“Buftea amputata!”, Headlined “Weekend Adevărul” on May 4, 2018, drawing attention to the disastrous situation of the film studios in which much of the history of local film was written. At that time, the fate of Buftea Studios seemed irreversible: no longer feature films were produced, the few remaining employees were unpaid for many months, the ensemble had no utilities, instead being overgrown with weeds and garbage, and debts continued to accumulate.

But history would be written differently, in an atypical way, we could say, in relation to the realities of the post-December era. More than two years after the desolate image evoked, Buftea Studios has been reborn in a spectacular way. Starting with 2019, new booths for actors were built, all 19 film sets were modernized, as well as the administrative buildings, the courtyard was asphalted, the old canteen was rehabilitated and a new restaurant was built from scratch.

The “Boston” decor is built on the outside and is truly impressive

“Initially, we wanted to delay the reopening of the studios until all these works were completed, but the demand was so high from our clients that we had to work in parallel with these films. The logistic effort was a huge one, we even worked 24 hours a day “, explains Ionuţ Simionescu, the executive director of Buftea Studios.

Colin Farrell and Jean Reno at Buftiwood

In 2019, “Buftiwood” filmed: “Voyagers,” directed by Neil Burger, starring Irish actor Colin Farrell, “Doorman,” directed by Ryûhei Kitamura, and starring Jean Reno and Ruby Rose, “Violence of Action.” “, Directed by Tarik Saleh, with Ben Foster and Chris Pine,” Seacole “, directed by Charlie Stratton, with Sam Worthington, but also the ministries” Washington “, a production HISTORY, respectively” La vita promessa “, a production Radiotelevisione Italiana. Numerous commercials and television productions were also filmed on the sets in Ilfov County.

The collapse and rebirth of Buftea Studios. As the set now shows: "The effort was huge, we even worked 24 hours a day"

Renovation work on the film studios continues in 2020, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed and forced filmmakers who had already booked sets to take a forced break. Instead, the Academy of Film, Theater and Television “Buftea Studios” was launched, dedicated to young people between 8 and 18 years old, and a museum of Romanian cinema is being set up.

I filmed at Buftea «Voyagers», for which I built an entire spaceship in the studios. It’s a big movie and I needed the local team to be prepared for the challenges, I had a lot of stunts and sequences that required the closure of some streets, and here I had access to everything needed thanks to the local authorities and team. The team here, honestly, is better than many teams I’ve met in the United States or many other places in the world.
Erica Lee, film producer

The costumes of Mircea cel Bătrân and Mărgelatu still stand

One of the main strengths of Buftea Studios are the prop warehouses, where they are kept approximately The collapse and rebirth of Buftea Studios. As the set now shows: "The effort was huge, we even worked 24 hours a day"30,000 costumes and 50,000 objects. If from other parts of the center various cinematic artifacts, including cars, took the path of scrap metal collection centers, this treasure remained almost intact, especially due to the professionalism, passion, but also loyalty to this place of people like Stefan, Gica, Mia, Elena, Rica and Daniel. Thus, costumes such as those worn by Lica Gheorghiu in “If I were … Harap Alb”, by Amza Pellea in “Mihai Viteazul”, by Ştefan Sileanu in “Vlad Ţepeş”, by Florin Piersic in the series “Mărgelatu” and by Sergiu Nicolaescu in “Mircea” (right photo) are still almost intact today, as well as many other garments covering all historical periods, starting with the fabulous costumes created by Hortensia Georgescu for “Dacians” and ending with those made for foreign productions filmed in Buftea after 1990.

“When we hear someone come and say, ‘What’s with these joys?’, We’re just going crazy.” These costumes made in the 70’s have been very well preserved. Velvet was used… While many of the costumes made after ’90, more synthetic, degrade much faster. Look at these Roman costumes, can you believe they’re 55? You should know that everything was made here, we have always had tailoring, tailoring, mechanics and decoration construction workshops “, explains one of the warehouse managers. Old costumes are in high demand even now. Even foreigners are impressed by their quality: I gave costumes to “Queen Marie of Romania”, Alexis Sweet Cahill’s film, they also rented for Nicolae Mărgineanu’s “Cardinal”, just to tell you a few new titles. The military costumes from the world wars are in great demand, the peasant clothes are also sought after. Many remained from the films of Sergiu Nicolaescu, who was very passionate and attentive to details. The costume of Prince Mircea the Old is very carefully reconstituted – it weighs 45 kilograms and all the links are made of metal. To be honest, Nicolaescu did not wear this one in the film, but his double, a stuntman “.

