11st Transilvania International Film Festival

Romania, June 1 - June 10 2012

The jury

Salome Kikaleishvili (Georgia), Angelo Mitchievici (Romania), Alberto Castellano (Italy)

Awarded films

Where, if not here, can you feel the full moon with your entire body; the kind of moon that seems to follow you in the darkness of the night, giving you pleasant shivers?

Such feelings are born in the land where legends are made, and where the real and the unreal are celebrated: The 11th Transilvania International Film Festival. At this year’s festival there was something for everyone, including a tribute to cinematography’s pioneer Georges Melies.

The festival’s 11th edition hosted plenty of guests and films. Those who say that every viewer will find his/her movie at this event are right. It had everything from Georges Melies to Stanley Kubrick, and plenty of interesting sections including Without Limits, Shadows (short horror movies) and Days of Romanian and Hungarian Cinema. The festival films were shown in different cinemas including small cinemas that seemed to be stuck in old times and new cinema venues equipped with cutting-edge technology. Night sessions were held in the central street of the city in the open air during the entire festival. All this created a wonderful atmosphere; a really festive one that was felt in Cluj-Napoca from June 1-10.

The festival attempts to adapt the old to the new and to remember history; to remember those without whom the history of cinema would not be as it is today. This year it was Georges Melies. His films were shown away from the city in the picturesque landscape of old castles and high mountains, and surrounded by live music and the successors of Melies. The films included original, untouched copies from his personal archives. It was amazing to see how 100-year-old films can be so mesmerising today.

We could not wait to see Cristian Mungiu’s Cannes-awarded film Beyond the Hills (Dupa dealuri). But upon arrival to the festival we learnt that Mungiu would not be coming to Cluj and neither would his film. It’s the same Mungiu that several years ago reminded the film world about the existence of Romanian cinema with his film 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile). Mihai Chirilov, the festival’s artistic director, wrote about Mungiu’s sudden change of mind regarding coming to the festival. Nobody knows why the Romanian director decided not to attend one of the most successful and popular film festivals in Romania.

Honorary awards for their contribution to cinema were given to the French film director Claude Lelouch, the British-American actress Geraldine Chaplin, the Hungarian actress Mari Torocsik and the Romanian director and actor Ion Caramitru.

One piece of news at this year’s festival was that from now on the festival will have a home. Several days before the opening of the festival a new building was finished. It is a beautiful 16th century house that was renovated and that will be the home of TIFF. It will be a place where interesting workshops, meetings and master classes will be held and where people will have an opportunity to simply talk about cinema in a pleasant environment. (Salome Kikaleishvili)

Transilvania International Film Festival: www.tiff.ro