Cluj-Napoca has joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, as City of Film, along with Cannes (France) and Gdynia (Poland), becoming the first city in Romania to be a member of the network. The list all 49 cities who joined the Creative Cities Network was published on November 8, three of them being awarded the title of City of Film.
The 21 UNESCO Cities of film span the entire globe, from Japan to South America. Each City of film comes with a unique cinematic heritage. In total, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, created in 2004, comprises almost 300 cities in over 80 countries. The network is designed to encourage greater partnerships and exchanges of ideas and best practices between UNESCO and creative cities around the world.
Cluj is awarded this title the same year in which the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) celebrated its 20th anniversary, marking two decades in which it largely contributed to transforming the city into one of the most culturally active in Romania. As one of the most important festivals in the region, TIFF has put Cluj on the map of the film industry. Working alonside local authorities, TIFF aims at transforming the city into a major centre for film production, attracting Romanian and foreign producers, training film professionals, and bringing investments in the local economy. In the past 5 years, Cluj Cultural Centre has signigicantly contributed to the active participation of culture in the definition of urban development and has built bridges for a better collaboration within the city’s cultural sector.
The city has the potential to revive its own history: at the beginning of the 20th century, Cluj was nicknamed the "Transylvanian Hollywood", producing dozens of films, under the direction of Jenő Janovics, founder of Transylvania Studios. In this sense, the plans for the next years include the launch of Romania’s first Regional film fund as well as the development of the film studio within the Regional Center of Excellence for Creative Industries (CREIC) and the stimulation of the local film industry.
"I am glad this title marks the major influence that the TIFF brand has had on the city in the past 20 years. As the first major cultural event to be organised in Cluj, TIFF paved the way for other major projects, influenced generations of children and youngsters, shaped mentalities and boosted regional tourism and the development of local businesses, highlighted places that have now become symbols of the city. TIFF had a strong impact on the city’s cultural profile, determined the emergence of new film departments within universities. Cluj is, without a doubt, the city of film”, declares Tudor Giurgiu, the president of TIFF.
Extremely attractive as a geographical location and with carefully-preserved heritage urban areas, Cluj-Napoca is the only city in Romania that has several functional city-center one-screen cinema theatres, attracting a large and diverse audience. At the same time, three local universities have specialisations in media and visual arts: "Babeș-Bolyai" University, through the Faculty of Theater and Television, Sapientia University, through the Faculty of Sciences and Arts (Research Center for Film and Media Studies) and the University of Art and Design.
The Cluj City of Film project was initiated by TIFF and realised together with Cluj-Napoca City Hall and Cluj Cultural Center, in consultation with "Babeș-Bolyai" University, through the Faculty of Theater and Television, Sapientia University, through the Faculty of Sciences and Arts (Research Center for Film and Media Studies), the University of Art and Design, “Gheorghe Dima” Academy of Music, Cluster of Creative Industries, Regional Center of Excellence for Creative Industries (CREIC).
The project team included Claudia Droc, Maria Dobre (TIFF), Ovidiu Cîmpean, Dalila Ciuclan (Cluj-Napoca City Hall), Ștefan Teișanu and Rarița Zbranca (Cluj Cultural Center).
The Transilvania International Film Festival is organised by Romanian Film Promotion and the Transilvania Film Festival Association.
Movies anytime and anywhere in Romania, on TIFF Unlimited: unlimited.tiff.ro