FESTIVALS: Transilvania IFF in Cluj announces competition line-up

By FNE Staff
    Twelve feature films are competing for this year's Transilvania Trophy, the top prize of the Transilvania International Film Festival (www.tiff.ro).
    Dedicated to first or second time feature film directors, TIFF's competition line-up
    brings together this year a mix of comedy, drama, experimental, social,
    political and films focusing on character studies. For the first time in
    the festival's 9-year history, the feature film competition consists
    entirely of European productions, with the sole exception of a Thai film.

    "This year's selection, composed exclusively of fiction features, is,
    maybe, the most eclectic one in our history: on a scale between two
    cinematic extremes such as the Spanish feature Fat People / Gordos, an
    excelently driven puzzle-film, funny, touching and audience-oriented and,
    on the other hand, Thai feature Mundane History, a disruptive, meditative
    and radically-experimental film, there are 10 other films, which, I hope,
    will captivate a public in search of emotion, diversity and originality"
    states Transilvania IFF's artistic director, Mihai Chirilov.

    TIFF 2010 will see the return of Spanish director David Sanchez Arevalo,
    whose debut feature, Dark Blue Almost Black / Azuloscurocasinegro won the
    Audience Award in the 2007 TIFF. His second feature film, emotional comedy
    Fat People / Gordos (2009), winner of the Goya Award for Best Supporting
    Actor (Raul Arevalo), brings him the second and final chance for the
    Transilvania Trophy. The Transilvania IFF competition also programmes
    other public-oriented features: Polish film Reverse / Rewers (d. Boris
    Lakosz, 2009), winner of the FIPRESCI Award at the Warsaw International
    Film Festival; Serbian black comedy Devil's Town / Djavolja Varos (d.
    Vladimir Paskaljevic, 2009), awarded in Palm Springs and Trieste and
    Swedish tragicomedy A Rational Solution / Det enda rationella (d. Jorgen
    Bergmark, 2009).

    Romania will be represented this year by two features awarded in several
    festivals for the past year: Razvan Radulescu & Melissa de Raaf's drama
    First of All, Felicia / Felicia, inainte de toate, selected in the 2009
    competition of the Sarajevo Film Festival and Calin Peter Netzer's family
    story Medal of Honor / Medalia de onoare, awarded with 5 trophies in the
    Thessaloniki International Film Festival.

    TIFF's competition line-up also includes outstanding experimental and
    provocative films: the first Thai film selected in the TIFF Competition,
    Mundane History (d. Anocha Suwichakornpong, 2009), awarded in the
    Rotterdam 2010; Last Conversation (d. Noud Heeskens, The Netherlands,
    2009), Johana ter Steege's one-take tour-de-force performance shot with 24
    cameras; Belgian anti-globalization feature Altiplano (d. Peter Brosens,
    Jessica Hope Woodworth), selected in the Critics' Week line-up in Cannes
    2009 and Irish-Dutch co-production Nothing Personal (d. Urszula Antoniak),
    six-time awarded in last year's competition of the Locarno International
    Film Festival.

    Remarkably driven character-study French feature Restless / Bel age (d.
    Laurent Perreau, 2009) and powerful Danish drama R (d. Tobias Lindholm and
    Michael Noer, 2010), included in the official selection of the Rotterdam
    International Film Festival, complete this year's competition line-up.


    As usual, Transilvania IFF's second competitive section is dedicated to 12
    thriller, fantasy & horror short films, chosen from the over 200
    submissions from all corners of the world. Following the tradition started
    last year, the Shadows shorts and the Competition features will be
    screened in pairs, the shorts preceeding the features.

    "I can say that this year, the competition's standards have risen: I have
    been looking for the best made and most accurate shorts that could fit in
    the Shadows Shorts concept. That means that this competition's concept
    does not refer exclusively to films containing violence and blood: it also
    includes dramas, shorts who talk about relations, or films who deal with
    psychological matters. Of course, we have a real zombie film (Zombies and
    Cigarettes, by Rafa Martinez and Iñaki San Román), but also a very
    experimental short, Dusk - done by the famous Dutch photographer Erwin
    Olaf. I think that the TIFF audience have every reason to watch every
    Shadows Shorts film: these films speak for imaginative and provocative
    forms of cinematic language and ambitious genres of cinema" says Mihai
    Mitrică, programmer of TIFF's themed short film competition.

    The competition includes also film selected and awarded in important film
    festivals, such as horror Sci-Fi short Lazarus Taxon (d. Denis Rovira,
    Spain, 2008), presented in the official selection of the most important
    horror film festival in the world, Scream Fest, imagining survival in a
    world shattered by global warming; Norwegian film All Birds / Alle fugler
    (d. Sara Eliassen, 2009), presented in the Venice Film Festival, showing a
    universe in which the only human life forms that exist are children who
    have lost their ability to communicate, and FlourTown (d. William
    Slichter, USA), the only American film in this year's line-up, presented
    in the 2009 San Sebastian Horror & Fantasy Film Festival.

    Spanish short La Casa Brown (d. Isaac Berrok) is certainly the most
    violent film in the competition, almost entirely a quote of the cult film
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The other films in the line up are Precut
    Girl (d. Eric Dinkian, France, 2009), Bak lukkede dører (d. Aleksander
    Nordaas, Norway, 2009), Harmsaga (d. Valdimarr Jóhannsson, Iceland, 2008),
    Le tonneau des Danaïdes, (d. David Guiraud, France, 2009), Vigilancia (d.
    Gonzalo Zona, Spain, 2009) and Les bessones del Carrer de Ponent, (d. Marc
    Riba si Anna Solanas, Spain, 2010).