Dance, music, and fashion connect audiences of all ages at the 17th edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival. In a few days, Romania’s greatest film event will begin its string of special screenings, world premieres, open-air events, exhibitions, and legendary parties organized in over 13 locations.
A protagonist and creator of stage masterpieces, a leader of a highly regarded company and an influential teacher, Gigi Căciuleanu is a profoundly original voice in contemporary dance. The Students’ Cultural House will host on May 30 the launch of Ludmila Patlanjoglu’s book Gigi Căciuleanu — Omul Dans (Gigi Căciuleanu, Dance Man), an album of testimonials, confessions, poems, and drawings that reveal the artist’s hidden facets, in an exceptional graphic volume produced by Bogdan Căpîlnean and supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute. For the occasion, Gigi Căciuleanu will present an extraordinary recital titled Text Shop, a one-man show that proposes an original form of contact with the public. Organized in partnership with JTI, the event will be followed by a screening of Bobbi Jene (dir. Elvira Lind), which received three jury awards at Tribeca, and tells the emotional story of American dancer Bobbi Jene Smith who comes back to the US after ten years of being a star with the Israeli company Batsheva—only to take leave of her mentor, her choreographers, and, last but not least, the love of her life.
Under the heading Film and Politics, TIFF audiences will get a chance to discover the story of Spanish dictator Franco’s victims, who are still fighting for justice. Filmed over 10 years, Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s El silencio de los otros / The Silence of Others tells the story of victims and survivors involved in the “Argentinian trial” of crimes against humanity. This Berlinale audience award winner will be screened on May 27 at 3:30 PM at Cinema Florin Piersic and will be followed by a debate with partners from the Institute for Investigating the Crimes of Communism and the Memory of Romanian Exile.
Julien Faraut’s L’empire de la perfection / In the Realm of Perfection will have another special screening. This captivating essay film about the legendary tennis hero explores his personal frustrations and drive to perfection alongside with the most painful defeat of his career at the 1984 Roland-Garros, and will be screened on May 28, at 3 PM, at the Students’ Cultural House.
After dusk on May 29, TIFF will screen the world premiere of Dacii liberi / Free Dacians by Andrei Gorgan and Monica Lăzurean Gorgan, in the fantastic open-air decor of the Arkhai Sculpture Park (Vlaha). The documentary presents an on original view of the most controversial nationalist subjects in Romania, following intrigues among Dacologists with divergent views. The screening will be preceded by a concert by URMA, a popular alternative rock band that is originally from Cluj, scheduled for 8:30 PM.
For International Children’s Day, on June 1st, TIFF’s youngest audience will have their own special events: a summer camp will provide plenty of adventures for 19 children, who will learn climbing and hiking, dam-building, storytelling, and will explore first love in Străjerii, a Romanian world premiere screening at Cinema Florin Piersic. On the same day, the free screening of Rob Fruchtman’s most recent documentary Moving Stories will introduce audiences in the world of dance where children from at-risk groups from India, Romania, Korea and Iraq are brought together by the famous Battery Dance workshops.
The charity proceeds screening, another annual tradition at TIFF, will be provided this year by Ziad Doueiri’s Oscar-nominated L’insulte / The Insult, to be screened on May 31 at Cinema Florin Piersic. All proceeds from the ticket sales will go to equipping a screening room and organizing media activities and workshops for children from at-risk groups at the Nicolae Iorga School in Cluj Napoca.
In TIFF Fashion, for the centennial of legendary director Ingmar Bergman’s birth, a special exhibit inspired by costumes from the Swedish director’s films, as interpreted by the students of the Art and Design University in Cluj, will open on May 27 at the Students’ Cultural House. In the same program, Lorna Tucker’s Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist will provide spectacular insight into the designer who redefined British fashion over the past four decades. The special screening will be held at Sapientia University on May 31 at 9:30 PM, and will be followed by a Rococopunk costume party organized in Flying Circus.
Opera lovers are invited to see Tom Volf’s Maria by Callas, which includes rare images from the personal archive of the great diva, live recordings, letters, and intimate details told by the greatest soprano of the last century. Four decades after Callas’s passing, the film will screen on May 29 at Cinema Florin Piersic.
A different kind of music fans will enjoy Jukka Vidgren and Juuso Laatio’s Heavy Trip, which follows the bizarre adventures of a Finnish heavy metal band who want to play a Norwegian festival at all costs— costs which include a long series of legal malfeasances, macabre robberies, and even an armed conflict between the neighboring Nordic countries. The film will be screened at Cinema Mărăști on May 26 at 7:30 PM and on the Someș Open Air beach on May 28 at 10 PM.
Finally, this year’s special screening for sight-impaired audiences, a TIFF tradition for the past 10 years, will be an accessible version of Un pas în urma serafimilor / One Step Behind The Seraphim, Daniel Sandu’s autobiographical debut inspired by his own experiences in a theological seminary, which will be screened at Cinema Mărăști on May 30 at 7:30 PM.