Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage will receive the Transilvania Trophy for Special Contribution to World Cinema at the 18th edition of the Transilvania International Festival. The American actor-producer and winner of numerous awards in his nearly four decades-long career, will come to Cluj between May 31 and June 2, with support from Cemacon.
An atypical Hollywood star, Nicolas Cage took on memorable roles ranging from blockbuster films to auteur cinema. Born on January 7, 1964, into an Italian-American family filled with film figures, Nicolas Kim Coppola always wanted to become an actor, just like his idol, James Dean. After graduating film school from the UCLA, Cage tried to convince his uncle, legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, to give him a chance to work in film. He made his debut in 1982 in a small role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High; less than a year later he was cast as a lead: the punk teenager Valley Girl. Seeking success independently, without the shadow cast by nepotism, he changed his last name from Coppola to the name of his favorite Marvel Comics characters, Luke Cage.
Cage is known for the realistic manner in which he constructed his characters from his earliest roles: the gangster in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club (1984) to the pigeon-obsessed teenager in Birdy (which received the Grand Prize of the Jury at the 1985 Cannes). By the end of the ‘80s, Cage was internationally known for films like the box office success and triple Oscar-nominee Peggy Sue Got Married (1986, dir. Francis Ford Coppola), the Coen brothers black comedy Raising Arizona (1987), the triple-Oscar-winner and BAFTA-winning Moonstruck (1987) — but also for his roles in more challenging films like David Lynch’s Palme d’Or-winning Wild at Heart (1990) or Vampire’s Kiss (1998), in which Cage memorably eats a live cockroach on camera.
The role of an alcoholic screenwriter in Leaving Las Vegas (1995, dir. Mike Figgis) brought him an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Actor. Shortly after that, Cage was offered roles in big-budget blockbusters like The Rock (1996, dir. Michael Bay), Face/Off’ (1997, dir. John Woo), and Con Air (1997, dir. Simon West), but also in the romantic drama City of Angels (1998, dir. Brad Siberling), where Cage played opposite Meg Ryan. And then major directors like Brian de Palma or Martin Scorsese came to him with Snake Eyes (1998) and, respectively, Bringing Out the Dead (1999). Cage received his second Academy Award nomination in for Adaptation (2002, dir. Spike Jonze), in which he returns to the screenwriter character — this time in a double role. The same year, Cage made his debut as a director and producer with Sonny, starring James Franco.
Cage shot in Romania for the first time for the blockbuster film Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance (2011, dir. Mark Steven Johnson), and returned in 2014 to shoot Paul Schrader’s The Dying of the Light.
Nicholas Cage will be awarded the Transilvania Trophy for Special Contribution to World Cinema in a special event on Saturday, June 1, in the Unirii Square, in front of thousands of fans come to see the action thriller Face/Off on the giant Open Air screen. And on Sunday, June 2nd, starting with 9:30 PM, in the spectacular setting of the Banffy Castle in Bonțida, Nicolas Cage fans will be able to watch Mandy (2018, dir. Panos Cosmatos), in which a “fabulously ferocious” (The Guardian) Cage plays the role of a man seeking to avenge his lover’s death. A masterclass moderated by TIFF Artistic Director Mihai Chirilov will offer TIFF audiences another opportunity to meet the star on June 2nd.