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TIFF 2014: “Save the Big Screen” The crowdfunding campaign for the Film Warehouse in Cluj
© Tara Karajica
10 June 2014
 
 
   
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“I did something yesterday I never thought I’d do: I trampled on 35mm film”, Variety’s Jay Weissberg wrote in the 7 June edition of AperiTIFF, the festival’s daily. Such was the opening sentence of his article on the crowdfunding initiative to save the film warehouse in Cluj, so wonderfully titled “Trampling on film physically rather than via the keyboard”. Like many, he visited the film warehouse where meters and meters of celluloid strips, as he would say, were scattered around the deposit or hanging from trees. Such a sad and disquieting sight prompted the “Save the Big Screen!” initiative.

It is 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 crowdfunding campaign was officially launched during the opening ceremony of the Transylvania International Film Festival that took place on May 30, and aims to transform one of the most interesting places in Cluj into an alternative space for urban culture in order to host film screenings and other cultural events. 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.


With the crowdfunding, the Film Warehouse can become, both through its potential as an alternative space for urban culture, and through its historical and cultural value, the best space to found a Museum of Cinema. It should be aligned with the current understanding of a museum in the 21st Century, that is, a living institution but should also become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cluj.

7000 euros are needed to renovate the space, surround the area with a fence, protect it, clean it and rehabilitate it in order for it to be able host open-air events. Moreover, the acquisition of the technical equipment required for film screenings is also needed. 
Last night, at the Awards Ceremony, the Academy Award nominated actress Debra Winger received the Career Achievement Award. But, because she is superstitious, she stuck the campaign’s promotional sticker on her award, thus showing her support of the campaign. 

If you wish to contribute, please access www.we-are-here.ro to participate in the crowdfunding campaign or if you happen to be in Cluj, you can also donate directly in the urns at Florin Piersic Cinema, Unirii Square, Casa TIFF. Furthermore, if you fervently subscribe to the initiative, you can also volunteer to help in the activities that will be organized during the summer at The Film Warehouse. For more details, visit www.salvatimareleecran.ro.
 
 
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