TIFF – the 16th edition (2017)

We brought together for you some details about this year’s edition of Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) regarding the competition, jury, social programs, workshops and guests. Like every year, TIFF will take place in Cluj-Napoca and for two weeks it will keep us in suspense with films and events, all happening between 2 and 11 of June.


Eight of the twelve titles competing for the Transilvania Trophy are feature debuts.

“Like every year, I go for singular, young, and courageous voices that do not play it safe and bet the farm on one card. In this year’s selection, the shock comes from where you least expect it, emotion simmers menacingly and ultimately to a devastating effect, moral dilemmas and formal risks take audiences out of their comfort zone, while family relationships are put under great strain before any kind of relief can be experienced. The truths of life and the challenges of fiction — this is the adventure of the 2017 TIFF competition,” says Mihai Chirilov, the Artistic Director of the festival.

The competition of the 16th edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival (June 2-11) features directors on their first or second film and this year maps a true conflict zone: stories on a knife-edge inspired by real events or personal experiences, challenging situations and daring approaches, moral fables that are either extreme or nuanced beyond clarity, all taken on by emerging directors taking the kinds of risks that will surely bring them recognition.

No Romanian production is included in competition this year, but there are two local presences in the selected titles: actor Alec Secăreanu is the lead of God’s Own County, described by critics as the British answer to Brokeback Mountain, and Tudor Panduru signs the cinematography for the sweet and sour comedy My Happy Family (directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross).

Other feature debuts that must be seen this year at TIFF are: Playground (directed by Bartosz M. Kowalski; Poland), a film inspired by a murder commited by two British teenagers, Land of the Little People (directed by Yaniv Berman; Israel) that presents the fight for territory between deserters and a group of children. Also Zeus, the first feature-length film for Miguel Calderón, known as the enfant terrible of Mexican contemporary art, that is based on a true story that changed the course of the director’s own life. Our recommendations also include the films Dolphins go East/Las Toninas Van Al Este (directed by Gonzalo Delgado, Verónica Perrota), Glory (directed by Kristina Grozeva și Petar Valchanov) and Simulation, the first film of Iranian director Abed Abest and the most visually compelling entry in competition.

Watch here the 2017 TIFF’s competition teaser.


Actress Clotilde Courau, Princess of Venice and Piemont, who can be seen in the film In the Shadow of women/L’Ombre des femmes (directed by Philippe Garrel), film critic Geoff Andrew (Sight & Sound), part of the BFI Southbank selection team and London Film Festival consultant, and the director Marian Crișan are part of the competition’s Jury.


This year, the Romanian Film Days (June 8-10) include 27 film (13 feature films and 14 short films) selected from 120 registrations. Five features that will be screened in Cluj are world premieres.

From the Romanian Film Days selection, RFD recommends you the following titles which can be seen for the first time at TIFF:

  • Breaking News, the newest film of Iulia Rugină will be an absolute first at TIFF. Andi Vasluianu is a TV journalist who survives a factory explosion and has to do a tribute story about the colleague that lost his life. He realizes that he does not know anything about him.
  • The Anniversary, the 7th film of Dan Chișu, will also have the world premiere in Cluj. It is the last film of the late Mircea Albulescu. In an evening full of muddy memories and conflicting discussions, his family and friends gather around him for his 94th
  • Tarzan’s Testicles, the newest documentary signed by Alexandru Solomon and filmed in Abhazia will have the first official screening at TIFF. The director presents a combination between SF and documentary following the legendary initiative of Stalin to create the perfect worker from a man-monkey hybrid.
  • The Trial, directed by Claudiu Mitcu and Ileana Bîrsan, puts the audience into the skin of a judge. The documentary follows the controversial story of Mihai Moldoveanu sentenced to 25 years in prison for a murder that he claims he did not do it.

Check HERE the entire selection of the edition where you can also find films like Petrila Planet (directed by Andrei Dăscălescu), The Last Kalderash (directed by Cosmin Bumbuț, Elena Stancu), Cabbage, Potatoes and other Demons (directed by Șerban Georgescu), The Dead Nation and Scarred Hearts directed by Radu Jude, Ana, Mon Amour (directed by Călin Peter Netzer) and the short film Written/Unwritten by Adrian Silişteanu.


2017 is the year of the alternative romantic comedy at TIFF!

