14th Transilvania International Film Festival, Cluj-Napoca

Romania, May 29 - June 7 2015

The jury

Tonci Valentic (Croatia), Laurentiu Bratan (Romania), Sanjin Pejkovic (Sweden)

Awarded films

The 14th edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival took place in the charming city of Cluj-Napoca. Many film professionals consider it the best film festival in Romania. Every year the city’s rhythm changes when this remarkable festival takes place, bringing a breath of fresh air to the heart of Transilvania and giving it an international atmosphere in the early summer, one of the more pleasant times of the year. Cluj is a well-known student city, so all of the screenings were packed, as were the other events: concerts, discussions, excursions.

During the festival’s nine days, the city is flooded with activities, and taking part is very enjoyable given the friendly and relaxing atmosphere. It must be said that the festival not only provides an outstanding variety of films, but is extremely professional when it comes to organization, taking wonderful care of guests from arrival to departure.

The festival offered a diverse range of programs. There were several major sections: the main competition, Shadows Shorts, Romanian Days (which also included a section for shorts), and a program called “Words Are Very Unnecessary” which the FIPRESCI jury focused on. The main competition offered some good films, while the FIPRESCI section was particularly interesting because it consisted of dialogue-free films. It was both a challenge and a surprise to watch eleven movies whose power resides in the flux of images rather than classical narration. Not of all them are completely devoid of words: some of them contain lines, but these are spoken off-camera. The jury eventually decided to award the prize to the Russian movie Test (Ispytanie) for its powerful story and beautiful cinematography and sound design.

There were also many sidebars: perhaps the most fascinating ones were the special outdoor screenings, presented in a huge courtyard in Banffy Castle in Bontida, outside Cluj. Also worth mentioning are the programs of recent Norwegian and Argentinean cinema – the latter was especially attractive for viewers interested in the so-called Argentinean New Wave, which continues to come up with highly-anticipated films.

And of course, since the festival takes place in Romania, it provided an excellent opportunity to see new and promising Romanian short films which engrossed many viewers. The festival did not only please regular moviegoers: it mesmerized all visitors with its charm and pleasant atmosphere. (Tonci Valentic)

Transilvania International Film Festival: www.tiff.ro