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June 28, 2022

Towards a new cinema culture

The new Church of Cinema. With screening halls turned into the new places of warship where the masses of the cinematographic art are performed. With catecheses meant to deepen the new belief through master classes, workshops and conferences devoted to all its aspects: from the art of acting to digital innovations, from the secrets of the industry to the technique of animation or from writing a script to post-production. With seminars organised for the training of future professionals. With processions to the holy city of cinematography of Transylvania, from one church to another one, each with its relics. The new technologies already enable the accessing of a map available to the beneficiaries of the biggest pilgrimage of its kind in Romania even on smart phones. With saints – or, if you prefer, sacred monsters of the cinema – celebrated in special sections with quite unusual screenings. With still successful stars, like mighty cardinals sharing blessings and advice. With the preachings by famous missionaries coming here to share the benefits of the new warship. With the icons of cinema starts exposed for veneration to the believers besieging the city. Although the generic of the new TIFF edition – ‘Film as religion’ – and the spot or visuals inspired by the typology of the ‘film addict’ succumbing to an overdose, insists on this comparison which, to the most pious of us, may sound like a blasphemy, and for the free-thinkers unconvincing, the stake is quite real. In a world of  the screen-image (to quote Baudrillard) in the epoch where art comes out of museums into the street, for a concreteness of the spectacle, in full expansion of the multimedia universe, the cinema discovers its potential even in marginal Romania. Encouraged by the new Romanian wave that ahs not broken yet, by the success of a festival that has now gone beyond ten editions, by the often overcrowded cinema halls during the ten days of screenings, by the interest shown by juniors, the TIFF organisers have intuited that the future identity of the festival depends on the emphasis it places on cinematographic education, be it implicit or explicit. The ambition challenge is to become the ferment of a school of cinematographic culture. Any method is worth trying in that respect: open space screenings (outdoor, in the central square, at the mall, in peripheral neighbourhoods, at the Baroque palace of Bontida), meant to attract public of all tastes and interests, debates with the filmmakers present on site after the viewing, induction workshops addressed to anyone who wishes to actively join the industry, incentives for viewing educative productions, a competition of local makers – even amateurs – association with other forms of visual creativity (video installations, photography), promotion of the cinema culture management (even in the from of cineclubs which are often missing from the local landscape). The interest is therefore not to develop the love for cinema, but to enlarge the group of people engaged in the cinematographic art and industry. The novelties of the 11th edition of TIFF are: a new training programme, ‘Transylvania Talent Lab’ (schooling 16 trainees), divided into three sections: script writing, production and distribution – , by that encompassing the entire cinematographic process; a film studio for school pupils especially brought from the Danish Film Institute, the so-called Film-Y, the mobile version of a studio from Film-X of Copenhagen, where people can make their own movies; the association of the Art Museum with a programme of exhibitions and concerts – TIFFArt; a focus on the Danish, Chinese and Australian cinemas; a new section dedicated to religious matters – ‘Oameni si zei’(Gods and Men); a Stanley Kubrick integral; a new identity space of the festival, the TIFF House, which is an Old City building that was especially renovated for the festival; the live accompaniment of Carl Th. Dreyer’s 1932 ‘Vampyr’ film by Steven Severin, founder of the Siouxsie and the Banshees band; three 1920s American avant-garde short films with live accompaniment by Eiunuiea. Some of the guest starts this year are: actresses Geraldine Chaplin and Mari Torocsik (a living classic of Hungarian cinema and theatre), directors Claude Lelouche and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand), producers Christine Vachon, the founder of the Killer Films production house, Jan Harlan, the executive producer of some of Kubrick’s films (one of the celebrated artists this edition), Roberto Olla, director of Eurimages.

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