#100FACTS about Romanian Cinema

# 100FACTS announces a series of 100 knick-knacks, curiosities and antiquities from the history of Romanian film, served in slices of 10. And I’d say we start, without any other introductions, with the very beginning, with 1896.

What happened in 1896?

1. On 27th May 1896, took place the first film screening in Bucharest, at the French newspaper L’Indépendence Roumaine, on Calea Victoriei. European films such as “Dinner”, “The Bicycle Lesson”, “Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory “, “Breakfast on the Grass”, “The Buffet”, “Paris Opera Square”, “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” were shown.

2. The first film shot between the Romanian borders (at the time) was “The Parade on May 10th”, which came a year after the first screenings. Paul Menu captured the royal parade on May 10, 1897, with a Lumière camera. The movie takes 33 seconds.

3. Other cinematographic incipient works such as “The Mosilor Fair”, “The Baneasa Hippodrome and Races “, “Café Capsa”, “The Galati Floods”, “Military Exercises” or “The Naval Fleet on the Danube” were developed at Lumière brothers’ studio in Lyon.

4. The first film studios were the “Carmen Sylva” Laboratory, created by Queen Elizabeth in 1910, and the Leon M. Popescu Art Film, set up in 1912.

5. 1911: “Amor Fatal”, directed by Grigore Brezeanu, and “Insir-te Margarite”(1912), directed by Grigore Brezeanu and Aristide Demetriade, are the first Romanian fictional feature films produced in Romania by Pathe Bucharest. Unfortunately, these have not been preserved.

6. The first Romanian feature film that has been preserved, “The Independence of Romania”, also directed by Grigore Brezeanu and Aristide Demetriade, came a year later in 1912.

7. “The Independence of Romania”  was a “blockbuster”, for which the entire group of actors from the National Theater in Bucharest, the army and 80000 figurants joined forces.

8. The film is a reconstruction of the main events of the Independence War in 1877, plus scenes inspired by literature, ending with the mini-documentary “The Parade on May 10th”. “The Independence of Romania” is one of the first historical films worldwide.

9. The official premiere of the film took place on the 1st of September 1912, and the film lasted 82 minutes.

10. A second historical film, “The Neamţ Fortress”, inspired by Costache Negruzzi’s novel and Vasile Alecsandri’s play of the same name, was produced by Leon Popescu’s studios in 1913. The film premiered on January 13th, 1914, but unfortunately is now lost.

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