It's the final countdown. Romania's main international film festival kicks off this Friday ( May 31 ) in Cluj- Napoca and the excitement couldn't be greater, and not just for yours truly. The Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) gathers not only industry professionals and filmmakers but lots and lots of film lovers from everywhere who gather to enjoy the films, the many parties, and Cluj's infectious laid-back charm.
One of TIFF's greatest achievements is its dedicated and constant effort to promote Romanian cinema, whether this means screening new films and classics, organizing workshops for rising talents, or editing publications on the history of film. Regional cinema receives an equally loyal treatment, with a competition focusing on emerging talent and productions from Cluj and the area.
If you haven't booked your trip to Transylvania yet, this is a last reminder you should do so immediately. And to get you in the mood, here's two of my favorite last year's Romanian shorts.
Grand Hotel Italia (scroll below for the film in full length and with English subtitles) is a hilarious comedy about a hapless guy who checks into the aforementioned hotel only to quickly find out he is not the only one in his room. Shot with little dialogue but plenty of slapstick and visual comedy, this is a very amusing little sketch which builds up to an absurd finale.
On a completely different tone, Cecilia Felméris Minute infinite/Infinite Minutes is a hypnotic story of a hospital's staff and patients. Elegantly shot and intelligently written, it focuses on its protagonists' dreams and longings. Life, death, love: it's a lot of heavy themes squeezed into twenty minutes but Felméri pulls it off in style, making a beautiful and sensuous film that is a thrilling watch.
That being said, hope to see you all in Cluj!
By Ioana Moldovan, columnist, [email protected]
(photo source: TIFF 2012)