12 ingenious movies running at TIFF 2016


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The Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF) held during May 27-June 5 is runing under the sign of diversity and ingenuity, with the young filmmakers artfully demoshiling the conventions of genres such as horror, thriller, romance or western. The 12 movies racing for the Transylvania trophy are coming from 16 countries: France, Tunisia, Belgium, Iceland, Denmark, Australia, India, Bulgaria, Romania, UK, Germany, Israel, Spain, Cambodia and, for the first time in the festival’s history, Vanuatu. Nine of them are debut films.

The TIFF 2016 teaser available here: https://youtu.be/M2jfbsjeS9c

The first movie invited in the competition was Island City (India) and the last one was De l’ombre il y a (France/Cambodia). They are incredibly different: the first is a movie in sketches with no connection between them, each of the three episodes relating to another cinema genre. The other film is defying the narrative conventions and evades any label, producing a visceral emotional cinema experience,” said Mihai Chirilov, TIFF artisitc manager.

The only Romanian film racing for TIFF trophy is Dogs, a debut movie by Bogdan Mirică, the co-director and scenarist of HBO production Shades. The film will be also screened within A certain Regard at Cannes and will have its national premiere in Cluj-Napoca. The thriller starring Dragoș Bucur, Vlad Ivanov și Gheorghe Visu follows the story of a young man from a remote village in Dobruja who becomes the witness of a strange events.

Dogs. Photo credit Iulia Weiss
Dogs. Photo credit Iulia Weiss


Shelley by Ali Abbasi is also a debut film, a horror compared to Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, talking about a pregancy controlled by malefic powers which becomes a threat for the surogate-mother who is embodied by the Romanian actress Cosmina Stratan (Beyond the Hills).

À peine j’ouvre les yeux is the debut of female director Leyla Bouzid (Venice 2015), capturing the story of a teen girl mad about rock’n’roll who discovers the rebellion and the dangers of an oppresive regime on the eve of the Tunisian Revolution in 2010.

The Icelandic Rúnar Rúnarsson comes back in Cluj 5 years after he won the direction award for the Volcano, with Sparrows. The movie follows the way to manhood of Ari, a teenager forced by the circumstances to come back to the disfunctional relationship with his alcoholic father.

Tanna (The audience prize, Venice 2015) was entirely shot by the documentarists Bentley Dean and Martin Butler in Vanuatu, an insular countray in Pacific. Inspired by a local tragic event, the film tells the classic forbidden love story, that is brought to life by the Tanna island natives themselves.

Fado, the debut of German director Jonas Rothlaender is the story of a couple who gives their relationship a second chance.

Island City, the first feature film by director Ruchika Oberoi is an introduction to the current Mumbai through three stories about alienation and control in the modern society.

Thirst (San Sebastian 2015) is the debut of the Bulgarian female director Svetla Tsotsorkova, whos afinity for the minimalist dialogue and Chekhov theatre is found in a rural story animated by frustrations and sexual instincts.Thirst

Tikkun by Avishai Sivan tells the story of a young man who suddenly moves from religious fanatism to contempt following an almost letal accident.

Remainder (by Omer Fast), is a sophisticated psychological thriller about the role of the memory in re-building identity.

La puerta abierta, Marina Seresesky’s debut, is a Madrilenian tragic comedy about the deficient relationship between a mother and his daughter, both prostitutes.

In De l’ombre il y a (by Nathan Nicholovitch), a transvestite established in Cambodia discovers his fatherlike angle after meeting a girl who is prostituting.

Four of the five jury members are Wieland Speck, the director of Panorama section of Berlin Festival, Bill Guentzler, the artistic director of Cleveland International Film Festival, Bulgarian actress Margita Gosheva, awarded for her part in The Lesson at TIFF 2015, and Polish director Tomasz Wasilewski, awarded at TIFF 2014 for the Floating Skyscrapers , presenting this time the United States of Love.

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