Bogdan Mirica’s “Dogs” wins Transylvania Trophy at 15th TIFF edition •Italian legend Sophia Loren was presented with a lifetime achievement award

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‘Dogs’ by Romanian film director Bogdan Mirica is the winner of the official competition of this year’s Transylvania International Film Festival TIFF. Minister of Culture Corina Suteu, who presented Mirica with the Transylvania Trophy at the TIFF Closing Gala on Saturday night, said that ‘Dogs’ reveals “real talent and is highly impressive because it is also a film of art.”

Director Bogdan Mirica thanked his parents for allowing him to ramble freely and not constraining him in certain respects, that they let him experience mistakes, sometimes confusion, change his life path even at the age of 30, because this kind of freedom led him to the movie that earned him the TIFF trophy and the 15,000 euro prize.

“I think this kind of creative freedom has influenced and shaped me to a certain extent,” Mirica said in the acceptance speech. ‘Dogs’ was the only Romanian film in this year’s TIFF competition, according to Agerpres.

A special prize called Transylvania Trophy 15, which was created just short before the Gala, was awarded to film director Cristi Puiu for his movie ‘Sieranevada.’ Festival director Michael Chirilov said that he was so impressed by the atmosphere created by the public at the festival screening of the film that he and TIFF president Tudor Giurgiu jointly agreed to offer this prize.

At the current TIFF edition, Italian legend Sophia Loren (photo), whom festival president Tudor Giurgiu said he had wanted as a guest ever since the first edition of the event, was presented with a lifetime achievement award. Supermodel Madalina Ghenea was the one to present her the award and confessed how much the Italian star actress has been a role model for her life and career, and that they both have in common leaving home at 14 of age.

Taking the stage to long standing applause, Sophia Loren said that she is usually excited at such events, but this time emotions are overly high. “Although I’ve been making films for so long, I’m still not sure if I’m doing well what I’m doing. Thank you so much, it was a great surprise. See you next year,” said the actress.

A lifetime achievement award was also offered to former actress of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj-Napoca Lujza Orosz. She couldn’t attend but sent a video message that was played during the Gala.

Scottish film producer Iain Smith received the Transylvania Trophy for Special Contribution to World Cinema, and Romanian actress Carmen Galin received the festival’s Award of Excellence.

“Cluj is my city, this is where I opened my eyes, where I went to kindergarten, where I saw the first movie, where I skated the first time, where I attended the first opera show. Of all the country, this city is dearest to me,” said Carmen Galin.

The Best Director award honored Israeli Avishai Sivan was for his drama ‘Tikkun’; the Audience Award went to ‘The Open Door’ by Argentinean director Marina Seresesky; and ‘Neon Bull’ directed by Gabriel Mascaro was picked for the FIPRESCI international critics award.

The Romanian Movie Days Award was conferred on Gabriel Achim’s ‘The Last Day’ which premiered at TIFF. The prize for Best Actor rewarded David D’Ingeo, and the Special Jury Prize was awarded to ‘Sparrows’ by Icelandic director Runar Runarsson.

Over 800 guests, spectators and journalists – actors George Visu, Olimpia Melinte, Cristina Flutur and Regional Development Minister Vasile Dancu included – attended the ceremony presented by TIFF president Tudor Giurgiu.