I am thrilled of what I achieved here. I take beautiful memories with me, and this film will surely remain in my thoughts.
Andy Garcia, Modigliani
MediaPro Studios has hosted productions since the late 1950s. At the time of its completion, the Buftea Studios had four stages, one set for mixed indoor-outdoor shooting and a film processing lab.
Film production during the Communist years
From 1959 until 1989 the Studios produced over twenty films per year winning international recognition at prestigious international film festivals.
- 1957 - Scurtă istorie (A Short History) directed by Ion Popescu-Gopo won ''Palme d'Or'' for Short Films;
- 1965 - Pădurea spânzuraţilor (Forest of the Hanged) directed by Liviu Ciulei won the Best Director Award;
- 1966 - Răscoala (Blazing Winter) directed by Mircea Mureşan won the Best First Work Award;
- 1969 - Cântecele Renaşterii (Rennaissance Songs), a documentary about the Madrigal Choir directed by Mirel Ilieşiu won the ''Palme d'Or'' for Short Films in 1969.
Due to the quality of the studio, many international co-productions were shot here before 1990 The Baragan Thistles directed by L. Daquin, Codeine and Nameless Star, both directed by Henri Colpi, The Lace Wars, directed by René Clair and Les Guerriers directed by Sergiu Nicolaescu
The transition to the market economy
After the Romanian Revolution of 1989 the Studios suffered heavily from lack of funding. Film production dramatically diminished and the number of theaters that stayed open was in freefall. However, Romanian film directors managed to make their voice heard in international festivals once again: Dan Piţa was awarded the "Silver Lion" at the Venice Film Festival in 1992 (for Hotel de lux - Hotel Deluxe) and Lucian Pintilie was awarded the "Special Grand Prize of the Jury" at the same festival in 1998 (for Terminus Paradis).
A new beginning
In 1998 the Studios were purchased at a public auction by MediaPro - the largest Romanian media company, owned by Adrian Sârbu. It took more than a year of intensive renovation to bring back to life all the production facilities. Today MediaPro Studios has 19 stages, the largest water tank in Eastern Europe, an impressive backlot (located on the shore of a lake), more than 30,000 costumes from all historical periods and exterior sets from the 16th and 18th centuries.
The first important production after 1998 was shot in 2000. Costa Gavras' Amen reestablished the reputation of MediaPro Studios and opened the way for more than 50 international productions.
In the following years prestigious international filmmakers such as Demi Moore, Cuba Gooding Jr, Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, Melissa Leo, Shia LaBeouf, Franco Zeffirelli, Jeremy Irons, Sissy Spacek, Donald Sutherland, Andy Garcia, Dennis Hopper, Fanny Ardant, Robert Carlyle, Dolph Lundgren, Bob Hoskins or Olivier Martinez set foot in the Studios and contributed to international productions - features and TV films. Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas), French nominee at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, Sex Traffic, which won 9 BAFTA awards, The Cave, a science fiction horror film, An American Haunting, Bunraku, The Whistleblower, Assassination games, Timber or Blood and Chocolate are some of the titles shot in the Studios.
In 2007, California Dreamin' (Endless), a MediaPro Pictures production directed by late Cristian Nemescu, received the "Un certain regard" Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.
In recent years, MediaPro Studios has diversified its range of services to include television. Working with the TV stations co-owned by Adrian Sârbu and Central European Media (Pro TV and Acasă), MediaPro Studios and its sister company, MediaPro Pictures, produced the first local sitcom, Neighbors Forever, in 2002, as well as the first local telenovela (Only Love, 2004). Neighbors Forever was on the air for 13 seasons, which is a record in Romanian television.
The television production portfolio includes many other telenovelas and sitcoms, a police series, the first Romanian teen soap opera (One Step Ahead), A bet with life, Regina and dozens of TV films.
The services provided by the Studios also include the shooting of television commercials and music videos, as well as event management.
From 2009 to 2015, the Studio was part MediaPro Entertainment, the content creation and production arm of Central European Media Enterprises, the region's largest content creator and distributor. With production services, facilities and over 25 TV stations in 6 countries, Time Warner-backed CME is the largest player of the area in the industry.