Stuff & Dough and The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, along with other successes, have put Romania
back on the map of world cinema. All this through a movement that came into notoriety under
the banner of the so-called Romanian New Wave. This long process of rehabilitation of the national
cinema has been embraced by new and talented filmmakers as well as specific film aesthetics.
A Festival Of Size, Scope And Importance
Considering a the rather ambiguous image of Romania in international news, the Transylvania International Film Festival was surprisingly big this past May and June (155 screened features, 40 shorts over the course of ten days), yet managed an incredibly familial and informal atmosphere. The festival promoted mostly young and talented filmmakers (the main competition was focused on first and second features) and European cinema, but programmers had loaded the festival with the latest crop of international films gathered from the festival route charting Venice, Toronto, Rotterdam, then Berlin.
This vast and diverse programming structure also afforded room for filmmaker retrospectives (Oliver Assays, Stephen Frears, Peter Forgács and Eyal Sivan all got the spotlight this year) to widely discussed documentaries (Fuck for Forest, Searching for Sugarman), as well as a focus on three national cinemas (Slovakia, Greece and Hungary). Among special screenings was Kurosawa Kiyoshi TV-series Penance and Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy back-to-back-to-back six-hour run.