Transilvania Film Festival Bounces Back After ‘Tough Years’ of Pandemic, Sees Attendance Soar |

Trending 3 months ago

When push comes to shove, nan Transilvania Intl. Film Festival has ever prided itself connected pushing nan envelope, preferring to err connected nan broadside of provocation wherever different fests mightiness take to play it safe. That mentality has been encoded into nan fest’s DNA since its beginnings successful nan tumultuous post-Communist era, erstwhile civilian liberties and creator state were still acold from guaranteed successful nan recently antiauthoritarian Romania.

Yet aft a turbulent play of unprecedented disruption, brought connected first by nan coronavirus pandemic and past by nan wide humanitarian and economical crises spurred by Russia’s penetration of neighboring Ukraine, moreover TIFF laminitis Tudor Giurgiu admits, “These were reliable years.” The enticement mightiness person been location to tinker pinch a look that has made nan show specified a occurrence for nan past 2 decades.

But for its 22nd edition, which runs June 9 – 18 successful nan picturesque medieval metropolis of Cluj, Transilvania has remained patient successful its halfway belief that nan “passion for cinema connects individuals,” according to Giurgiu. On nan eve of this year’s event, which kicks disconnected pinch Icelandic head Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s high-concept drama “Northern Comfort,” that connection has intelligibly struck a chord pinch section audiences: Ticket income are already up 30% from nan erstwhile edition.

If location are immoderate doubts that this year’s TIFF mightiness beryllium reluctant to stimulate aliases provoke, look nary further than life accomplishment grant victor Oliver Stone, nan polarizing, three-time Academy Award victor who will beryllium feted successful Cluj while presenting his latest film, “Nuclear Now,” described by Variety’s Owen Gleiberman arsenic an “intensely compelling, must-see documentary” aft its Venice premiere past year.

Actor Timothy Spall, meanwhile, will besides beryllium honored and will look successful speech pinch TIFF creator head Mihai Chirilov, while Geoffrey Rush — 1 of conscionable 2 twelve actors to execute a uncommon triple crown pinch Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards — will beryllium connected manus to lead a masterclass for young movie professionals. “It’s awesome for our nationalist and for our assemblage who emotion having not conscionable awesome programming, but besides immoderate stars attending nan festival,” said Giurgiu.

Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s “Northern Comfort” opens nan Transilvania Film Festival. Courtesy of Charades

Long committed to discovering and promoting caller voices, Transilvania boasts 10 debut board among nan 12 films selected for its main competition. Among them are Finland’s Tia Kuovo, whose dysfunctional-family play “Family Time” is coming disconnected a premiere successful nan Berlin Film Festival’s competitory Encounters section; Brazilian debutante Carolina Markowicz, whose achromatic drama “Charcoal” bowed successful Toronto; Nicaraguan writer-director Laura Baumeister, besides premiering successful Toronto pinch her empowerment play “Daughter of Rage”; and Catalan duo Alejandro Rojas and Juan Sebastián Vasquez, pinch their aggregate prize-winning interrogation play “Upon Entry.”

Meanwhile, nan What’s Up, Doc? title conception for documentary films includes a scope of caller show highlights, including Estonian filmmaker Anna Hints’ Sundance prize victor “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood,” Swiss head Tizian Büchi’s Visions du Réel Grand Prix victor “Like an Island,” and Saudi Arabian-born docmaker Ahsen Nadeem’s SXSW and Hot Docs subordinate “Crows Are White.”

Other programming highlights see a attraction connected Nordic cinema, arsenic good arsenic tributes to Jean-Luc Godard and Sidney Lumet, and a position of iconic Romanian animator Ion Popescu-Gopo’s slapstick drama “A Bomb Was Stolen,” featuring an orchestral accompaniment pinch an original people created by composer Alexei Țurcan and conducted by Tiberiu Soare. “It’s going to beryllium really majestic, and I’m truthful happy that we tin connection this arena for Romanian audiences, but besides for world guests who mightiness not moreover cognize astir Gopo,” said Giurgiu.

The festival’s manufacture program, meanwhile, will spot nan return of nan Transilvania Pitch Stop, a co-production and co-financing level for filmmakers from Eastern Europe, nan Balkans and nan wider Black Sea region, which will coming 10 projects by first- and second-time board during its tenth edition. Also connected pat is nan 3rd version of Drama Room, a TV bid shop and mentorship program, that will thief nan creators of 5 Romanian bid aliases mini-series successful improvement hone their accumulation skills and understand nan dynamics of nan world market.

TIFF kicks disconnected conscionable a fortnight aft a buzzy Cannes Film Festival that saw not only a constellation of mega-watt stars descending connected nan French Riviera, but a grounds number of manufacture professionals taking portion successful nan Marché du Film, bolstering hopes that nan world show circuit has bounced backmost from nan pandemic’s doldrums. Earlier this year, nan European Film Market besides recorded its highest-ever number of participants.

That doesn’t needfully mean a return to business arsenic accustomed — not erstwhile nan movie manufacture continues to beryllium disrupted by world streaming services whose ain business exemplary successful nan past twelvemonth has progressively been called into question. In nan ongoing statement of streaming vs. theatrical, however, Giurgiu insists that festivals will proceed to play a captious portion successful nan life rhythm of movies.

“I’m beautiful judge that nan streamers’ power will beryllium moreover bigger successful nan years to come,” said nan TIFF topper. “But moreover pinch this circumstance, I deliberation nan domiciled of nan festivals will beryllium moreover much salient for showcasing nan champion successful position of auteur films aliases genre films. Transilvania is going to beryllium a unsocial opportunity for nan assemblage to spot films that mightiness not beryllium seen connected nan streamers.” He added: “I’m very optimistic astir nan domiciled of festivals successful nan future.”