Transylvania International Film Festival closing press release


    Applause. Bursts of applause. Celebrities. Pouring with celebrities. Excitement, prizes and trophies. All of that on Saturday night at that National Theatre of Cluj Napoca, during the Ceremony. The Closing Ceremony of the Transilvania International Film Festival 2008.

    Over 1000 guests were eager to see where the 7th Transilvania trophy was going this year. The award, worth 10000 euros offered by Vodafone, was given to Intimacies of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo / Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo, the only documentary in the competition, a film directed by Mexico's Yulene Olaizula. The most longed for prize of the Gala was handed out by Catherine Deneuve, guest of honour at TIFF 2008, joined by Paul Markovits, a delegate of Vodafone's.

    The famed actress was also the protagonist of a special moment. Catherine Deneuve was given the Transilvania Lifetime Achievement Award a prize which the Transilvania International Film Festival presents yearly to a persona who has contributed to the wellfare of the European cinema. Catherine Deneuve was handed the award by our very own diva, actress Maia Morgenstern. The French actress declared herself impressed with the Cluj audience with which she met, previous to the Gala, at the Republica Theatre, for a special projection of André Téchiné's film, Changing Times / Les temps qui changent.

    Another Transilvania Lifetime Achievement Award went to Romania's dear actress, Tamara Buciuceanu Botez. The famed „Isosceles" (the nickname she got while playing the part of a math teacher in the The Graduates / Liceenii series) has received the award, sponsored by Banca Transilvania, from another living legend, actress Luminiţa Gheorghiu (The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu).

    The National Theatre audience gave a prolonged standing ovation to another Romanian actor: Radu Beligan. Born in 1918, he has spent little under 80 years on the stage. It was his talent and his dedicating his entire life to film and theatre that provoked such an impressive outburst from the audience and the reason why TIFF had decided to present him with the Transilvania Excellency Award, a prize offered by Mercedes-Benz. Radu Beligan received this award from the hands of president Traian Băsescu, who was kind enough to join the Transilvania Award Ceremony in Cluj Napoca. Before handing out the prize president Băsescu highlighted that he considers Radu Beligan "a genuine patriarch of the Romanian film and theatre scene".

    After judging the films in the main Competition, Corneliu Porumboiu, one of TIFF 2008's jury members was also invited on the stage to receive an award. The Romanian director, author of the Camera d'Or winning 12.08, East of Bucharest / A fost sau n-a fost? was decorated with the Chevalier des arts et des lettres order by Henri Paul, France' ambassador in Romania.

    Concerning the local productions, the Award for Best Romanian Feature Film - documentary of fiction - went to Thomas Ciulei's The Flower Bridge / Podul de flori, which Nick Roddick, David Robinson and Patrice Vivancos - members of the Romanian Days jury - thought to be "a film which proved how rich and poetic a documentary can be". The award for Best Romanian Short was given to the satirical comedy Inspiration / (Plictis şi) Inspiraţie of director Igor Cobileanski, a Romanian-Moldovan co-production. George Dorobanţu is the one who was awarded the Best Romanian Debut Film prize for his indie no-budget Elevator, which the jury considered to be "a dazzling demonstration of the fact that money is less important that skill, talent and imagination".

    Many, many Romanian celebrities have come to the Gala to bid their gratitude and express their support for the contenders of the 7th edition of TIFF. Actors Maria Popistaşu, Florin Piersic Junior, Maria Dinulescu, Valentin Teodosiu, Dorel Vişan, Mara Nicolescu and director Marian Crişan as well as a famous surprise guest, actress Anca Tomas-Szony, have gotten up on the stage to give away Transilvania awards.

    The Transilvania International Film Festival has again outdone itself. It was the biggest and most ambitious edition of the festival, one of the most spectacular growing events in the Central and East European film industry - with a growth rate of 30% every year. During the 007 edition- thus this year's Bond theme - 200 films coming from 40 countries have been screened. On a daily basis, almost none of the 8 festival locations have had empty seats. The number of locations has grown: adding to the classical Republica, Victoria, Arta and Echinox were the National Theatre, the Art Museums Gallery, Enigma cafe, and, for the first time in Romania, a Drive-In on the roof of the Iulius Mall Parking lot. The official entry count until Friday was 35.000 spectators, out of which almost 2.000 were registered at the four-days-lasting Drive-In event.