Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) – About the 18th edition

27 May, 2019

Between May 31st and June 9th, 2019, TIFF will greet film and art enthusiasts in Cluj with premieres, events and exhibitions.

The Opening Gala of TIFF  begins with the world premiere of Parking, directed by Tudor Giurgiu. Held in Union Square in Cluj-Napoca, Tudor Giurgiu, Mihai Smarandache and Marine Mălaicu-Hondrari, author of Closeness, the book adapted into the screenplay, will attend the event.

This year’s edition brings several well-known national and international guests, including director Stere Gulea and part of the Moromete Family: On the Edge of Time team (Horaţiu Mălăele, Dana Dogaru, Iosif Paştina, Gheorghe Visu) and Pavel Bartoş, who makes his directorial debut at TIFF with the Romanian Tradition short film, and who will be present with some of the cast members: Alexandru Papadopol, Elvira Deatcu, Alexandru Ion, Vladimir Purdel, Ruxandra Maniu and Adrian Damian.

One of the international guests is none other than Nicolas Cage, who will receive the Transilvania Trophy for Special Contribution to World Cinema. Moreover, the actor will hold a masterclass on June 2nd, moderated by TIFF artistic director Mihai Chirilov.

Michel Gondry will also be present at TIFF, and a complete retrospective of his filmography will be shown to the general public. On the occasion of his presence in Cluj, the Amateur Film Factory will be inaugurated on May 31st, an international project created by his own concept.

The TIFF Competition consists of 12 films made by directors who are on their first or second fiction film. According to Mihai Chirilov, the films selected this year “do not cling on to the actual social-political context, but rather choose to avoid it completely or to subtly insert it into intimate stories that are explored with audacity beyond any consequences.”

This year’s Excellence Award will be granted to the great theater and film actor, Marcel Iureş. The award ceremony will take place at the Closing Gala on June 8th.

And because the film industry does not mean only directing and acting, this year, TIFF awards the career of Oana Păunescu, one of the most important costume designers in Romania. Oana Păunescu worked on films like Silent Wedding (dir. Horațiu Mălăele), Kira Kiralina (dir. Dan Pița), Malmkrog (dir. Cristi Puiu), and with international actors such as Nicole Kidman, Wesley Snipes, Jude Law, Jean-Claude Van Damme, etc.

Focus China

At TIFF 2019, films made in the East are presented to the public, in the Focus China section. Shadow is the latest film by Zhang Yimou, who directed Hero and House of the Flying Daggers, and can be seen at TIFF. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (dir. Bi Gan) is truly an unforgettable visual experience, the last hour of the 3D movie having no editing cuts whatsoever. Other films in the Focus China section are Ghost in the Mountains (dir. Yang Heng), A Soul Haunted by Painting (dir. Huang Shuqin, 1994), The Goddess (dir. Wu Yonggang).

Focus China will also include a debate on the history of cinema contacts between China and Romania 1949-2016, a talk about the Romanian films distributed in China during the communist period, such as The Waves of the Danube, Ciprian Porumbescu, and Hot Days. The debate will be moderated by Yao Wang, film critic, a researcher at the Beijing Film Academy, with a Ph.D. in the Romanian New Wave cinema.

Among Focus China events is also the exhibition of Romanian posters of Chinese films and vice versa, which also includes newspaper and magazine fragments and a video installation with Romanian films dubbed in Chinese.

Among the TIFF special screenings are:

  • directly from Cannes, the Romanian premiere of La Gomera, directed by Corneliu Porumboiu;
  • Maria, Inima României, produced by John Florescu, the most complex documentary film about the life of Queen Marie of Romania;
  • (dir. Marius Olteanu) and MO, Radu Dragomir’s directorial debut. Members of both teams will be present at the screenings;
  • the premiere of the newest episode of the third season of The series team will attend the event;
  • The Religion Class at TIFF 2019, the section which presents recently released films that address issues of religion, belief, spirituality and social-politics;
  • the 3 x 3 section where Agnès Varda, the famous filmmaker and precursor of the French New Wave, will be honored.

Besides film screenings, the festival also includes a series of special events, such as:

The EPIC exhibition, where Oana Păunescu shows some of her creations at the Art Museum in Cluj-Napoca. She will also be present at the screening of What happened to Monday, directed by Tommy Wirkola, a film for which Oana Păunescu made the costumes.

A successful TIFF event is Film Food, which combines gastronomy and film, giving the public the chance to watch films about the most popular restaurants in Europe, old and re-interpreted recipes and secrets of international cuisine. The screenings are followed by delicious dinners prepared at Bricks by Chefs who will draw inspiration from the films in the program.

And on the occasion of the Romania-France Season, TIFF will host:

The Focus France program, featuring several French films such as Doubles Vies (dir. Olivier Assayas), Jean Paul Gaultier Freak & Chic (dir. Yann L’Hénore), Through the Fire (dir. Frederic Tellier), etc.

The French-Romanian Culinary Caravan where the participants will have the opportunity to enjoy the food prepared by Georgiana Viu, founder of the Chez Georgiana restaurant in Marseille, and by chef Horia Simion.

Art Show: An evening in My Parents’ Studio – where visual arts meet cinema, consisting of works by Maria Manolescu and Romelo Pervolovici (2META) and their children (architect and director).

TIFF 2019 will also have special guests in the music field. The composer and pianist Jean-Michel Bernard (original score for Hugo, Be Kind Rewind, La Science des Rêves, etc.) and the French group Négresses Vertes will have concerts in premiere in Romania.

Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) will be held between May 31st – June 9th in Cluj, at Florin Piersic Cinema, Victoria Cinema, Arta Cinema, The Student’s Cultural House, Unirii Square Open Air, Iulius Park Open Air, Cinema City – Halls 3 and 4, French Institute Cluj, Someş Open Air, Mărăşti Cinema, Dacia – Mănăștur Cinema, Sapientia University, Casa TIFF, Banffy Castle, Arkhai Sculpture Park, „Sfânta Treime” Church, Platina Hotel.

Tickets can be purchased on the TIFF website or from the TIFF office desks. For more details, visit the ticket policy page, the TIFF website or the Facebook page.


Photographer and editor, she co-founded Dissolved Magazine. For Films in Frame she brings the news from the film world, in the Monday News column. She likes stories, Monty Python and going to the seaside.