A new life for the car from “Nea Mărin Miliardar”

“Is that the one in the movie?” Is probably the most frequently asked question when someone outside the house comes across the Cadillac DeVille Convertible, made in the 60’s and easily recognizable from the famous “Nea Marin billionaire”. , but which has appeared in many other local productions over time. In the 90’s the car broke down and was only used very rarely, and a few years ago it had reached an advanced state of degradation, becoming practically a kind of “ornament” in front of the event tent. However, the current management of Buftea Studios wants to save the car, which has recently entered an extensive restoration process. At the same time, two more Cadillac cars were bought, which the mechanics are also trying to restore to their former glory.

The collapse and rebirth of Buftea Studios. As the set now shows: "The effort was huge, we even worked 24 hours a day"
The collapse and rebirth of Buftea Studios. As the set now shows: "The effort was huge, we even worked 24 hours a day"
Nea Marin’s Cadillac is shining again

The “cash rebate” system, a mouthful of oxygen for the film industry

Through GD no. 421/2018 The Government of Romania has introduced in our country the state aid scheme to support the film industry, a “cash rebate” system that provides for a producer to receive back up to 45% of eligible expenses for film production made in Romania , after the release of the film and after an audit. Specifically, the state aid granted consists of: non-reimbursable financial allocations in the amount of 35% of the total eligible expenses with the acquisition, rental, manufacture of goods and / or services occasioned by the development of film projects and film production in Romania, as well as fees , salaries and other payments to individuals related to the implementation of the project, respectively non-reimbursable financial allocations in the amount of 10% over the basic allocation, provided that a geographical area, a city or Romania is promoted within the same production. The provided allocations are granted provided that at least 20% of the total budget of the project is used on the territory of our country. Thanks to this program, Romania has once again become attractive for the film industry, and Buftea Studios has managed to take full advantage. After the aid scheme for cinematography was managed by the National Forecast Commission in the first two years, in January 2020 it was moved to the portfolio of the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment, and Minister Virgil-Daniel Popescu promised to launch the call on the current year until the end of July.

The collapse and rebirth of Buftea Studios. As the set now shows: "The effort was huge, we even worked 24 hours a day"

Chronological landmarks in the history of Buftea Studios
1951. On June 9, Petru Groza, the president of the Council of Ministers, read the founding act: “Today the cornerstone of the film production center is being laid”.
1959. The construction of the studios was completed, the teaching of the various objectives being done gradually: workshops and sets – 1954-1955, the sound studio – 1957, the film processing laboratory – 1958, the combined film set – 1959. The film production center also had a refrigeration station, water and fuel tanks, canteen, own fire station, polyclinic, pumping station, a thermal power plant – which provides heat not only to the studio but also to the neighboring residential neighborhood – and an electrical base, which also had generators.
The collapse and rebirth of Buftea Studios. As the set now shows: "The effort was huge, we even worked 24 hours a day"
1998. On March 13, the State Property Fund sold 70% of the shares of the Bucharest Film Studio to the group of companies Video Vision International, PRO Video International and Media Vision. The contract provides for maintaining the specificity of the activity, as well as increasing the number of staff. “I took this step for sentimental reasons, but also for economic reasons and I am convinced that we can make Buftea a studio at world standards. We will pay about three million dollars for the studio, and in the next two years we will commit investments of ten million dollars. As the production develops, we will be able to find work at Buftea for thousands of Romanians, who will be prepared for film and television production “, announced Adrian Sârbu, the creator of the MediaPro group.
2009. Adrian Sârbu sold the studio of the American company Central European Media Enterprises, the largest player in the entertainment industry in the region, whose CEO he was.
The collapse and rebirth of Buftea Studios. As the set now shows: "The effort was huge, we even worked 24 hours a day"
The new booths of the actors
2015. A group of investors, consisting of film producers from the United States and Romania, took over the studios, among the shareholders being the director Bobby Păunescu and the producer Donald Kushner. MediaPro Studios has officially changed its name to Bucharest Film Studios.
2019. The most extensive modernization works of the complex have started in the last decades and a new name has been adopted: Buftea Studios. Today, there are 19 plateaus here, including the largest water pool in Central and Eastern Europe, which can be used for underwater filming or special effects, as well as the impressive “Boston” outdoor scenery.
The collapse and rebirth of Buftea Studios. As the set now shows: "The effort was huge, we even worked 24 hours a day"

The restaurant raised from scratch in the complex in Ilfov