Preview: Transylvania 2014 Unites Absorbing Features By A Flock Of Fresh Filmmakers

The Transylvania International Film Festival (May 30 - June 8) takes place in the second biggest Romanian city after Bucharest, and the unofficial capital of the historical province of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca. The fest will screen 12 daring features by six first time and six second time directors in its main competition. Last year, the Transylvanian Trophy went to the highly acclaimed Indian drama, The Ship of Theseus, which happened to also win the best cinematography award. 

The fest's artistic director Mihai Chirilov, asks the following, referring to this year´s crop of competition titles: 

"How many fiction films - borderline documentaries - about albino Afro-Americans are there? How hard is it to make a two-character film, with time and space unity, without turning it into a theatre piece? Can you continue living while taking care of the dead? What does a blind woman see? What does a deaf-mute hear? How is a dog dreaming? What is the price of acknowledging one's own sexuality? How can one still address communism, when people today seem fed up with this topic? At what lengths are two people who lost their child willing to go, in order to recover their lost balance? And, last but not least, if time and space are like a Moebius strip, how would they look in a film?"

The newcomers from all over the world will clash in Cluj with the following titles: White Shadow by Noaz Deshe, Stockholm by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Vis-à-vis by Nevio Marasović, Still Life by Uberto Pasolini, Blind by Eskil Vogt, La vos de los silenciados by Maximón Monihan, Paat by Amir Toodehroosta, Floating Skyscrapers by Tomasz Wasilewski, Quod erat demonstrandum by Andrei Gruzsniczki, Viktoria by Maya Vitkova, Everything We Loved by Max Currie, and Fish & Cat by Shahram Mokri.  Further down, I will preview some of these titles in competition.

Meanwhile, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be handed to prolific Polish director, screenwriter and producer Krzysztof Zanussi during the closing gala and he will be celebrated by a special screening of his debut from 1969, The Structure of Crystal. The same trophy will go also to American actress Debra Winger (Slumber Party ´57, Urban Cowboy, A Dangerous Woman etc.). 

The inseparable part of the rich programming is a peek into local cuisine. The Romanian Days section flourishes with domestic titles of which 22 will be screened. 14 features (4 world premieres) and 8 shorts. On the display will be: Porumboiu´s football docu experiment The Second Game, Caranfil´s Closer to the Moon starring Mark Strong and Vera Farmiga, Jurgiu´s debut The Japanese Dog already awarded in Vilnius, Gulea´s I´m An ld Communist Hag starring the dame of New Romanian Wave, Luminita Gheorghiu, and the road movie teen comedy #Selfie by debuting Cristina Iacob. 

For the full lineup of the fest please visit the official website.

And now for the main event, please click to the right of the 3D speckled man for my take on some of the interesting titles entering this year´s competition.
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