Cluj-Napoca is UNESCO City of Film!

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Cluj-Napoca has joined the network of UNESCO creative cities, with the title of City of Film, along with Cannes (France) and Gdynia (Poland), becoming the first city in Romania to be a member of this prestigious international structure! The list of the 49 cities that join the Creative Cities network was published on November 8, three of them receiving the title of City of Film.

The 21 UNESCO film cities span the globe, from Japan to South America, with the network encouraging partnerships and the exchange of ideas. Each city of film comes with a unique cinematic heritage.

Overall, the UNESCO network of creative cities, created in 2004, comprises almost 300 cities in over 80 countries. The network is designed to encourage greater partnerships between UNESCO and creative cities around the world.

Cluj receives this title the year when the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF) celebrated its 20th anniversary, marking two decades in which it contributed massively to transforming the city into one of the most active in Romania, from a cultural point of view.

One of the most important festivals in the region, Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF), has put Cluj on the map of the film industry, having as a common goal with local authorities, in the long run, its transformation into a major center of film production, attracting Romanian and foreign producers, investments in the local economy and training of professionals at the local level.

The development of this project is as important as there is a collaboration of the cultural sector in the city and the active participation of culture in the approach of urban development, to which the activity of the Clujean Cultural Center has contributed significantly in the last 5 years.

The city has the potential to revive its own history: at the beginning of the 20th century, the “Transylvanian Hollywood”, as Cluj was nicknamed, produced dozens of films, under the direction of Jenő Janovics, the founder of Transylvania Studios. In this sense, the plans for the next years include the launch of the first regional film fund in Romania, the development of the film studio within the Regional Center of Excellence for Creative Industries (CREIC) and the stimulation of the local film industry.

“I am glad that this title is sealing the major influence that the TIFF brand has had on the city in the past 20 years. The first major cultural event in Cluj has paved the way to other great projects, has influenced generations of children and youngsters, has shaped mentalities and has boosted tourism and the development of the local businesses, has capitalized iconic spots for the city. TIFF has has a major impact on the city’s cultural profile, has determined the establishment of new film faculties. Cluj is undoubtedly a city of film”, said Tudor Giurgiu, TIFF president.

Extremely attractive as a geographical location, hosting old urban areas that can pass as any other historic city in Europe, Cluj-Napoca is the only city in Romania that has several functional one screen cinemas and attract a large number of spectators. At the same time, three local universities have specializations in the field of media and visual arts: “Babeș-Bolyai” University, through the Faculty of Theater and Television, Sapientia University, through the Faculty of Sciences and Arts (Research Center for Film and Media Studies) and the University of Art and Design.

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