The Romanian Filmmakers Association was set up in 1963. It was initiated by some filmmakers, including such names as Victor Iliu, Ion Popescu Gopo, Paul Calinescu, Mihnea Gheorghiu, Liviu Ciulei, Mircea Dragan, and others. The filmmakers assembled in an Extraordinary general meeting, in spring 1990, to decide on the conversion of the Filmmakers Association into the Romanian Filmmakers Union, its present statute and structure. The first president was Victor Iliu, followed by Ion Popescu Gopo and Mihnea Gheorghiu, member of the Romanian Academy, all three film directors. The president in office is Laurentiu Damian, film directors.
The Romanian Filmmakers Union is a non-governmental organization having juridical personality constituted with a view to the protection of the creative and professional activities, of the moral and material interests of the Romanian filmmakers. It is an autonomous body, barring any unwarrantable interference from administrative bodies. The Union numbers 850 members:full-, associated, and honorary, Romanian and foreign members. It is formed of fourteen associations, representing the basic professions concurring in the making of films, namely: the film directors association, the directors of photography association, the film actors association, the set and costume designers association, the sound track creators association, the film critics association, the script-writers association, the Romanian animated film asociation,the film editors association, the film producers association, the film promoters association, the chemical engineers association, the makers-up association and the stuntmen’s association. The Union is ruled by a President chosen through democratic vote by the General Conference of Filmmakers, three vice-presidents and three secretaries who belong to the Management Board. Each of these associations is managed by a bureau conducted by a secretary. The management bodies of the Union are the General Conference of Filmmakers, the Council, and the Management Board.
Even since its foundation, the Union has been concerned about the support of its members, both from the professional point of view, and from that of their social protection. From the numerous activities and initiatives we may quote the participation in the elaboration of draft laws, including the law of the filmmakers integration in the state social insurance system, law on cinema stamp, rules for the provision of health care in the in-patients and out-patients system, the granting of periodic social aid, the operational law of the National Centre for Cinematography, the copyright law, the law on audio-visual in Romania. At the same time, the Union was concerned about the making of the great anniversary moments of the national and world cinematography, the promotion and turning to account of the Romanian cinematographic creation by prize awards, the organization of professional and academic sessions, the support of film and television high education,the mintage of jubilee medals, and a publishing programme of books dedicated to some personalities of the Romanian film.
The Romanian Filmmakers Union disposes of a movie-theatre equipped with performant technique - cinema STUDIO - which occupies a significant place in the national film distribution network. In it, Romanian filmmakers have the possibility to present their films en premiere and avant-premiere. Foreign film galas and other cinematographic manifestations also take place there, most important being considered The European Film Festival, celebrating each year the 9th of May, Europe's Day. The Union has taken care that the commercial repertoire of this cinema should have a pronounced cultural character with a marked opening towards young people, and especially the students. The Romanian Filmmakers Union is member of the National Alliance of Creators Union formed by the Architecs Union, the Visual Artists Union, the Composers and Musicologists Union, the Writers’ Union, and the Romanian Theatrical Union.