“Ship of Theseus”, an Indian feature film directed by Anand Gandhi, won the EUR 15,000 Transilvania Trophy at the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) 2013 Awards Gala at the Cluj-Napoca National Theater Saturday evening, according to a press release. The trophy was handed to one of the film’s crew members by actress Luminita Gheorghiu and Czech film director Jiri Menzel, who received an excellency and a life achievement award respectively. An outstanding female photographer is struggling not to lose her intuitive genius following a surgical intervention. An erudite monk is facing an ethical dilemma as he has to choose between his principles and death. A young stock exchange trader follows the trail of a stolen kidney and learns along the way how complicated morality could get. Following the separate trajectories of these three philosophical trips and their unavoidable convergence, “Ship of Theseus” explores such issues as identity, justice, beauty, meaning and death.
The best director prize went to Japanese director Rikiya Imaizumi for “I Catch a Terrible Cat”, while the jury award went to directors Ana Guevara Pose and Leticia Jorge Romero for “So Much Water” (Uruguay). The list of TIFF Awards:
Best Performance in a Feature Film: Gustav Dyekjær Giese, in “Northwest” (Denmark);
Award for Best Cinematography: Pankaj Kumar, “Ship of Theseus” (India); FIPRESCI Award: “El limpiador”, directed by Adrian Saba (Peru); Viewers’ Choice Award: “Wadjda”, Haifaa al Mansour (Saudi Arabia /Germany); Excellency Award: Luminita Gheorghiu; Life Achievement Award awarded to a Romanian film figure: Adrian Enescu; Life Achievement Award awarded to an European film figure: Jiri Menzel; Life Achievement Award awarded to a world film figure: Stephen Frears; Award for Best Short Film, Shadow Section: “Death of a Shadow”, directed by Tom Van Avermaet; Romanian Film Days Award for Best Feature Film: “Here …I mean there”, Laura Capatana Juler; Best Romanian Film Days Short Film Award: “Shadow of a Cloud “, directed by Radu Jude; Short Film Special Distinction Award: “Claudiu & The Fish”, directed by Andrei Tanase, and “The Pill of Happiness”, directed by Cecilia Felmeri; Romanian Film Days Award for Best First Film: “A Month in Thailand”, by Paul Negoescu; HBO Award for Best Feature Screenplay, National Screenplay Contest: Bogdan Toma, “Reparation”; HBO Award for Best Short Screenplay, National Screenplay Contest: Radu Barbulescu, “Device 0068”; HBO Award for Best Documentary Screenplay, National Screenplay Contest: Marius Iacob, “About Feeling Good”; “Let’s Go Digital!” Award for Best “Let’s Go Digital!” Film Workshop: “For Carlo”, directed by Teona Galgotiu, Marc Solomon and Eva Todica; Local Competition award: “The Live Fragment”, directed by Banto Csaba and Iszlai Jozsef, and “Home, Sweet Home”, by Abel Visky.
An excellency award and a life achievement award
“I’m overwhelmed,” said actress Luminita Gheorghiu amid the standing ovations on her receiving the Excellence Award. “They called me the princess of the New Wave. They were joking; I took them in stride, it suited me. It had a youngish ring to it. But now, Excellency Award means I’m not allowed to make mistakes anymore,” Gheorghiu said, whom Mihai Chirilov described as the “greatest actress in Romania as of now.”
Czech film director Jiri Menzel, too, was welcomed enthusiastically by the gala attendees. “I thank you had confidence in my vitality. It’s something I won’t forget,” Menzel said, who pointed out that humor is key to his films, as, “when a film lacks smile, it’s boring”. He made his feature film debut at 28, and became one of Europe’s best known film directors two years before the Prague Spring of 1968, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for “Closely Watched Trains/Ostre sledovank vlaky”, one of the six films he made based on stories written by celebrated Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal. The film brought him many more awards and also offered him the chance to leave from the former Czechoslovakia. Menzel nonetheless stayed on and directed over 20 films, most of them prize winners.