For 5 days, Timișoara becomes the land of fantastic experiences, with multiple screenings of feature films in national premiere or preview in Timișoara, with special guests, short films, and documentaries about the myth of Count Dracula.
The special guest of the Dracula TiMes festival is Bram Stoker’s great-great-nephew, teacher and writer Dacre Stoker.
Although he was a performance athlete in his youth, Dacre followed in his uncle’s footsteps, publishing two books that became bestsellers, Dracula the Un-Dead, a sequel to the famous 1987 novel, and the novel Dracul, written with J.D. Barker, which will be adapted into a film, directed by Andy Muschietti (IT). Dacre is the screenwriter, director and producer of the documentary Dracula Meets Stoker.
In Timișoara, Dacre Stoker will open the Dracula TiMes festival, Wednesday November 29, from 17.00 at FABER, with the Stoker on Stoker multimedia presentation (60 min).
Stoker on Stoker, The Mysteries Behind the Scenes of the Writing of Dracula weaves the details of Dracula’s history with Stoker family lore and Bram Stoker’s life in Dublin and London, then separates fact from fiction, revealing the truth about Stoker and Dracula.
Dacre Stoker will also be present at Cinema Timiș on Thursday, November 30, after the screening of the film The Last Voyage of the Demeter (England, Germany, USA, 2023), where he will answer questions from the audience. Dracula fans will surely remember that Demeter is the name of the ship that transported the vampire from Transylvania to London in Bram Stoker’s book. The film is presented in the national premiere in Timișoara.
At FABER this time, Dacre Stoker will present on Friday, December 1, the documentary film whose screenwriter he is, In Search of Bram Stoker’s Castle: Dracula’s Castle (Romania, Ireland, Moldova – 2021).
In 2012, the Dutch researcher Hans de Roos discovered at the library of the Rosembach Museum in Philadelphia, USA, new documents from which Bram Stoker was inspired to write the book Dracula.
These documents contain exact coordinates of the location of the fictional castle described by Bram Stoker, which is in the Călimani Massif. After acquiring these new documents, Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great-great-nephew, sets out on a world-wide research campaign for the documents that inspired Bram Stoker to write the book.
In the last phase, Dacre Stoker arrives in Romania where, together with a team of Romanians, he goes to the Călimani Mountains to look for the location of Dracula’s fictional castle.
European guests, national premiere films
The Dracula TiMes festival has a series of European guests, who will present films for the absolute premiere in Romania, in Timișoara.
Valentin Greuter, producer from Switzerland, will tell the audience about Mad Heidi, a tasty comic feast reminiscent of classics such as Top Secret, only in the Horror key, with the Swiss icon fighting extremely bloody battles with the fascists in a dystopian future… the cheese.
Turkish director Metin Kuru presents Forbidden Wedding, a mystical journey with bloody consequences.
Coming from Hungary, the director Isti Madarász will talk about Halfway Home, a romantic fantasy that won the grand prize Dracula Film Festival 2023. The film also won 2 important prizes this year, the Best Motion Picture Award at Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival 2023 and Silver Mélies Award at Brussels BIFFF, 2023.
From Sweden, actor Ola Rapace (who became famous for his role as Patrice in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall) and French director Keyvan Sheikhalishahi will present the short film Divertimento.
CINECONCERT L’Inferno Live with live score by Bosco, in partnership with Sombra – Festival de Cine Fantástico Europeo de Murcia (Spain)
A musical and poetic experiment, the screening of the Italian classic L’Inferno (1911) is complemented by an original soundtrack performed live by the band Bosco (Spain). Based on “Divina Comedie” by Dante Alighieri, the film is one of the first feature films in history.
Bosco, the Spanish quintet that defines its music as “Renaissance psychedelic”, will hold a concert based on the images of the Italian silent film L’Inferno di Dante (1911), made up of 54 scenes and pigmented with animated paintings, on December 2 at the Timiș Cinema inspired by Gustave Doré. Bosco, a band whose concerts full of theatricality and poetry have been characterized as “hallucinogenic with a visceral effect”, alternate passages in which industrial rock intertwines with electronic music, which alternates with others in which sensitive folk coexists with pop sounds.
Special events with guests from Romania
Producer, actor and director, Florian Zapra from Bistrita will bring a selection of short films from the festival he founded in Dublin, the Dublin Short Film and Music Festival – DISFMF, as well as the feature film with which he made his directorial debut, Katharina.
Timișoara director Florin Iepan will present the documentary film Bela Lugosi, The Fallen Vampire (2007) which tells the life story of Bela Lugosi, who created the cinematic character of Count Dracula in Hollywood in the 1930s. Directorul Muzeului de Istorie de la Brașov, Nicolae Pepene, will tell the present audience about the documentary Dracula – travel agent. The film presents a spectacular aspect of both recent Romanian historiography and the history of Romanian tourism: the way in which the Romanian communist authorities capitalized on the commercial myth Dracula and the “dispute” between the count created by Bram Stoker and the historical figure Vlad Ţepeş.
Irina Margareta Nistor, well-known film critic, arrives at the Dracula TiMes festival, where she will present three films starring the actor Willem Dafoe: Shadow of the Vampire (England, Luxembourg, USA – 2000), The Lighthouse (USA, 2019) and Poor Things (Ireland, England, USA – 2023).
At the same time, Irina Margareta Nistor is also the president of the jury of the Dracula Digital competition, the competition of short films filmed with mobile phones, intended for young people from Timisoara. The jury of this competition also includes Eliza Claudia Filimon, Ph.D. Lecturer at the English Department of the Faculty of Letters of UVT and Florian Zapra, director.
The Dracula TiMes project is part of the national cultural program “Timișoara – European Capital of Culture in 2023” and is financed by the European Echoes program, run by the Project Center of the Municipality of Timișoara, with amounts allocated from the state budget, through the budget of the Ministry of Culture.
Romania Journal supports the event as media partner.