8th Transilvania International Film Festival

Romania, May 29 - June 7 2009

The jury

Miguel Somsen (Portugal), Julia Khomiakova (Russia), Vladimir Cvetkovic Sever (Croatia)

Awarded films

The 8th edition of the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF), 31 May – 7 June, was another tremendous success in Cluj-Napoca, a small student city in the heart of Romania.

TIFF opened with the premiere screening of Tales from the Golden Age (Amintiri din epoca de aur), a six-episode iconic and ironic portrait of Romania during the so-called golden years of the Ceausescu administration; and it finished with the apotheotic presence of Claudia Cardinale on stage at the closing ceremony in the National Theatre. Antichrist, the new film by Lars von Trier, was screened in the drive-in Cinema Echinox, but the last official premiere in Cluj-Napoca was the French-Romanian production of Ashes and Blood (Cendres et Sang), the directorial debut from Fanny Ardant.              

Run by an uncompromising trio of cinema lovers – Tudor Giurgiu, Mihail Chirilov and Rik Vermeulen – TIFF proved once again to be a remarkable catalyst in the cultural dynamics of an emerging young city. The audiences were packed in the screenings in the Cinema Arta, the Cinema Victoria, and the old Cinema Republica, whose future is in peril. The new connection with the recently-opened Iulius Mall outside the city centre granted the festival a dialogue with all sorts of audiences (some people just love their popcorn!). It was too bad that the unexpectedly lousy weather worked against the open-air screenings in Echinox or the drive-in cinema.

The main prize in TIFF went not to one, but two movies: the Norwegian director Rune Denstad Langlo’s Nord and Police, Adjective (Politist, adjectiv), the new feature by Corneliu Porumboiu, director of 12:08 East of Bucharest (2006). The FIPRESCI jury, composed of Iulia Khomiakova from Russia, Vladimir Sever from Croatia and Miguel Somsen from Portugal, awarded the International Film Critics’ Prize to the Dutch movie Can Go Through Skin (Kan Door Huid Heen) by Esther Rots, which was a major revelation in one of the most significant sections of TIFF: Dutch women. (Miguel Somsen, edited by Birgit Beumers)

Transilvania International Film Festival: www.tiff.ro