The Promised Land, Dying & All of Us Strangers, among the first titles announced for Transilvania IFF.23 | TIFF

The Promised Land, Dying & All of Us Strangers, among the first titles announced for Transilvania IFF.23

21.03.2024 10:50

The latest films starring Mads Mikelsen and Sir Anthony Hopkins in lead roles, the multi-award-winning All of Us Strangers (dir. Andrew Haigh) and Berlin winner Dying (dir. Matthias Glasner) are just a few of the titles included in the program of the 23rd edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival, which will take place in Cluj-Napoca between June 14 and 24. Completed by award-winning films from Berlin and Venice, the TIFF.23 selection will offer audiences the opportunity to watch some of the most anticipated productions of the year. Passes for TIFF.23 are available online:

Danish superstar Mads Mikelsen (Another Round, The Hunt, Hannibal) returns to the big screen in The Promised Land (dir. Nikolaj Arcel, Denmark, 2023), a historical drama inspired by real events, which premiered at Venice. Mikelsen plays a former soldier turned farmer in one of Denmark's most challenging agricultural regions. A complex production that builds a fascinating universe through its screenplay, visuals, acting, and sets, The Promised Land earned Mikelsen the award for Best Actor at the European Film Awards and was Denmark's submission for the 2024 Oscars. The film will be distributed in Romania by Independența Film.

Featuring some of the most acclaimed British actors of the moment, All of Us Strangers (dir. Andrew Haigh, 2023) was a favourite among audiences and a darling of the awards season. Andrew Scott (Fleabag) plays the role of a screenwriter in contemporary London, living in isolation, still haunted by the early death of his parents. When he meets a neighbor, played by Paul Mescal (Aftersun, Normal People), he decides to let him into his life and try a new path to healing. The cast is rounded out by Claire Foy (The Crown) and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot). All of Us Strangers is based on the novel Strangers by Japanese writer Taichi Yamada, published in Romania by Humanitas.

Sir Anthony Hopkins in One Life (r. James Hawes)

In One Life (dir. James Hawes, UK, 2023), Sir Anthony Hopkins plays a man who saved nearly 600 children, mostly Jews, from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II but who has always been burdened by the weight of those he couldn't save in those dark years. A TV show from the 1980s will change his destiny. One Life is inspired by the life of Sir Nicholas 'Nicky' Winton.

Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 2024 Berlinale, Dying (dir. Matthias Glasner, Germany, 2024) is a dark comedy about the end of life, reflected through several characters, members of the same family. "Impeccably acted" (Variety), the film's cast is led by Lars Eidinger, known for Persian Lessons, series like Babylon Berlin and All the Light We Cannot See, as well as theater productions directed by Thomas Ostermeier, where he played Hamlet or Richard III. Distributed in Romania by Freealize.

Also from the Berlinale selection comes the psychological drama Sons (dir. Gustav Möller, Denmark, 2023). A female guard faces a dilemma when a prisoner is transferred to the prison where she works. To be closer to him, the woman decides to move to the section where he is incarcerated, the most dangerous in the institution. Director Gustav Möller is known to audiences in Cluj-Napoca: his debut film, The Guilty, was selected for the TIFF 2018 Competition, where it won the Audience Award, and the series he directed, The Dark Heart, was presented in 2022 in the Coming Up Next section. Sons will be distributed in Romania by Transilvania Film.

Moromeții 3 concludes the story of the most famous peasant family in Romanian literature. Directed by Stere Gulea, who also directed the first two parts of the Moromeții trilogy (1987, 2018), this new film follows the writing career of Niculae, Moromete's youngest son, caught in the turmoil of ideological changes in the 1950s. Will he choose to be part of the system or will he pay with his freedom? Horațiu Mălăele returns in the iconic role of father Ilie Moromete, while Niculae is played by Alex Călin. The cast also includes Mara Bugarin, Olimpia Melinte, Iulian Postelnicu, and Oana Pellea. The film will premiere at TIFF.23 and will be subsequently distributed by Transilvania Film.

Les Indésirables (r. Ladj Li)

Following his award at Cannes for the visceral Les Misérables in 2019, French filmmaker Ladj Li proposes Les Indésirables (France, 2023), a new social drama set in the Parisian suburbs, a space of revolt and change. Following two characters - an activist and a young mayor - Les Indésirables raises some of the most divergent and important social themes of the present in a full of force production. The film will be distributed in Romania by Independența Film.

A story about revenge and family that premiered at Venice, Upon Open Sky (dir. Mariana Arriaga, Santiago Arriaga, Mexico, 2023) follows three teenage brothers who embark on a dangerous journey to the Mexico-US border: they want to find the man responsible for their father's death. The screenplay is written by Guillermo Arriaga, an award-winning writer and filmmaker at Cannes in 2005 for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (dir. Tommy Lee Jones) and Oscar-nominated for Babel (dir. Alejandro G. Iñárritu). Arriaga is the writer of the famous 21 Grams (dir. Alejandro G. Iñárritu), and Mariana and Santiago Arriaga are his children. Distributed in Romania by Silverscreen.

La Cocina, directed by one of Mexico's most original young filmmakers, Alonso Ruizpalacios, takes us into the kitchen of a New York restaurant, where a couple tries to keep their relationship intact and survive high-pressure jobs. Filmed in black and white with some surprising color inserts, La Cocina is an adaptation of Arnold Wesker's play The Kitchen, written in 1957. Selected at Berlin, the film's cast includes Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Carol) and Mexican actor Raúl Briones. Distributed in Romania by Bad Unicorn.

Known for Between Two Dawns (2022), the latest film by director Selman Nacar, Hesitation Wound, examines the Turkish legal system, focusing on a case of a lawyer from a provincial town. Captivating and suspenseful, Hesitation Wound benefits from the remarkable performance of actress Tülin Özen and the cinematography by Romanian DoP Tudor Panduru. The film is co-produced by Libra Films and was selected at Venice. It will be distributed in Romania by Transilvania Film.

More films and events from TIFF.23 will be announced soon on