For those of you who are passionate about the Romanian cinema, you probably have noticed that
the most anticipated Romanian premieres of the year will be presented in the 17th edition of the
Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF), which I might say it’s a premiere. It’s the first time in the past few years when the new Romanian movies were not on silver screen up until June.
This year’s Romanian Days includes 35 titles: 13 features and 22 shorts, some of which are world premieres, while others are recipients of major festival awards. Thirty of these titles are competing for the Romanian Film Days awards. Two films included in the international competition for the Transilvania Trophy will also be screened in the Romanian Days: Berlinale Golden Bear-winner Nu mă atinge-mă / Touch Me Not, Adina Pintilie’s feature debut, a shocking exploration of intimacy and the very human need for authentic contact told in a format that tests the boundaries between fiction, documentary, and art; and Andrei Crețulescu’s excellent debut Charleston, a pop cocktail spiced with black humor and melodrama which premiered in the official competition at Locarno.
This year’s Romanian Days features five world premieres, some of them from first-time directors. Bogdan Theodor Olteanu enters the competition with his debut Câteva conversații despre o fată foarte înaltă / Several Conversations About a Very Tall Girl, which features Silvana Mihai, one of the actors promoted in TIFF’s 10 for Film program, in a leading role.
Actor Vlad Zamfirescu makes his directorial debut with Secretul fericirii / The Secret of Happiness, a dynamic story about a love triangle and its uncomfortable truths, written by Alexandru Popa as a cynical comedy
whose twists and turns will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Winner of the debut prize of the Romanian Days in 2013 for his O lună în Thailanda / A Month in Thailand, and director of the popular comedy Două lozuri / Two Lottery Tickets, Paul Negoescu returns to TIFF with Povestea unui pierde-vară / The Story of a Summer Lover, a bitter-sweet comedy about the difficult situations in which love can throw us, featuring Alexandru Papadopol as
Alex Mavrodineanu’s documentary Caisă about a boxing coach who, having sworn off coaching, returns nevertheless to it when he meets a talented young man, is also a world premiere.
A tender meditation on the human condition and the passage of time, Licu, o poveste românească / Licu, A Romanian Story brought director Ana Dumitrescu the top award at DOK Leipzig for re-telling Romania’s past century through the eyes of a man lost in history. Another film that debates historical themes is Dacii liberi / Free Dacians by Andrei Gorgan and Monica Lăzurean Gorgan. This world premiere delves into nationalist controversies and intrigues among different strands of Dacologists. The great winner of this year’s Gopo Awards, Daniel Sandu’s feature debut Un pas în urma serafimilor / One Step Behind the Seraphim, is inspired by the director’s own experience in a theological seminary. Pororoca, Constantin Popescu’s third feature, also included in the Romanian
Days competition, is a knife’s edge story about a father desperate to find his daughter. Lead Bogdan Dumitrache was the best actor at San Sebastian for this role. Șerban Pavlualso received an acting award at Sarajevo for playing a father who sacrifices everything for his child’s happiness in Meda sau partea nu prea fericită a lucrurilor / Meda or
The Not so Bright
Side of Things—a film which also received the directing award for Emanuel Pârvu, who also shows up in TIFF’s Romanian shorts competition with Totul e foarte departe / Everything Is Far Away.
Schiop, who plays one of the protagonists of this unconventional love story directed by Ivana Mladenovic.
After premiering in the Berlinale Forum section, Corneliu Porumboiu’s new documentary Fotbal infinit / Infinite Football about the utopian theories of an eccentric character obsessed with revolutionizing soccer, will be screened out of competition at TIFF.