Transilvania’s Romanian Days Unspools With Best of Local Cinema

Variety | 6/3/2019 | Christopher Vourlias
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CLUJ, ROMANIA–More than a decade after a tide of critically acclaimed and award-winning features announced the arrival of the Romanian New Wave, the Transilvania Film Festival’s annual Romanian Days program continues to offer a vital and wide-ranging survey of the country’s dynamic film industry.

This year’s edition, which kicks off June 6, will present 15 features and 22 short films over the course of three days in Cluj, presenting what TIFF artistic director Mihai Chirilov calls “a recap of the best in Romanian cinema.”

Highlight - Year - Romanian - Premiere - Whistlers

A highlight this year will be the Romanian premiere of “The Whistlers,” which arrives in Cluj on the heels of its world premiere in Cannes Critics’ Week. Corneliu Poromboiu’s latest feature is a noir-inspired crime thriller about a Romanian police inspector who gets entangled in a high-stakes heist that takes him to the Spanish island of La Gomera. Chirilov describes it as “a genre film, but with an auteur twist.”

“I think [Porumboiu] is the only filmmaker out of the New Wave that’s always surprising,” he says. “He didn’t get stuck in the New Wave; every time he challenges himself, taking different paths. Even when he was not that successful, he was admirable, because he was trying to make something completely different.”

Berlin - Silver - Bear - Winner - Radu

Berlin Silver Bear winner Radu Jude (“Aferim!”) returns to Transilvania with “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians,” which Variety described as “a blistering, acutely topical, meta-fictional attack on Romanian Holocaust denial and historical myopia.” The movie was awarded the Crystal Glove for best film at Karlovy Vary last year. Veteran helmer Radu Muntean’s latest feature, “Alice T.,” follows the turbulent relationship between a young woman and her adoptive mother, which grows complicated by an unexpected pregnancy. Andra Guti won best actress honors in Locarno for the titular role.

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