Passionate, effervescent, and unexpected, the ten films in the Alt.Rom.Com section propose creative approaches to the genre. The titles, selected by Transilvania IFF Artistic Director, Mihai Chirilov, will compete for the FIPRESCI Prize awarded by the International Federation of Film Critics.

“Romantic comedy is a genre usually privileged by multiplexes, rather than by festivals. When talking about non-Hollywood rom-coms, things get even more complicated, because most festivals do not rush to program them, preferring difficult, heavy, serious films to the kind of frivolous entertainment that makes audience favourites. This year’s Alt.Rom.Com section wants to give a chance to genre indie and international films who respect the formula religiously, but deviate from the exact recipe by putting their own twist on it and thus placing themselves outside the purview of the multiplex culture. In other words, it’s all fun and games until we start wondering if the protagonists can stay together happily ever after,” says Transilvania IFF Artistic Director Mihai Chirilov.

Here are some titles from Alt.Rom.Com section: It Had To Be You (by Sasha Gordon), Zoology (by Ivan I. Tverdovsky), Lost in Paris/ Paris Pieds Nus (by Fiona Gordon și Dominique Abel), Afterlove (by Stergios Paschos).

The entire film list can be found here and you can watch the Alt.Rom.Com teaser here.


Virtual Reality, interactive cinema, unique installations and two workshops (June 3-10)

InfiniTIFF is a futuristic space powered by Samsung Electronics Romania and hosted in the former Fashion House of Cluj-Napoca. It is a platform dedicated to the new forms of audio-visual storytelling and wants to connect the filmmakers and the artists with the most recent ideas and innovations regarding VR and interactive cinema.

The trustee of the first edition is Erwin M. Schmidt who has a great experience in production, international sales and in organizing festivals.

“Through Infinitiff we will redefine the collective cinematographic experience of the 21st century and we will explore the way in which VR and traditional film can coexist. It is a unique chance based on which we can complete the passive and traditional experience of the film festival with the active and participatory experiences of the new forms of audio-visual storytelling.” – says Erwin M. Schmidt.

InfiniTIFF VR Workshop powered by Samsung is addressed to cinema professionals, designers, visual artists and to those passionate about digital animation, games, software specialists and to all those interested in creating VR experiences.  After registrations, 16 selected participants will work in teams formed of four members and will produce original VR content within four days. The production will be seen by the public in the same places that it was created. The tutors are specialists with international experiences, well-known in the European new technology area: Mads Damsbo – producer, Balder Brüsch – creative technologist at Makropol, a VR studio from Copenhagen, and Fred Baus from Realab, a VR software studio from Luxembourg.

The deadline for the applications is May 23. You can apply here.

VR Canvas: Tilt Brush is another workshop that is created in collaboration with CINETic (International Center for Research and Education in Innovative Creative Technologies) that is part of National University of Theatre and Film I.L. Caragiale. Within one day, six selected artists will have to create, based on a specific theme, an illustrated concept in VR using Tilt Brush, an artistic project launched by Google for 3D design in VR. The workshop will take place between 4 and 6 of June and will include a level of training and tests for Tilt Brush. The results will be shown to the public between 7 and 10 of June.

The applications’ deadline is May 23. Check here the application form.

As you have already found out from our Facebook page, the French film star Alain Delon will come for the first time in Romania as a special guest of the 16th edition of the TIFF. The rebel of the French film, a European film icon, and one of the world’s most beloved actors will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional artistic contribution.

In his honor, on June 9, the Unirii Square will host a special screening of For a Cop’s Hide / Pour la peau d’un flic (1981), a thriller directed by the great French actor and which also features Delon in the leading role. The tickets can already be found on BiletMaster and TIFF 2017 App.

Moreover, on June 10, at the Closing Gala that takes place at the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca, the actress Tora Vasilescu will receive an Excelence Award for her outstanding artistic merits and for her contribution to the Romanian cinema.

If we still did not convince you about TIFF using the program presentation and this edition’s highlights, we have a teaser for you, that is part of an image campaign for the 16th edition. The teaser is created by the Romanian-Britain artists Anton and Damian Groves, and it’s the third one of the fantasy series: King Kong kidnaps Mădălina Ghenea.


Article by Romina Banu
English translation by Andreea Andrei

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