Celebrating 20 years of TIFF – The 2021 edition

12 July, 2021

The Transilvania International Film Festival, now at its 20th edition, will take place between July 23 and August 1, 2021. Worthy of a big celebration of its anniversary edition, the Opening Gala will be held under the umbrella #împreunăprinfilm (#togetherthroughfilm) in 20 locations throughout the country, simultaneously.

On July 23, at 9 pm, in Unirii Square in Cluj-Napoca, there will be a special screening of the Spanish comedy The People Upstairs (Sentimental, dir. Cesc Gay), nominated for 5 Goya Awards. The opening film will run in parallel on the big screens in Alba Iulia, Arad, Bistrița, Borșa, Brașov, Criț (Brașov county), Florești (Cluj county), Iași, Lugoj, Miercurea Ciuc, Morău (Cornești commune), Oradea, Salonta, Satu Mare, Sfântu Gheorghe, Sibiu, Sighet, Târgu Mureș, and Toplița.

The presence of the Spanish film on the opening night of the festival is not accidental but marks the start of the collaboration between Transilvania IFF and the San Sebastián Festival. Besides the opening film, Spain Focus will bring the public a wide-ranging program of special screenings, talks and masterclasses, industry initiatives and exhibitions.

“The San Sebastián Festival wishes to express its satisfaction at the start of this collaboration with Romania’s most important film festival. The Transilvania Festival will be an exceptional showcase for current Spanish cinema through an interesting selection of films, some of which have recently been screened in different sections of our festival. This selection is a reflection of the diversity of Spanish cinema, and pays special attention to young filmmakers who will play a significant role in the future,” says the Director of the San Sebastián Festival, Jose Luis Rebordinos.

Carte blanche: San Sebastián

As part of the collaboration with TIFF, the San Sebastián International Film Festival showcases a strong selection of Spanish films within the programme Carte blanche: San Sebastián.

The section brings to the big screen the 6-episode series Riot Police (Antidisturbios, dir. Rodrigo Sorogoyen), and the films: Last Days of Spring (La última primavera, dir. Isabel Lamberti), Death Knell (Hil kanpaiak, dir. Imanol Rayo), Journey to a Mother’s Room (Viaje al cuarto de una madre, dir. Celia Rico Clavellino), and Ane Is Missing (Ane, dir. David Pérez Sañudo). Also within this section, the public will enjoy the musical My Heart Goes Boom! (Explota explota, dir. Nacho Álvarez).

Film Food

Here, foodies will take part in a special event dedicated to Spanish cuisine that also includes the screening of Arzak since 1897 (r. Asier Altuna), a film about Arzak, a 3-star Michelin family restaurant in San Sebastián and one of the best in the world.

Record number of Romanian world premieres

Starting with July 23, TIFF launches a true marathon of Romanian films, with an impressive selection of 45 Romanian productions – 32 features and 13 shorts. The three films representing Romania in Cannes this year will have their national premiere at Transilvania IFF: Întregalde (dir. Radu Muntean, feature film), When Night Meets Dawn (dir. Andreea Borțun, short film), and Intercom 15 (Interfon 15, dir. Andrei Epure, short film).

The Romanian Days

The Romanian Days Competition includes 12 titles directed by young filmmakers, two of which – Poppy Field (Câmp de maci, dir. Eugen Jebeleanu) and Unidentified (Neidentificat, dir. Bogdan George Apetri), are also in the International Competition for the Transilvania Trophy.

Among the contenders for Best Romanian Feature this year are Otto the Barbarian (Otto Barbarul, dir. Ruxandra Ghițescu), The Father Who Moves Mountains (Tata Mută Munții , dir. Daniel Sandu), #dogpoopgirl (dir. Andrei Huțuleac), but also four documentaries, including Holy Father (dir. Andrei Dăscălescu) and Us Against Us (Noi împotriva noastră, dir. Andra Tarara).

Romanian Days will also feature films from celebrated directors, such as Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Babardeală cu bucluc sau porno balamuc, dir. Radu Jude, Golden Bear at the 2021 Berlinale), No Rest for the Old Lady (După 40 de zile, dir. Andrei Gruzsniczki), and Berliner (dir. Marian Crișan ).

As every year, the public will have the opportunity to meet the teams of the films not only after screenings but also during TIFF Talks and InspiraTIFF events.

World Premieres

TIFF’s Romanian film selection also includes the world premieres of Perfect Strangers (Complet necunoscuți, dir. Octavian Strunilă), the Romanian remake of the Italian comedy Perfetti sconosciutti (r. Paolo Genovese), Wild Romania (România sălbatică, dir. Dan Dinu, Cosmin Dumitrache), an impressive nature documentary project made over eight years, the photo-novel documentary Occasional Spies (Spioni de ocazie, dir. Oana Giurgiu), the pilot for the new HBO Romanian series Ruxx (dir. Iulia Rugină), and Night Patrol (Rondul de Noapte), the latest film by Iosif Demian, honored at TIFF in the 3×3 section.

Sergei Polunin, special guest of TIFF 20

International star Sergei Polunin, the youngest lead dancer in the history of London Royal Ballet, makes his first Romanian appearance as a special guest of the 20th edition of the Transilvania IFF. On July 28, the documentary Dancer (dir. Steven Cantor), an emotional foray into Polunin’s eventful life, will screen at 7 pm, at the Students Culture House in Cluj. The screening will be followed by a discussion between the dancer and the public.

The following day, July 29, at 8:30 pm, the Bánffy Castle in Bonțida will host the special event: Sergei Polunin Up, Close and Personal. Moreover, the star will hold a masterclass at TIFF, whose dates will be announced.

Cine-concerts at TIFF 2021

Silent cinema productions and cult films that have made history are brought to the audiences’ attention through a series of cine-concerts presented for the first time in Romania at TIFF 20.

Special events include:

La Haine, live soundtrack by Asian Dub Foundation (UK)

Cine-concert: Fargo by Fragments (France)

Inferno, live soundtrack by Edison Studio (Italy)

Malombra – live performance by Julie Roué (France)

Malombra – live performance by Simona Strungaru (Romania)


The Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) will take place between July 23 and August 1, 2021. Tickets are available on Eventbook. For more info, visit the official website or 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.