Transilvania Film Festival (TIFF 2009)

Cluj Travel Blog

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This years Poster (a Brokeback Mountain spoof with two Romanian sheepherders)


It all started out in 2002 when a handful of people had an idea and a will to start out a film festival in the capital of Transylvania • Cluj Napoca, with a selection of movies from all around the world.

Seven years later it became one of the biggest film festivals in Eastern Europe and an important promoter of the most innovative independent movies of the moment.

It also became the traditional premiere venue of domestic features which later became landmarks of the “Romanian New Wave” of filmmakers like Occident (by Cristian Mungiu), The Death of mr. Lazarescu (by Cristi Puiu), 12:08 East of Bucharest (by Cristi Mitulescu), The Paper Will Be Blue (by Radu Muntean), and the winner of the 2007 Palme d’Or at The Cannes Festival • 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days.

Over the years famous actors and actresses were presented with The Lifetime Achievement Award including Julie Delpy, Michael Radford, Annie Girardot, Udo Kier, Vanessa Redgrave, Nicolas Roeg or Franco Nero.

This years Poster (a Brokeback Mountain spoof with two Romanian sheepherders)

This year’s edition has 209 movies from 47 countries and several meeting point with actors and critics. Also there will be 3 open air venues, one of them being set as a drive in on the Transylvania Highway.

So if you’ll ever be in Transylvania around the end of May go and see some good movies - its all worth it trust me!

As today, June 4th, here’s a wee list of the movies I’ve seen so far (you can buy a season ticket for the festival):

The Countess (France/Germany 2009) • Great movie about the life of one of the most cruel, feared and intrigued figures of the late 16th century, Countess Elizabeth Bathory.

Stranger Than Paradise (USA 1984) • Classic black and white movie by one of the biggest legends of independent movie industry • Jim Jarmusch

Citizen Havel (Czech Republic 2008) • A stunning documentary about the life of Vaclav Havel, the first president of Czech Republic.

The Logo
Shot in a course of 13 years, you can see the inside of the president’s life • from highs to lows. Most impressive film I’ve see so far at the festival.

Country Wedding (Iceland 2008) • A comedy about a wedding couple that decides to have the religious ceremony in the country side few hours drive from Reykjavik, but soon realize they got lost. So now you have 2 busses of wedding guests lookin for a church in the country side speakin on the phone to a drunken priest who’s giving them directions.

Gomorrah (Italy 2008) • A must-see movie about the Camorra organization in Naples (that’s the mafia alright). Forget about mobsters dressed in Armani suits listening to opera and talkin like De Niro. This is the real thing, even thou it’s quite shocking.  The Grand Jury Prix at Cannes 2008.

Hunger (UK/Ireland 2008) • Northern Ireland 1981. Maze prison, the H-Blocks. Bobby Sands. The hunger strikes. Golden Camera in Cannes 2008

Thomas (Finland 2008) • A movie about an old man named Thomas that lives by himself in his below street level apartment accompanied by a radio, a chess board and a photo of his late wife.

The 2007 Poster - Vampire audition

7 Blind Woman Filmmakers (2004-2008 Iran) - In spring 2004, Mohammad Shirvani decided to answer an old question in his mind. What should he do if he, as a film director, would become sightless? He was wondering if he could keep filmmaking. This film has been made by seven blind women to answer that question.

Home (Switzerland/France/Belgium 2008) • A family lives happily just meters away to a disaffected highway. After its reopening they struggle to get on with their lives.

The Bone Man (Germany 2009) • A man went missing again and the only clue leads to the Löschenkohl Restaurant, a well-known country inn which specializes in roast chicken. Cryptic cinematic entertainment at its very best.

White Night Wedding (Iceland 2008) • Another Icelandic comedy about weddings. A middle-aged professor is going to get married to one of his ex-students, half his age. But the mother-in-law insists he pays back a loan before the wedding night.

The 2008 Poster - Romanian peasants as James Bond 007 Agents

Acne (Uruguay 2007) • 13-year old Rafael lost his virginity but he has never kissed a girl. To reach his dream he will have to combat his acne, struggle against his sloppiness, beat his shyness, and assume the adolescence.

Valentino The Last Emperor (USA 2008) - Produced and directed by Matt Tyrnauer, Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, this irresistible documentary is an intimate, engaging, and humorous exploration of one of Italy’s most extravagant icons and his celebrated fashion career: Valentino.

Apocalypse on Wheels (Romania 2008) • Every city deserves its traffic. A documentary about driving in Bucharest.

A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (UK 2008) - independent filmmaker Chris Waitt interviews his ex-girlfriends in an attempt to find out why they dumped him. It’s a very funny sketch of sexual politics in modern-day Britain • including a Viagra overdose, at Waitt’s expense.

This years Promo Video of TIFF is a Brokeback Mountain spoof with two Romanian sheepherders

Tandoori Love (Switzerland 2008) - Sonja is a waitress happily engaged to her boss Markus. Everything changes when an Indian chef working on a Bollywood film set enters her life. Sonja now has to chose between marriage and adventure.

Weddings, Music and Videotapes (Romania 2008) A behind-the-scenes look at the Romanian weddings in which photographers, cameramen and singers across the country explain themselves, tell their life stories and present their very own styles in editing, showing off their talent.


This years Promo Video of TIFF is a Brokeback Mountain spoof with two Romanian sheepherders. (You can watch it as i uploaded the video from youtube - hope it works)


And the link to Festival's site Here


kellyyyz says:
I stand corrected. We are getting the movie:
Police, Adjective, which was a big one at the Transylvanian festival. I'll have to check it out.
Posted on: Jul 26, 2009
kellyyyz says:
I wonder if any of those films will come to Toronto. Our Toronto International Film Festival is in September. I briefly checked the movie listings but didn't see any of the same ones as the Transylvanian ones. We are getting at least 2 Romanian movies.

Wow. I completely forgot how much I want to see Transylvania. I will have to add that to my travel list.
Posted on: Jul 26, 2009
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The 2007 Poster - Vampire audition
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