It was a remarkable night in Cluj as the 8th edition of the Transilvania IFF came to a conclusion on Saturday night, as the glamorous Award Ceremony at the National Theater saw 2 features walk out with the Transilvania Trophy, awarded to second or first time directors.
Fresh winner of the Grand Jury Award and the FIPRESCI Award of the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, Corneliu Porumboiu's Police, Adjective (for the second and last time winner of the trophy), and Norwegian feature North, by Rune Denstad Langlo, previously awarded in the Berlin International Film Festival, shared the big trophy, as a result of a unique decision in the festival's history. The Norwegian flick also won the Best Cinematography Award, claimed by DOP Philip Øgaard.
Jury members Assumpta Serna; Corina Şuteu, head of the New York Romanian Cultural Institute and the Romanian Film Festival in NY; American producer Jim Stark; Romanian-Israeli film journalist Dan Făinaru and Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu rewarded Barmak Akram with the Best Directing Award for his feature Kabuli Kid, a France-Afghanistan co-production.
The FIPRESCI Award went to Dutch feature Can Go Through Skin by Esther Rots, while the Romanian Days Jury, made of journalists Neil Young and Phillip Bergson and programmer Jan Naszewski, chose Andrei Gruszniczki's The Other Irene as the Best Romanian Feature and Stanca Radu's For Him as the Best Romanian Short. Andrei Dascalescu won the Best Debut Award of the Romanian Days Competition for his feature documentary, Constantin and Elena. Tales From the Golden Age, the latest feature written and produced by Cristian Mungiu, won a Special Mention from the Jury.
Lifetime achievement honours were presented to Claudia Cardinale, special guest of the Gala, who was impressed by the Cluj audience and stated to be "honoured to be saluted in this part of the world"; local legend actor Florin Piersic - to whom mrs. Cardinale herself offered the trophy; cult Romanian director Dan Piţa - previous winner of a Silver Bear in the Berlin Film Festival and a Silver Lion in the Venice Film Festival's competition. Another cult figure of the Romanian cinema, actor Mircea Albulescu, was awarded the Excellency Award of Transilvania IFF's 8th edition.
Respecting a tradition established ever since the first edition, the festival has grown to an even bigger size than the previous edition's - this year screening 209 films from 47 countries in three competitive sections and 16 showcase ones. The 13 screening venues included a 10-day Drive-In Cinema, two open air locations (crowded every night despite the extremely cold and humid weather) and a special event Highway Drive-In. More than 500 Romanian and foreign guests travelled to Cluj to take part in the 10-day festival, and the number of attendants is expected to rise over 50,000.
Winners of TIFF 2009
The Transilvania Trophy in value of 10.000 euro, offered by Vodafone - ex aequo North / Nord (d. Rune Denstad Langlo, Norway, 2009) and Police, adjective (d. Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania, 2009)
Produced by 42 Km Film (www.24kmfilm.ro), Racova (www.racova.ro), Raza Studio (www.razastudio.ro) with the participation of HBO Romania
Best Directing Award, in value of 3000 euro, offered by The Romanian Film Centre -Barmak Akram for Kabuli Kid (France-Afghanistan, 2008)
Best Cinematography Award, offered by Kodak Cinelabs Romania - Philip Øgaard for North / Nord (Norway, 2009)
Best Performance Award, in value of 1000 euro, offered by Vitrina Advertising - to The Entire Cast of The Maid / La nana (d. Sebastian Silva, Chile-Mexico, 2008)
The FIPRESCI Award, offered by the Jury of the International Film Press Association to Can go through skin / Kan door huid heen (d. Esther Rots, Netherlands, 2009)
The Audience Award, offered by Mastercard to Machan (d. Uberto Pasolini, Italy-Germany-Sri Lanka, 2008)
The Excellency Award, offered by Mercedes-Benz to legend Romanian actor Mircea Albulescu
Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding contribution to the development of Romanian Cinema, offered by Banca Transilvania to director Dan Piţa
Lifetime Achievement Award offered to actor Florin Piersic
Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding contribution to the development of European cinema - offered to Italian actress Claudia Cardinale
Lifetime Achievement Award for a Contribution to World Cinema, awarded to Menahem Golan
Best Short in the Shadows section, in value of 500 euro, offered by the NESCAFÉ Coffee to Danse Macabre (d. Pedro Pires, Canada, 2008)
Romanian Days Award for the Best Feature, offered by ABIS - The Other Irina / Cealaltă Irina (d. Andrei Gruzsniczki, 2008)
Producer: Fundatia Arte Vizuale (http://www.fav.ro/) (FAV)
Romanian Days Award for the Best Short in value of 1500 euro offered by Mediafax to For Him / Pentru el (d. Stanca Radu, Romania, 2008)
Romanian Days Award for the Best Debut in value of 1000 euro, offered by Ursus to Andrei Dăscălescu for the film Constantin and Elena / Constantin şi Elena (Romania-Spain, 2008)
Producer: FilmLab (www.filmlab.ro) and Chello MultiCanal (www.chellomulticanal.com)
Romanian Days Special Mention of the Jury for Tales From the Golden Age / Amintiri din Epoca de Aur (d. Ioana Uricaru, Hanno Hoefer, Razvan Marculescu, Constantin Popescu, Cristian Mungiu - Romania, 2009)
Producer: Mobra Film (http://www.mobrafilms.ro/) with the Support of CNC Romania (www.cncinema.abt.ro)
The HBO Award for the Best Feature Script in the National Screenwriting Contest, initiated by HBO Romania in partnership with the Transilvania IFF, in value of 3000 USD - Mimi Brănescu, for Acasă la tata
The HBO Award for the Best Short Script in the National Screenwriting Contest, initiated by HBO Romania in partnership with the Transilvania IFF, initiated by HBO Romania in partnership with TIFF, in value of 1500 USD - Octav Gheorghe for Trofeul „Oase Manciu"
The HBO Award for the Best Documentary Script in the National Screenwriting Contest, initiated by HBO Romania in partnership with the Transilvania IFF, in value of 2000 USD - Adrian Voicu for Victoria, între 8 şi 9
The Let's Go Digital! Award for the best short produced in the Let's Go Digital! Workshop for teenagers, offered by UPC to Stein Alaiv, by Adrian Florin Ardelean, Mihai Nanu, Sergiu Zorger
Honorary Diploma for a Let's Go Digital! student offered to Elena Cosmănescu