News / Activities


Activities - 12/06/2009


Europa Cinemas at the festival of Cluj-Napoca (Romania)


Markéta Colin Hodouskova, responsible for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe at Europa Cinemas, met a host of Romanian professionals at the 8th edition of TIFF, the International Film Festival which took place from 29 May to 7 June at Cluj-Napoca, the principal city in Transilvania.




In just a few years, this festival has become the major venue for Romanian and international professionals and is rapidly turning into one of the foremost events in the region. Numerous festival programmers and purchasing agents for sales and distribution companies were present in Cluj this year.
The festival's programming presents a fine selection of recent films as well as the best of current Romanian production. This year, the "Shadows" section notably proposed to Romanian audiences Julie Delpy's film The Countess, the Danish psychological thriller Fear me not and the French fantastic films Martyrs and Vinyan. Focuses were dedicated to Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Finnish and Moldovan cinema (see our news on the awards ).

The professionals met by Europa Cinemas on this trip include notably Tudor Giurgiu, director of the TIFF and head of Libra Film, a filmmaker and distributor with whom we have cooperated for a number of years, as well as Jakabbfy B. Samu, an exhibitor of several network theatres and distributor with his company Chicago Tour.
Samu deserves special recognition for keeping his theatres going despite material difficulties: The Victoria in Cluj-Napoca and the Cinematograful Libertatea in Oradea, both members of Europa Cinemas, have done much to bring the diversity of European cinema to audiences in the region. The centre of Cluj-Napoca, a University City rich in both Romanian and Hungarian culture, is home as well to the beautiful Arta theatre, also a network member, and the Republica, which we visited during our stay. Markéta also found the time to see the Fox at Turda, whose original architecture (see photo) is worth the visit!

A meeting was also organised with Henri Lebreton, the director of the French Institute in Bucharest, whose film theatre Elvire Popesco is also a network member, and Bernard Houliat, the director of the French Cultural Centre in Cluj-Napoca. Both expressed their wish to develop their activities for Young Audiences. The cinema Elvire Popesco has now started working together with a secondary school in Bucharest.

During the Europa Cinemas conference, which took place in Bucharest in November 2007, the participants sought to encourage the Romanian professionals who were striving to revitalise the insufficient screenage in this country of 22 million inhabitants. The first films by Cristian Mungiu, Cristi Puiu, Catalin Mitulescu and Corneliu Porumboiu among others had just started winning prizes at the principal international festivals, but they couldn't be seen in their own country for lack of adequate cinemas. As a result, Mungiu organised together with his distributor a country-wide tour of his Palme d'Or. Today, as we saw at the most recent Cannes Film Festival, Romanian directors are reaffirming their talent with new works.

While independent exhibitors in Romania continue to face a wide array of difficulties in operating their cinemas, Europa Cinemas is dynamically undertaking to encourage them not only to enhance the place of European films on their screens, but also to meet and exchange their experiences with colleagues from across Europe. All the more reason to continue enlarging the network in this country.
Transilvania International Film Festival:
9 cinemas are members of Europa Cinemas in Romania:
Cinema Studio
Cinema Union
Elvire Popesco
Europa Cinema
Studio Constanta
Modern Craiova
Cinematograful Libertatea

 Pictures (from top): Victoria, Fox, Arta