Indian films triumph at TIFF 2024 securing top honors

Oana Vasiliu 24/06/2024 | 09:21

At the 23rd edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival, winners were announced during the Closing Gala held on Saturday evening at the National Theatre in Cluj-Napoca. The prestigious Transilvania Trophy, valued at EUR 10,000, was awarded to the Indian film “Girls Will Be Girls.” Directed by Shuchi Talati, the film delves into the challenges of womanhood in a restrictive environment, portrayed through the coming-of-age journey of a teenage girl at a boarding school in the Himalayas, with a mother who also seems to have missed out on maturity.

“The story of this film is very rooted in India, but I always hoped that people outside this very specific space and time where the story takes place would resonate with it. I feel like this award says that,” Shuchi Talati expressed in a video message presented at the gala.

Another Indian film, “The Adamant Girl,” directed by Vinothraj Palani, received the Special Jury Prize, worth EUR 1,500. Palani had previously been recognized at Transilvania IFF in 2021 for his debut film “Pebbles.” The Official Competition Jury also commended director Sebastián Quebrada for his film “The Other Son,” awarding him the Best Director Prize, valued at EUR 3,000, for his compelling portrayal of personal conflicts.

The Best Acting Prize, valued at EUR 1,000 and sponsored by Conceptual Lab by Theo Nissim, was awarded to Hassan Pourshirazi for his role in “The Old Bachelor” directed by Oktay Baraheni. The jury praised Pourshirazi for his fearless and nuanced performance of a character embodying absolute evil in all its complexity.

The Feature Film Award in the Romanian Days competition was claimed by the independent film “Dismissed,” directed by Horia Cucută and George ve Ganæaard. This award includes 2,000 euros from DACIN SARA and laboratory services worth EUR 10,000 from CINELAB Romania. The documentary “Alice On & Off,” directed by Isabela Tent, secured the ZFR Debut Prize, valued at 1,500 euros and sponsored by Banca Transilvania. It also received the Special Jury Mention “What’s Up, Doc?” and the FIPRESCI Prize.

The “What’s Up, Doc?” competition, which features films that experiment with documentary conventions, was won by “Kix,” directed by Dávid Mikulán and Bálint Révész. The prize, worth 2,000 euros, was awarded for “the cinematic confidence with which the authors accompany, as detached accomplices, the transformation of a child.” In a video shown at the Closing Gala, Bálint Révész stated, “Transilvania IFF functions as a space where professionals from the Hungarian film industry can meet each other, as well as international guests, in a festival that has always had a special focus on Hungarian films. For us, it’s more than just a film festival.”

The Transilvania IFF audience also selected their favorites this year. The Audience Award, worth 2,000 euros and sponsored by Mastercard, was given to “Summer Brother,” directed by Joren Molter. “Moromeții 3,” directed by Stere Gulea, received the Award for the Most Popular Romanian Film of the festival (Vodafone Hearts’ Award), worth EUR 2,500 and sponsored by Vodafone.

Transilvania Trophy, worth 10,000 euros: Girls Will Be Girls (dir. Shuchi Talati)

Best Director Award, worth 3,500 euros: Sebastián Quebrada, for the film The Other Son
Special Jury Award, worth 1,500 euros: The Adamant Girl (dir. Vinothraj Palani)

Best Performance Award, worth 1,000 euros, offered by Conceptual Lab by Theo Nissim: Hassan Pourshirazi, for his role in The Old Bachelor (dir. Oktay Baraheni)

Special Mention of the Jury: Jarne Heylen and Joël in ‘t Veld, for their roles in Summer Brother (dir. Joren Molter)

Audience Award, worth 2,000 euros, offered by Mastercard: Summer Brother (dir. Joren Molter)

Romanian Days Award for Feature Film, worth 2,000 euros, offered by DACIN SARA and laboratory services worth 10,000 euros, offered by CINELAB Romania: Dismissed (dir. Horia Cucută, George ve Ganæaard)

Special Mention of the Jury for Romanian Days Feature Film: Family Weekend (dir. Mihnea Toma)

Romanian Days Award for Debut, worth 1,500 euros, offered by Banca Transilvania: Alice On & Off, directed by Isabela Tent

Romanian Days Award for Short Film, worth 1,000 euros and 5,000 euros in services consisting of equipment, electric camera, and grip offered by CutareFilm: Truth or Dare (dir. Simona Borcea)

“What’s Up, Doc?” Award, worth 2,000 euros, offered by Tenaris Silcotub: Kix (dir. Dávid Mikulán, Bálint Révész)

Special Mention of the Jury “What’s Up, Doc?”: Alice On & Off (dir. Isabela Tent) & La Reine (dir. Nikola Klinger)

Award for the Most Popular Romanian Film in the Festival (Vodafone Hearts’ Award), worth 2,500 euros, offered by Vodafone: Moromeții 3 (dir. Stere Gulea)

Ecumenical Jury Award, worth 1,000 euros, offered by SIGNIS and INTERFILM to a film in the festival competition: Summer Brother (dir. Joren Molter)

Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury: Where Elephants Go (dir. Cătălin Rotaru, Gabi Virginia Șarga)

SIGNIS Award, worth 500 euros, offered by SIGNIS Romania, to a short film from the Romanian Days section: Cat Funeral (dir. Ana-Maria Comănescu)

FIPRESCI Award, offered by the International Federation of Film Critics’ jury to a film in the Romanian Days section: Alice On & Off (dir. Isabela Tent)

Excellence Award: Actress Catrinel Dumitrescu

Special Award for Contribution to World Cinema: Daniele Luchetti

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Oana Vasiliu | 28/06/2024 | 12:25
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