Eight feature films and 18 short films are competing for the Romanian Days awards, while other five films will be screened out of competition between 4 and 6 June. Tens of foreign professionals of the international film industry – distributors, festival curators and film critics interested in the Romanian cinema – will attend the screening. The Romanian Days section is presented in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute and Raiffeisen Bank.
Three films screening in competition are world premieres. București NonStop, Dan Chisu’s sixth feature is a funny portrait of the colorful humans inhabiting the city by night and stars Alexandru Papadopol, Dorian Boguță, Olimpia Melinte, Ion Besoiu, Dorina Lazăr, Gheorghe Ifrim. The World Is Mine, the first feature film by Nicolae Constantin Tănase, is a daring film employing non-professional actors and talking about a rebellious teenager involved in a disastrous relationship. Tănase is the winner of the Best Short Trophy – Transilvania IFF 2012, with Blu.
Another world premiere is Bondoc, an observational documentary by Mihai Mincan, Cristian Delcea & Mihai Voinea. Tragicomical and inhabited by memorable characters, the film tells the story of Dan Bondoc, a 78 year old man who cannot let go of the hobby of a lifetime: chess. Two other documentaries screening in this section are both HBO productions: the multi-awarded Toto and His Sisters (by Alexander Nanau) and Passport to Germania (by Răzvan Georgescu).
A surprising film for Romanian cinema, Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (by Adrian Țofei), an independent found footage horror shot in Rădăuți and included in one of the world’s leading genre festival’s competition - Fantasporto, will also premiere in Cluj. Obsessed by the idea of making a film with Anne Hathaway, a young Romanian goes to the extreme while using three actresses for a directorial demo reel meant for Anne.
The much anticipated The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu’s new film, a reality-based funny adventure of some treasure hunters, staring Cuzin Toma, comes to Transilvania IFF straight after its Cannes premiere. The eighth film in the competition, Self-Portrait of a Dutiful Daughter (by Ana Lungu) is an extremely nuanced drama about a 30 year old girl’s attempts at financial and sentimental independence. The film has won, among others, the Grand Prize in Crossing Europe, Linz.
Shortly after its Un Certain Regard premiere, but out of competition, One Floor Below by Radu Muntean talks about the moral dilemmas of a witness to a murder. Another Romanian premiere is Iezer Station 15 033, by Iulia Matei, a documentary about the way in which a place of work can become a second home, focused on a weather man from the Rodna Mountains who works at 1,785 m. The documentary is the recipient of one of the Transilvania Film Festival Fund 2014 grants and is the first project developed and backed by Transilvania IFF that will play during the festival.
The Cluj audiences will also get to see the two Romanian films selected at the 2015 Berlinale: Aferim! (by Radu Jude), winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director, and Why Me?, by Tudor Giurgiu, inspired by the case of the Romanian prosecutor Cristian Panait. Last but not least, out of competition, Transilvania IFF will host the screening of Aliyah DaDa (by Oana Giurgiu), a documentary which chronicles the history of the Jews in Romania, treated in the Dada visual style.
Ambitious and surprising, the 18 shorts screening in the Romanian Days competition are either world premieres or films that have travelled the world in the past year and they are directed by household names such as Adrian Sitaru, Gabriel Achim, Dorian Boguță, Matei Branea, Radu Potcoavă, Andrei Crețulescu, Lucian Dan Teodorovici, Andreea Vălean, Mihai Ionescu, Anton Groves, or first time directors such as Marius Olteanu, Tudor Botezatu, Radu Bărbulescu, Conrad Mericoffer, Roxana Stroe, Ana-Maria Comănescu, Alexandru Ranta and Andrei Tănase. The competition is obviously bigger than last year – 10 additional films – as the number of submissions doubled. Ramona, by Andrei Crețulescu, screening this May in Cannes' Semaine de la Critique competition, will have its first domestic screening in Cluj, while Vera, Profesioniștii or Verigheta will be screened as world premieres.
The Romanian Days jury is composed of Roberto Cueto, member of the selection committee of San Sebastian International Film Festival, Mimi Plauche, programme Director of Chicago IFF, and Miroslav Mogorovic, producer and former executive manager of Belgrade International Film Festival.