The 17th edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) just ended, and the figures look quite incredible: over 135,000 participants this year, 227 titles—178 features and 49 shorts—that played on the largest screen in Romania and the 13 partner spaces. Almost 95,000 tickets were bought to attend these screenings—a number that is 5.7 per cent higher than last year.
Over 1,000 guests from Romania and abroad attended the 10 festival days, and over 50 of the events in the festival were sold out. Opening film Foxtrot drew over 3,000 audience members for the Unirii Square Open Air screening. Golden Bear-winner Touch Me Not was sold out both at Cinema Victoria and at the Students Culture House. Andrei Crețulescu’s feature debut Charleston also sold out in advance. Fresh from its Cannes premiere, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the surprise screening of this edition, had to be screened twice to satisfy film fans at TIFF. Similarly beloved were One Step Behind the Seraphim and The Guilty, which were not only sold out, but also the recipients of audience awards.
Among the special events with the highest attendance, the recital of international opera star Angela Gheorghiu and the screening of Tosca stand out, followed by The Pleasure Garden ciné-concert accompanied by Notes & Ties.
This year’s record holder in terms of sheer number of tickets is Wes Anderson’s most recent film Isle of Dogs, which sold no less than 3,647 tickets. And this year’s fastest-selling tickets were recorded for The Phantom of the Opera ciné-concert at the Holy Trinity Roman-Catholic Church and for the events in the Film Food section—which sold out two days after they went on sale. A selection of this year’s films, including the award-winners, can be seen until June 10, at Cinema Elvire Popescu in Bucharest, during TIFF București. The program is here.
Must see is the Isle of Dogs, directed by Wes Anderson, which is set in a dystopian future Japan in which dogs have been quarantined on a remote island due to a "canine flu". Five local dogs – Chief, Rex, Boss, Duke, and King – are fed up with their isolated existence until a boy named Atari Kobayashi ventures to the island to search for his dog, Spots. Atari receives their help and protection from the Japanese authorities who have come to retrieve him.
Among our recommendations are The Heiresses / Moștenitoarele, directed by Marcelo Martinessi, the winner of the Transylvania Trophy, La prière / Rugaciunea (d. Cedric Kahn), as well as the movies from the Close-up Ingmar Bergman. Also, Alexey German Jr.’s latest movie Dovlatov will be screened in Bucharest (Silver Bear at Berlinale and Berliner Morgenpost Reader’s Jury award) and the newest production of the director Sebastian Lelio, Nesupunere /Disobedience.