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FESTIVALS Romania

TIFF top prize to Thailand, the rest stay in Europe

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The awards ceremony of the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF), held Saturday night at the National Theatre Hall in Cluj-Napoca, saw Thai director Anocha Suwichakornpong walk away with the Transylvania Trophy for her debut feature, Mundane History. It was the only non-European film in the 12-strong competition at TIFF.

Romania's Peter Calin Netzer nabbed the Best Directing Award for Medal of Honor [+see also:
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, while one of the top contenders for the prize, Danish prison drama R, won Best Cinematography.

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For its technical innovation, the Special Jury Prize went to Dutch director Noud Heerkens’ Last Conversation, a 70-minute film shot in a single take with 25 cameras attached to a moving car.

Romanians didn't miss out on their own party, however. Besides Lifetime Achievement Awards for local and international legend Liviu Ciulei and actress Dorina Lazar, the Best Performance Award was shared by Ozana Oancea, the star of First of All, Felicia [+see also:
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, and veteran actor Victor Rebengiuc for Medal of Honor. Oancea also won the Romanian Days Award for Best Debut.

First of All, Felicia won Best Screenplay as well, prompting renowned screenwriter and first-time director Razvan Radulescu to joke about the curse of winning only screenplay prizes.

The FIPRESCI Prize was given to Christmas by Sebastian Lelio, a former Transylvania Trophy winner for his first feature, The Sacred Family, while Daniel Sanchez Arevalo second feature Fat People [+see also:
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picked up the Audience Award.

The Romanian Days Award for Feature Film was won by Florin Serban's If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle [+see also:
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and the section's Short Film prize went to Adrian Sitaru's The Cage.

One of the evening's most emotional moments was the so-called Proclamation from Cluj-Napoca, a protest against a draft law by veteran Romanian filmmaker Sergiu Nicolaescu that, if passed, could replace the system of credits given by the Romanian Film Council with “a discretionary evaluation of film projects”, which could diminish young filmmakers' access to public funds.

TIFF Director Tudor Giurgiu invited to the stage all those who did not approve of Nicolaescu's draft, which made many in the audience join him in silent support of the proclamation, also endorsed by Wim Wenders, who was in Transylvania to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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