means, at the end, more chances and the possibility to experience, to develop and to be seen.
In addition, at least in Europe, nowadays the borders are open, there are more and more Romanian actors that also play in French, German, Spanish or British productions, while they play in movies or on the stages in the country.