The 17th edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival announced its winners on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at its Closing Gala in the Cluj National Theater.
The 15,000 Euro Transilvania Trophy offered by Staropramen went to The Heiresses and was presented by international opera star Angela Gheorghiu. Director Marcelo Martinessi thus adds another award to the Silver Bear he received this winter at the Berlinale. Marcelo Martinessi impressed the jury with his rigor in direction and the captivating rhythm of the narrative, in a 12-film competition that did not make the jury’s decision easy. This is the first Paraguayan film in competition at TIFF.
Director Dagur Kari, casting director and director Stephane Foenkinos, writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz, actor Vlad Ivanov, and director Agnes Kocsis also decided the 5,000 Euro Best Directing Award, which went to Hlynur Pálmason, the director of Winter Brothers, who impressed the jury with his “passionate, beautiful and energetic film.” Three of the actors in Carlos Marques Marcet’s Anchor And Hope, Natalia Tena, Oona Chaplin, and David Verdaguer shared the 1,500 Euro Best Performance Award for “the way in which they complement each other with intelligence and charm, creating moving and humor-filled roles.” The award, offered by Conceptual Lab, was presented by actor Jean-Marc Barr, special guest at TFF and the lead of the festival’s closing film, Luc Besson’s The Big Blue, which is screened Sunday evening.
Two courageous films received by the 1,500 Euro Special Jury Award offered by HBO. The jury appreciated Asghar Yousefinejad’s The Home for being “profoundly anchored in reality, with complex morality,” while Anna Kruglova’s Scythe Hitting Stone was considered a revelation, a graduation film that is extremely well structured.
The FIPRESCI Prize, offered by the International Federation of Film Critics for a title in To Be or Not to Be Politically Correct? section went to the dystopian Life Guidance by Ruth Mader.
Gustav Moller’s minimalist The Guilty was appreciated by TIFF film lovers and received the Audience Award offered by Mastercard. Starting November, the film will be distributed in Romanian theaters by Bad Unicorn.
“I would love it if every year we could have Romanian films like Touch Me Not and Charleston in the competition,” declared TIFF Artistic Director Mihai Chirilov, before thanking directors from around the world for coming to TIFF. Over 800 guests, filmmakers, film lovers, journalists, etc., were at the Closing Gala hosted by TIFF President Tudor Giurgiu. Another few tens of thousands followed the ceremony live, through Facebook and YouTube, as well as the red carpet arrivals of stars Fanny Ardant, Jean-Marc Barr, Vlad Ivanov, Florin Piersic, Dorian Boguță, Ana Ularu; directors Cristi Puiu, Adina Pintilie, Andrei Crețulescu, and Tedy Necula; and television personalities Andreea Esca and Amalia Enache.
A guest of honor for this edition, Fanny Ardant shone on the stage of the National Theater as she received the standing ovation of everyone present. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from TIFF’s President and responded with an emotional speech: “When I was a little girl I thought that being an actress meant just the pleasure of being on stage. Only later I understood that the life of an actress means going from dark to light, from cold to warmth, from a turned back to an outstretched hand. So I thank you tonight for giving me light and warmth with this award, for stretching out your arms.’’
The charming Anna Széles’s 50 years of stage and film presence were also honored at TIFF. Actor Florin Piersic, her former partner and co-star, handed her the Lifetime Achievement Award in front of an audience fascinated by their stories and by the abiding love they still have for each other. “I was lucky to have had wonderful directors and partners who stayed in my heart,” declared the actress.
Introduced by Cătălin Ștefănescu as an “extremely delicate character” and “one of the iconic actors of Romanian film,” Dan Nuțu, the founder of Aristoteles Workshop, received the Excellence Award offered by Mercedes-Benz.
