This year's edition of the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF) in the city of Cluj-Napoca was an ambivalent one. On the one hand it celebrated ten years of Romanian cinema — the festival's start (back in 2002) coincided with the renaissance of Romanian cinema. On the other hand it was in deep mourning because it has lost one of its lead figures, Alex Leo Serban. Every festivity therefore had a black edge to it and you could not speak to anyone at the festival without being confronted with deep grief over the loss of such an exceptional critic.
Still, life must go one and so it did. It was a very busy festival with lots of activities. There was for the first time a complete retrospective of one of the most acclaimed directors of Romania, Lucian Pintilie. The competition looked strong as ever, celebrations around the tenth anniversary included a dvd box, a special English magazine with essays about Romanian cinema and a masterclass by Cristi Puiu.
Furthermore there were a special focus on Belgium, on Norway and on Portgal, special programs around Werner Herzog and Fernando León de Aranoa and — as always — every night an outdoor screening on the beautiful Unirii square.
So much to do, so little time ...
Our jury concentrated on the section "Wasted Youth", with first or second features from around the globe, all starring youngsters. The parents were in most cases never to be seen and boy, how wasted these younsters were! Social media monsters from the Suicide Room, coked-up brats in Wasted on the Young, gangster wannabees in Monga and skate hangouts in Tilt, to name but a few. Eventually we gave the prize to the film which was the most honest and direct about its youthfullness, a film which didn't need much more than a couple slices of life to portray a whole generation. That film was Tilva Ros by Nikola Lezaic. (Mike Naafs)
Transilvania International Film Festival: www.tiff.ro