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TIFF 2014 - Festival Report: The best of the 2013 and 2014 festival circuit
© Tara Karajica
10 June 2014
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This year, the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF) celebrated its 13th edition in a sparkling atmosphere.

The Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF) is a film festival presented by the Romanian Film Promotion (whose main goals are to encourage and promote young filmmakers, help distribution and promotion of the European cinema, organize seminars and conferences about film production and distribution, and education). Founded in 2002, TIFF is the first international feature film festival in Romania. During the thirteen years of its existence, TIFF has become renown not only in Romania but in the entire world for the films it screens every year, its effective organization, its wonderful atmosphere and the density of events, from seminars, workshops and panels to fabulous concerts and crazy all night long parties. The last editions of TIFF were spectacular and showcased an extremely generous and diverse offer of films and sensational events. Last year’s edition presented almost 400 screenings and attracted over 62.000 spectators during the ten days of the event. Over the course of its thirteen editions, TIFF was honored to host important personalities of European and worldwide cinema and present them with Lifetime, Career and Excellence Awards. Moreover, TIFF has also become the place for national releases of the most important domestic productions and where Romanian audiences first got to see the films that marked the boom of the Romanian film production over the past years. For the future, the festival’s goal remains the promotion of cinema through the presentation of the most important films of the moment that feature both originality and independence of expression. 

The 2014 edition of TIFF was inaugurated on 30 May with the screening of Stephen Frears’ critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated Stephen Frears’ Philomena starring Judy Dench and Steve Coogan. 

Maya Vitkova at TIFF

This year, in the Competition program, we could see Paat by Amir Toodehroosta, Everything We Loved by Max Currie, Still Life by Uberto Pasolini, Blind by Eskil Vogt, Fish & Cat by Shahram Mokri, Quod Erat Deminstrandum by Andrei Gruzsniczki, Stockholm by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, White Shadow by Noaz Deshe, Viktoria by Maya Vitkova, Vis-à-vis by Nevio Marasović, The Voice of the Voiceless by Maximón Monihan and Floating Skyscrapers by Tomasz Wasilewski. The jury of this section was made up of the Romanian actress Cristina Flutur, the Israeli cinematographer Giora Bejach, the Hungarian director János Szász, the director of the Chicago International Film Festival Michael Kutza, and Nick Powell. 

For all the films, sections as well as juries, please visit the festival’s oficial webpage

The 13th edition of TIFF was marked by the crowdfunding initiative for the Film Warehouse in Cluj, the first and largest campaign aimed at raising public awareness and drawing the authorities’ attention towards finding solutions for the rehabilitation of the Romanian cinema theatre network.  The former film warehouse of RADEF RomâniaFilm is a deserted and decrepit place at the moment. It is magnificent and dramatic at the same time because it is buried between the above-mentioned thousands of abandoned film rolls as well as its history. (cf. article on the subject). 

This year, the “10 FOR FILM” program took place and ten new Romanian stage actors with an upcoming career in film were promoted. Moreover, the Transylvania Pitch Stop, an industry event initiated in collaboration with the Transylvania Talent Lab was also launched, with the aim to broaden and strengthen the industry with new initiatives whose sole purpose is the creation of a platform for first and second time directors to meet local and most of all international peers for their feature film projects in early development phase. The selected participants had the opportunity, during the Transylvania Talent Lab days, to be part of a custom made story development and packaging workshop closely guided by Christian Routh (Head of Studies ScriptEast) and Konstantinos Kontovrakis (Creative Producer, Heretic). The jury consisted of Nadia Dresti (Artistic Direction Delegate, Locarno IFF), Annamaria Lodato (Head of Talent Development and Communications, ARTE France) and Katriel Schory (Executive Director, Israeli Film Fund) and awarded two out of the five selected projects after participating the public pitch along with the industry guests, potential co-producers, sales agents, film funds and distributors specially invited for the event.

Florin Zamfirescu at TIFF

The festival welcomed many guests among who the guests of honor were the American Oscar nominated actress and producer Debra Winger, the recipient of the Career Award; the Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi, the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Romanian actor Florin Zamfirescu, the recipient of the Excellence Award. All the guests attended many parties and events; most notably the Jameson Party and the highly acclaimed HBO party, in a very enjoyable environment carefully prepared by the lovely, dedicated and friendly staff of the festival. 

With Richard Linklater’s highly praised new film Boyhood, the 13th Transylvania International Film Festival came to its end. However, the awards were handed out the night before at a splendid Awards Ceremony

The advantage of TIFF being mostly a re-run film festival is that the festival-goers can catch up on what they missed at previous editions of numerous festivals. This year, a large diversity of awarded, critically acclaimed and highly praised films on the 2013 and 2014 film festival circuit was screened in Cluj. We can therefore say, with utter conviction, that the 13th edition of TIFF was a very successful one indeed and it is with much curiosity and expectation that we will be awaiting the 14th edition of TIFF. See you next year! 

Here is the full list of TIFF 2014 winners
  Quod Erat Demonstrandum
  Maya Vitkova
  Florin Zamfirescu
  Konstantinos Kontovrakis
  Nevio Marasovic
  Andrei Gruzsniczki
  Transilvania International Film Festival
  Transilvania IFF 2012, Romanian Days
  Luminița Gheorghiu is the face of Transilvania IFF 2013
  Transilvania IFF 2013: World Premieres in the Romanian Days section
  Transilvania IFF 2013: Greek Focus
  All The Balkan Films of the 12th Transilvania IFF 2013
  The Awards of 12th Transilvania IFF 2013
  Transilvania IFF 2014, Romanian Days
  Transilvania IFF 2014 begins!
  TIFF 2014 - Closer to the Moon: A wonderful and bold revision of Romanian History
  TIFF 2014 - Interview with Nae Caranfil: “I always try to manipulate with my movies: this is the main reason artists create… to lie beautifully”
  TIFF 2014 - Interview with Tudor Jurgiu: “In Romania, people are not encouraged to see Romanian films or European films or anything but Hollywood”
  Locarno IFF Official Website
  ARTE Official Website
  ScriptEast Official Website
  Transilvania Talent Lab
  Transilvania Pitch Stop
  The Film Warehouse
  Chicago International Film Festival Official Website
  Transilvania International Film Festival on Facebook
  Transilvania International Film Festival on Twitter
  Romanian Film Promotion Official Website
  Transilvania International Film Festival Official Website
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