GOPO 2020: interview with the team

2 July, 2020

The 14th edition of Gopo Awards took place this year three months later than initially planned, in an atypical setting – in a garden, with specific arrival hours for each guest and strict rules. We were examined and asked to disinfect out hands with an anti-bacterial solution; moreover, we received in our gift bag antimicrobial hand towels. Because of being a garden party, high heels were kind of impossible to wear, so the dress code changed as well – from glamorous to casual.

We wanted to find out how has the pandemic influenced the most prestigious national film event, that celebrates Romanian cinema, and how has it changed the organizational process, and the future editions. I talked with some of the key people behind the gala, who were asked the same two questions.

  1. What has the Covid-19 pandemic changed in your department, given that the Gopo Awards Gala had to be redesigned entirely from the way it was originally planned?

  2. What do you think are the pros of an atypical Gopo edition and how do you think it will further influence the gala? (if it will be influenced in any way)

Sabina Baciu – Coordonator Invitați

Sabina Baciu
Sabina Baciu
  1. Certainly, the biggest change was brought by our duty to communicate all the regulations published in the Order issued by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Culture, which regulates outdoor events, to the guests attending the gala: sorting the participants at the entrance, wearing a mask throughout the event, compliance with the rules on social distancing etc. All these rules are, of course, quite difficult to follow, especially when it comes to a gala, but they are important to the safety of all participants in the event – guests and team.
  2. It’s my first year on the Gopo team, so I can’t relate to the previous editions. But I do believe that attending any event this year involves more attention to the type of event itself, to the     way interaction occurs between people and the context in which it takes place. It can turn into a good thing in the future.

Silvia Aștilean – Protocol

Silvia Aștilean
  1. Unfortunately, due to the current situation, we could no longer “pamper” the nominated or invited actresses at the beloved Green Room, where every year our sponsors and beauty partners (makeup, manicure, and hairstyling) join the event to get our female guests ready for the spotlight. So this year, they have only partially benefited from these services, under different conditions; they weren’t in the same space, altogether. Moreover, since this was the first edition taking place outdoors, the dress code also changed, from Red Carpet into Cocktail – Garden Party, and guests were able to go for less elegant outfits, with a lighter styling.
  2. Of course, the Gala is defined as that unique annual event in Romanian cinema, expected by all those working in the field, and it will stay like that. But, even if this year’s edition took place under current circumstances, I believe, on an optimistic note, that future editions could still be reevaluated, redesigned and reprogrammed for a less formal and more green-friendly space. And I also believe in the success of an atypical, unforeseen edition, because for everyone in the Gopo team, it would mean a new challenge, and I know we will make it a memorable edition.

Paula Hotea – Marketing & sponsorizări

  1. The pandemic didn’t necessarily change something in my department, but it did change the budgets of our sponsors and partners. We had nothing certain anymore, with a few small exceptions. When we decided to postpone and organize the gala in an entirely different format, we resumed all discussions and negotiations with our traditional partners, but we also opened the door to new partnerships.
  2. Everything is much more organized, everyone knows what needs to be done in their sector, approvals are obtained incredibly quickly, rules are followed. Let’s hope that next year, if we get back to normal, we will be just as organized, cooperative and disciplined.

Roxana Luca – Coordonator producție

  1. The physical distance as a safety rule during the pandemic was a very interesting challenge. I got to know Oana Giurgiu better when we worked together with several industry professionals on the guidelines for resuming outdoor events in Romania, and Gopo is the first event during this period which I worked on, by following the Order issued by the Ministry Health and the Ministry of Culture. There were some funny moments; for example, we were happy to hear on June 15 that people will be allowed in limited groups of 6, but then on June 19, when the new Order was issued, we found out that only groups of max. 3 people are allowed. It was a rollercoaster and we tried to keep up with the legislation, but we also presumed that the participants will already have some experience in that area, we tried to find the best ways to offer the experience of an event, while complying with all the rules.
  2. For me this is the first Gopo edition I work on, so I can’t make a real comparison with previous editions. Personally, I like challenges and I’m all about looking for solutions to the problems put on the table. It’s one of the best parts of this profession, when progress leads to the desired results. If we were to talk about how Gopo 2020 will rest in our memories,  it will certainly be a special edition, which we’ll all remember over the years, and, as I hope, there will be some things to make fun of, like our dilemma regarding the containers or having a party for 500 people where you’re trying to keep it safe and avoid as much as possible touching the common areas, but also the interaction with participants outside your 3-people group. If things end well, then it’s funny. So funny that even those short videos Tudor made especially for Gopo are worth it. 🙂 — “It’s gonna be okay.”

Anca Macoviciuc – PR & Comunicare

Anca Maco
  1. The pandemic has changed a lot, when it comes to our working habits, to the way we organize such an event and adapt the communication strategy, and it’s safe to say there’s a substantial increase in workload. Beyond the fact that it showed everyone how fragile the cultural field really is, it has also highlighted the difficulties Romanian cinema goes through, and its achievements are celebrated at the Gopo Awards Gala. Three weeks, from the beginning of March to the end of May, were dedicated to communicating the presence of the nominated films at previous editions on streaming platforms, as well as archive moments, under the slogan #SupportRomanianFilm, but also with over 600 professionals who had the opportunity to vote by June 29 (normally, the voting process would have ended on March 24); then we focused on communicating this year’s nominations and promoting them online and offline. So, working time was extended, we encountered bigger challenges, the materials suffered modifications and needed to be remade by graphic designers several times, the workflow became more intense, and the internet even more present in our lives. 🙂 We enjoyed the support of all our media partners, but also all the publications and journalists who came in our help, whom we want to thank, especially since they also went through an extremely difficult period that extends to an uncertain future which we would all like to live healthy and safe.
  1. The 14th edition of the Gopo Awards Gala is not an atypical event just because it takes place outdoors for the first time, but because it’s an event where the industry professionals, sponsors, partners and invited journalists will meet again in completely different conditions and will have to comply with all the rules set by the organizers – who face an important challenge, not only from a logistical point of view. The proximity that used to happen on the screens and on the sets now translates into greetings from a certain distance, interviews and photos taken under the social distancing umbrella, conversations with half of your face hidden under a mask. The experience of the event was different, even though it may not show in photos, on TV, or online. I hope that all of it will rather influence the solidarity of our community, increase the attention to cinema and its economic importance, than just being proud of having some films we often parade with across the borders.

Simona Rădoi – PR & Comunicare

Simona Rădoi
  1. This was the fourth edition of Gopo I worked on and, at the same time, the first outdoor edition of the event that celebrates, since 2007, the annual achievements in Romanian cinema. Major changes took place in almost all Gopo departments, and for that I want to thank my colleagues, who showed creativity, adaptability and great response time, given that we had such a short time on our hands. It was frustrating for everyone to cancel the Gala just a few days before it took place, then resuming the entire process of organization and implementation by the new coordinates. The communication strategy has undergone important changes during the state of emergency, by being adapted to the current situation and by creating relevant content, both on our channels and with the help of our media partners. Also, the workflow was affected, since we couldn’t be in the same place, we had to communicate more by email and phone.
  1. Every year we learn new things, even from minor mistakes, which inevitably happen, but now more than ever, with this edition that took place in the year of the pandemic when the safety and health of the participants – guests, partners, sponsors, accredited press – and the teams involved took precedence. We definitely enjoyed this special edition, where we could look over our masks and see our colleagues, friends and collaborators.



Film producer and founder of ADFR, she dreamed since she was little of having a magazine one day. Alongside her job as editor-in-chief, she writes the interview of the month. She loves animals, jazz music and films festivals.