Pororoca won the Romanian Days: Best Feature Film Award, consisting of 10,000 de Euro worth of post-production services offered by Cinelabs Romania. Actress Mădălina Ghenea handed the award to director Constantin Popescu. Ivana Mladenovic’s controversial Soldiers. Story From Ferentari received the 1,000 Euro Romanian Days: Best Debut Feature Award offered by Banca Transilvania “for the courage and dignity exhibited both by the director and by the characters she constructed.” Berlinale winner Touch Me Not received a Special Mention from the Romanian Days jury. “It is very complicated to place a film like this one on the market. Your warmth proves that the market underestimates the emotional intelligence of the audience,” said director Adina Pintilie.
The Romanian Days: Best Short Award, consisting of 1,500 Euro offered by Campari and 5,000 Euro worth of camera, electric, and grip equipment offered by CutareFilm, went to Bogdan Mureșanu’s The Christmas Gift. Two Special Mentions went to Dorian Boguță’s Sunday “for its sensitive portrayal of men in a group home, in whose stories the jury could glimpse their own” and to Anghel Damian’s Michelangelo “for the moving story about the importance of truth, even when truth hurts.”
The most popular film of this section, Daniel Sandu’s One Step Behind The Seraphim received the 1,500 Euro Romanian Days Audience Award offered by Dacin Sara. This is the first award received by the film; director Iura Luncașu handed it to young actor Ștefan Iancu.
The 500 Euro Shadow Shorts Competition Award offered by PMA went to Fran Casanova’s Something in the Darkness.
Eliza Zdru won the Alex. Leo Șerban Fellowship worth 2,500 Euro, offered in partnership with Conceptual Lab, for the development of her feature-length documentary Learning Teaching. The board reviewing the applications also granted a Special Mention worth 500 Euro Tamás Chirodea-Ambrus (vlogger on the Tomtastic Movie Reviews YouTube channel) for the development of a website for podcasts, shorts, new, reviews, and live streams. Another Special Mention worth 1,000 Euro was awarded for the first time to a young Romanian actor who stood out in a 2017 production: Mircea Postelnicu, for his lead role in Călin Peter Netzer’s Ana, Mon Amour.
The 20,000 Euro Eurimages Co-production Development Award of the Transilvania Pitch Stop went to Pavle Vučković’s project Frost. Post-production services worth 25,000 Euro, offered by Chainsaw Europe went to The Last Bus by Nándor Lőrincz and Bálint Nagy. In the Transilvania Pitch Stop Workshop, the CoCo Award went to Cristian Pascariu’s project October, which is invited to the Connecting Cottbus East West Co-production Market in Germany. The Villa kult Cultural Residency, a five-day residency for script development in Berlin, went to the winner of the To the North by Mihai Mincan. Finally, the Young Francophone Jury Prize, offered by TV5 Monde, Institute Français, and RFI Romania went to The Prayer by Cédric Kahn “for its harmonious visual discourse and absorbing soundtrack and characters.”
“In our road to death we need to support each other a little more,” cautioned the voice of late director Lucian Pintilie during a moving homage screened in the National Theater. TIFF President Tudor Giurgiu dedicated the evening to him.
The Transilvania International Film Festival is organized by the Association for the Promotion of Romanian Film and the Association for the Transilvania Film Festival.
Support from: Ministry of Culture and National Identity, National Center for Cinematography, Cluj City Hall and Local Council, Romanian Cultural Institute, Cluj County Council, Creative Europe-MEDIA program of the European Union
Presented by: Staropramen
Principal sponsor: Banca Transilvania
Principal partner: Mastercard
Official car: Mercedes-Benz
Sponsors: Orange, HBO, MOL România, Lidl, Nespresso, Tenaris Silcotub, Avon
Official coffee: Nespresso
Official logistical partner: DHL
Media partners: TV5, Europa FM, Adevărul, Dilema Veche, OK! Magazine, Historia, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, Business Review, Zile și Nopți, Cinemap, Radio România Cultural, Observator Cultural, Scena 9, Life.ro, Cinemagia, BIZ, News.ro, A List Magazine, LiterNet, Urban.ro, AaRC.ro, Sinteza.
Local media partners: Erdèly Naplò, Făclia, Filmtett, Krónika, Monitorul de Cluj, Radio Cluj, Transilvania Reporter
Monitoring partner: mediaTRUST