American director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone is one of the special guests at the 22nd edition of Transilvania IFF (9 - 18 June), where he will receive the Transilvania Trophy for Lifetime Achievement. Mexican director Michel Franco is also expected at the festival where he will be part of the jury. The two filmmakers join the likes of Geoffrey Rush and Timothy Spall, who have already announced their presence in Cluj-Napoca.
Controversial and polarising, Oliver Stone is one of the most prominent Hollywood figures of the 1980s and 1990s. He has won three Oscars, two as director for Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989), and one for the adapted screenplay of Midnight Express (1979).
"Oliver Stone has charted American history in a uniquely provocative and entertaining way" (David Parkinson, British Film Institute). Often criticised for his choice of subjects, especially after the 2000s, when he made documentaries about the likes of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez and JFK, Stone says he does not consider himself a political filmmaker: " I consider my films first and foremost to be dramas about individuals in personal struggles and I consider myself to be a dramatist before I am a political filmmaker. I'm interested in alternative points of view. I think ultimately the problems of the planet are universal and that nationalism is a very destructive force. I also like anarchy in films." His films are known for their powerful, often shocking imagery. Stone has never shied away from asking uncomfortable questions: „My heroes were Luis Buñuel and Jean-Luc Godard. Breathless (1960) was one of the first pictures I really remember being marked by, because of the speed and energy. They say I'm unsubtle. But we need above all, a theatre that wakes us up: nerves and heart.”
Three productions that exemplify the great themes that have marked the filmmaker's career will be screened at Transilvania IFF: his most recent documentary, Nuclear Now (2022), "a must-see" (Variety) that premiered in Venice is an unprecedented investigation into the use of nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels. The screening of the documentary will be followed by a debate about nuclear energy in which Oliver Stone will participate alongside Romanian experts in the field. The program will include screenings of the visceral Natural Born Killers (1994), the story of two media-glorified killers based on a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, and Born on the Fourth of July (1989), starring Tom Cruise as an American soldier in Vietnam, deeply scarred by the experience of war.
Tickets for the screenings where Oliver Stone will be present are on sale online - https://tiff.eventbook.ro/
Official Competition Jury
Awarded at Cannes for After Lucia (2012), Chronic (2015) and April's Daughter (2017), and winner of the Silver Lion in Venice for the terrifying New Order (2020), Mexican Michel Franco will also be present at Transilvania IFF.22, where he will be part of the Official Competition Jury. Director, screenwriter, and producer, he has quickly established himself as one of the most original voices of contemporary Latin America: "I no longer try to impose an aesthetic on a film. At the beginning of my career, I had more rules, but now I'm very relaxed. I had more cinematic references, and now I have none. I borrow more from books than films. In a way, the aesthetic of my films is very close to my way of being."
Since his 2009 debut Daniel & Ana, Franco has brought complex, often shocking stories to the screen: "I like to look at the dark side of human nature, and to do that I have to challenge my characters. I don't believe that when we are put to the test the best will come out of us." Part of the festival programme, viewers will have the opportunity to see the Mexican filmmaker's latest film, Sundown (2021), in which Tim Roth and Charlotte Gainsbourg play a couple faced with a life-threatening situation during their holiday in Mexico.
Michel Franco will host a masterclass for film students in Cluj-Napoca.
The Jury of the Official Transilvania IFF.22 Competition also includes:
Serbian actor Darko Perić, known from the Spanish series La Casa de Papel (Netflix).
British actor and director Harry Macqueen. His film Supernova, starring Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth in the lead roles, charmed audiences in Cluj in 2021.
Actress Judith State, winner of the Romanian Gopo Award for her role in Monsters. (d. Marius Olteanu, 2020), selected in the European Shooting Stars programme at Berlinale 2023. Judith is known from Cristi Puiu's films Sieranevada (2016) and Malmkrog (2020) or R.M.N. (d. Cristian Mungiu, 2022).
Nicoletta Romeo, Trieste Film Festival director, film programmer and producer. Her production portfolio includes titles such as The Daughter (dir. Thanos Anastopoulos), which premiered in 2012 at the Berlin Film Festival, and the documentary The Last Resort (dir. Thanos Anastopoulos and Davide Del Degan), which was part of the Official Selection at Cannes 2016.