FNE at TIFF: Georgia Takes Top Awards at 16th TIFF

My Happy Family by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross My Happy Family by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross

CLUJ-NAPOCA: The 16th Transilvania IFF (TIFF), which held its closing ceremony on 11 June 2017, has transformed itself into a budding industry powerhouse. That was in evidence in the two largest cash awards distributed by the festival, both of which went to Georgia. The Transilvania Trophy for best film in competition, with a 15,000 EUR prize, went to My Happy Family directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, and the newly expanded Transilvania Pitch Stop Eurimages Co-production Development Award, with a prize of 20,000 EUR, went to the project The Empty House by Rati Tsiteladze.

My Happy Family also took the Best Performance Award and a prize of 1,500 EUR, which went to Georgian acrtress Ia Shugliashvili. But the real star of the closing ceremony was Alain Delon, greeted with a prolonged standing ovation as he accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Romanian films held their own, with a plethora of awards dedicated to films in the Romanian Days section. The award for best feature film in that section, and a prize worth 6,000 in post-production services, went to Scarred Hearts / Inimi cicatrizate by Radu Jude. Festival director Tudor Giurgiu took a moment to address the current situation facing the Romanian film industry by noting the letter of protest signed by 450 Romanian filmmakers asking the Parliament to open debate the country’s new film law, which was enacted as an emergency ordinance in November 2016 and approved in December, but was rejected in late May by the new government.

Most industry guests were in Cluj especially for the closed industry screenings, which were spread across three days, and for three pitching sessions, including the international launch of the new Less Is More (LIM) workshop for low budget films. The festival stands out for its impressive organisation, which is likely to draw ever more international industry guests as word spreads among the cognoscenti. Partnerships with regional industry heavyweights such as connecting cottbus and HBO-Europe, along with Eurimages, underscore the growing importance of this Transilvanian gem.

The complete list of awards follows:

Transilvania Trophy for Best Film

My Happy Family (Germany, Georgia, France)
Directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß
Produced by Augenschein Filmproduktion
Coproduced by Polare Film, Arizona Productions
Supported by the Georgian National Film Center

Best Directing Award

Heartstone (Iceland)
Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

Special Jury Award

God’s Own Country (UK)
Directed by Francis Lee

Best Performance Award

Ia Shugliashvili for My Happy Family (Germany, Georgia, France)

Special Mention of the Jury

Glory / Slava (Bulgaria, Greece)
Directed by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov
Produced by Abraxas
Coproduced by Graal Film, Screening Emotions, Aporia Filmworks, Red Carpet
Supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center, Greek Film Centre


Afterlov / Afterlove (Greece)
Directed by Stergios Paschos

The Audience Award

Heartstone (Iceland)
Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

The Cinepub Audience Award, for the most popular film in Romanian Days section

Planet Petrila / Planeta Petrila (Romania), Documentary
Directed by Andrei Dăscălescu
Produced by FILMLAB
Coproduced by HBO Romania

Lifetime Achievement Award to actor Alain Delon

Excellence Award to actress Tora Vasilescu

Lifetime Achievement Award to actress Violeta Andrei

Romanian Days Award for Best Feature Film

Scarred Hearts / Inimi cicatrizate (Romania, Germany)
Directed by Radu Jude
Produced by Hi Film
Coproduced by Komplizen Film
Supported by the Romanian Film Centre, the MEDIA Programme

Romanian Days Award for Best Debut

Ultimul căldărar / The Last Kalderash (Romania), Documentary
Directed by Cosmin Bumbuț, Elena Stancu
Produced by Teleleu.eu

Romanian Days Award for Best Short Film

Directed by Adrian Silișteanu

Special Mention of the Romanian Days Short Film Jury

Directed by Andrei Huțuleac

Best Film Award in the Shadows Shorts Competition

Curve (Australia)
Directed by Tim Egan

Special Mention in the Shadows Shorts Competition

I Am The Doorway (Czech Republic)
Directed by Robin Kasparik
Behind (Spain)
Directed by Ángel Gómez Hernández

Transilvania Pitch Stop Awards

Eurimages Co-production Development Award

The Empty House (Georgia)
Directed by Rati Tsiteladze
Produced by Artway Film

Post-production services offered by Chainsaw Europe

The Man Who Surprised Everyone (Russia)
Directed by Natalya Merkulova, Alexey Chupov

Centrul Național al Cinematografiei and DACIN SARA

La Civil (Romania)
Directed by Teodora Ana Mihai
Luna Film

Transilvania Pitch Stop Workshop

Connecting Cottbus Award

The Island (Moldova)
Directed by Dumitru Grosei

Villa Kult Cultural Residency Award

La Civil (Romania)
Directed by Teodora Ana Mihai

The Pitch Competition Award

Santa Claus (Romania)
Directed by Bogdan Andrei Ilieșiu

Local Competition Award

The White Box (Romania)
Directed by Mihai Păcurar

Special Mention in the Local Competition

Catlady (Romania)
Directed by Hedda Bednarszky

Let’s Go Digital!, Award for Best Film produced in the LGD Workshop

Și planetele filozofează (Romania)
Directed by Patricia Suciu, Ștefan Iordache, Sara Pongeac

The Young Francophone Jury Prize

Efectul acvatic / L'Effet aquatique / The Together Project (France, Iceland)
Directed by Sólveig Anspach