Radu Jude’s Everybody In Our Family [pictured] wins the event’s best feature prize.
The Romanian Days’ three-day marathon of screenings and special events from June 7-9 as part of Cluj’s Transilvania International Film Festival attracted Berlinale’s director Dieter Kosslick and Eurimages’ executive director Roberto Olla for the first time year this year.
Kosslick told Screen that his first impressions of TIFF and the Romanian Days were that “it reminded me of Sarajevo as it was a few years ago - where you really feel that such an enthusiasm has been triggered in the town with the people on the streets and in the cinemas. You really see that things are vibrating and I hope that this feeling will be preserved because these are the festivals of the future.”
“[Festival director and artistic director] Tudor and Chiri must definitely keep this size and not try to grow any more,” Kosslick recommended.
Ahead of arriving in Cluj, Roberto Olla told ScreenDaily that he heard from colleagues about the festival’s reputation: “TIFF offers a stress-free environment where meetings can be fruitful in terms of the quantity and quality of time devoted to exchanging on new projects. I am therefore looking forward to meeting as many local producers as possible and to exploring possibilities for future collaboration with Eurimages.”
In a busy schedule Olla attended, among other things, the screening of Of Snails And Men, Tudor Giurgiu’s Eurimages-supported second feature, and met with Romanian producers such as HiFilm Productions’ Ada Solomon, 4 Proof Films Monica Lazurean Gorgan (Romania’s Producer on the Move in Cannes last month), ABIS Studio’s Gabi Antal and director-producer Anca Damian whose animated documentary Crulic - The Path To Beyond won the Grand Prix this weekend in Annecy.
Other industry figures attending the Romanian Days included producers Oliver Röpke (Röpke Films), Marleen Slot (Viking Film), Els Vandevorst (Isabella Films), Christoph Thoke (Mogador Films), sales agents Zuszsi Bankuti (The Match Factory), Laurent Danieliou (REZO), Victoire Thevenin (MK2), Nathalie Jeung (Le Pacte) and film funders Anthony Muir (Film i Väst), Julien Ezanno (CNC), as well as festival representatives from the Berlinale, Sofia, Sarajevo, Wroclaw, Namur, Cottbus, Thessaloniki, Wiesbaden, Vilnius and Istanbul.
The industry events included a presentation by Yoram Allon, executive director of UK-based Cinephilia Services, and project manager Jodie Taylor of Free Reel Romania. The non-profit project aims to run a series of screenings of international and Romanian films and filmmaking workshops in five rural communities of Northern Romania later this summer.
“We want to bring cinema to the disenfranchised and marginalised,” Allon told ScreenDaily, pointing out that the project has attracted the partnership of several Romanian NGOs including Art We and CREATIV as well as the logistical support and provision of film copies by such film festivals as the NexT Interrnational Film Festival, Bucharest’s One World Romania HumanRights Documentary Festival, Astra Documentary Festival in Sibiu, TIFF, and the Open City London Documentary Festival.
According to Allon, the short filmmaking workshops in rural communities which have restricted access to cultural activities will be open to young people aged between 18 and 24.
Meanwhile, Saturday evening’s awards ceremony also saw the announcement of the awards to films screening in this year’s Romanian Days programme.
The jury which comprised of veteran French critic Michel Ciment, Guilhem Caillard of Québec-based online magazine Panorama-cinéma, and Vincenzo Rossini, director of the Milano Film Festival, gave the award for best feature film to Radu Jude’s Everybody In Our Family, while Bogdan Ilie-Micu’s Dream’s Merchant was named Best Debut and Nicolae Constantin Tanase picked up the prize of Best Short Film for Blu.
A special mention was also made of Constantin Cojocaru and Victoria Cocias for their performances as Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu in Radu Gabrea’s docu-drama Three Days Till Christmas (Last Days in the Life of Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu).