Thai director Anocha Suwichakornpong was presented with her prize by Wim Wenders, who himself received a lifetime achievement award.

Thai director Anocha Suwichakornpong received the Transilvania Trophy, the grand prize of the ninth Transilvania International Film Festival, and 10,000 euros for her film Mundane History.

The jury praised the film for “its unconventional structure and eclectic use of images in this moving story, showing the underlying themes of how painful life can be and the fact that people need one another despite being on different social levels.”

European Film Academy president Wim Wenders presented Suwichakornpong with her award at the June 5 awards ceremony in Cluj. Wenders himself received the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Romanian director Călin Peter Netzer was named Best Director in the international competition for his film Medal Of Honor. The Best Performance award was awarded ex aequo to Victor Rebengiuc for his role in Netzer’s film and to Ozana Oancea for her part in Razvan Radulescu and Melissa de Raaf’s film First Of All, Felicia.

Among other awards in the international competition, Noud Heerkens’ film Last Conversation received a Special Jury Prize, Magnus Nordenhof Jønckreceived the Best Cinematography Award for his camerawork onTobias Lindholm and Michael Noer’s film R, and the FIPRESCI Award went toSebastian Lelio’s Christmas.

Best Feature in the Romanian Days competition went to Florin Serban’s Berlinale title If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle.Radulescu and de Raaf also won Best Screenplay, while Oancea received the Romanian Days Award forBest Debut.

David Sanchez Arevalo’s film Fat People received the festival’s Audience Award

Also at the awards ceremony Saturday evening, HBO presented three awards as the culmination of its National Screenwriting Competition. Best Feature Screenplay went to Lucian Tion for his screenplay Ronaldo And Iuliana. Veronica Niculescu received the award for Best Short Film Screenplay for The Courier. And Pavel Cuzuioc took the prize for Best Documentary Screenplay for his screenplay The Gravediggers Doina

Euphoria at the TIFF’s closing ceremony gave way to a more somber topme when veteran actor Victor Rebengiuca, who had received the Best Actor Award for his performance in MedaL Of Honor - came on stage of the National Theatre to read out the Cluj Declaration calling for the rejection of proposed changes to Romania’s Cinema Law as initiated by Senator Sergiu Nicolaescu of the ruling Party of Social Democracy.
According to the protest document,  the former filmmaker-turned politician Nicolaescu who is known in some quarters as the “Menachem Golan of Romania” had obtained a majority vote in the Romanian Senate on May 17 for his new law initiative.
“This fact, among with other measures, in total disagreement with the current European legislation , aims to make Romanian cinema go back to a centralised and outdated system, without any objective criteria for the evaluation of the projects,” stated the signatories who include such internationally respected directors as Cristi Puiu, Radu Muntean, Catalin Mitulescu, Corneliu Poremboiu, Calin Peter Netzer, producers like Ada Solomon and Tudor Giurgiu, and actresses Maria Popistasu and Monica Birladeanu.
“Instead of a selection based on quantifiable elements such as the quality of the script, the producer and the director, the audience and box office success - , this new proposal aims {for] a discretionary evaluation of the projects.”
“We are facing the risk that Romanian cinema will go back in time, [to] 15 years ago, instead of moving ahead,” the document concluded.
Many of the signatories joined Giurgiu and Rebengiuc who encouraged others from the auditorium to show their spontaneous support for the declaration by coming up on to the stage as a sign of solidarity. Germany’ss Wim Wenders who was waiting backstage with the Minister of Culture Kelemen Hunor for his cue to present the Transilvania Trophy, also joined the dozens of Romanian colleagues both young and old who had by now assembled on stage to a rapturous reception from the audience.
Festival president Tudor Giurgiu added that Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu had also called to lend his support to the petition, noting that “this protest is not only coming from the industry but is also supported by the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC) and the Ministry of Culture.”
Many of the international guests attending the closing ceremony readily added their signatures to the protest since, as Giurgiu remarked, the politicians in Bucharest tended to listen to Europe rather than its own people.
The proposed new law will be discussed by the Culture Commission of the Chamber of Deputies this week before the final vote is taken.
Meanwhile, ahead of announcing the winner of the Transilvania Trophy, Minister of Culture Hunor promised to ensure that TIFF would receive financial support from his authority in future on a similar level to the funds granted to the International Theatre Festival in Sibiu and the Shakespeare Festival in Craiova.
At the opening ceremony on May 28 before the screening of Soul Kitchen, Giurgiu had been openly critical of the official authorities on a local, regional and national level  for their apparent lack of proper enthusiasm and commitment to what is Romania’s leading film festival with a growing international reputation.
In an interview during the festival with the local daily newspaper Ziua de Cluj, which was entitled TIFF: La revedere Cluj! Szia, Budapest! (TIFF: Goodbye, Cluj! Hello, Budapest!), the festival president suggested that TIFF may look for a new location because of the uncertitude of support from Cluj and remarked tongue in cheek that a city like Budapest currently without an international film festival would welcome the chance to draw on the knowhow and experience of people like the organizers of TIFF.
He added that he had been ” tired about having the same discussions every year to the last minute and last second before the festival starts about the local financial support.”
However, the words of encouragement from the Minister of Culture may now help to effect a wind change among the officials in Transilvania and Cluj as well.

In addition, Giurgiu revealed that he was in advanced discussions with the FIAPF director general Benoit Ginisty about the possibility of TIFF joining the hallowed circle of A-category film festivals. This might happen in time for next year’s tenth jubilee edition at the end of May 2011.