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Luc Besson’s Dogman Kicks Off 2024 Transylvanian Film Festival

Luc Besson’s Dogman Kicks Off 2024 Transylvanian Film Festival

Luc Besson’s Dogman Kicks Off 2024 Transylvanian Film Festival

The 23rd edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival, kicked off Friday night with a sold-out screening of Dogman, the canine-focused revenge thriller by the French veteran Luc Besson, with Dogman co-star Jojo T. Gibbs in attendance.

Some 3,500 viewers backed Unirii Square in central Bucharest for the start of the 11-day festival, which runs through June 24. The biggest film extravaganza in Romania, the festival is one of the premier events on the Eastern European industry callender, with more than 200 films, exhibitions, concerts, talks and special events scheduled, and around 1,000 industry professionals expected.

Alongside Jojo T. Gibbs, most recently seen in Alex Garland’s Civil War, the TIFF guest list this year includes Italian filmmakers Daniele Luchetti (The Yes Man), who will be honored with the festival’s special award for contribution to world cinema; and Romanian film and theater legend Catrinel Dumitrescu (Aurora), who will receive the excellence award at the closing gala on June 22nd.

Twelve films by first and second-time directors will compete for The Transilvania Trophy and other awards in the main competition.

“The films of the Official Competition tell stories about atypical characters, their reactions to social pressures and the need for connection, affirmation, or independence. Intimate dramas, absurd comedies, unconventional melodramas or family chronicles of different calibers, with a slight predilection for stories of young people at crossroads”, notes Transilvania International Film Festival artistic director Mihai Chirilov.

Mihai Chirilov


Usually heavily focused on European up-and-coming directors this year’s main competition has only five European titles: The Swedish dramedy The Hypnosis by Ernst De Geer, French romantic drama The Dreamer by Anaïs Tellenne, dark comedy-drama Where Elephants Go by Romanian filmmakers Cătălin Rotaru and Gabi Virginia Șarga, and two debuts: The drama Summer Brother by Dutch director Joren Molter and the comedy melodrama The Permanent Picture by Catalonian filmmaker Laura Ferrés. Ther are four competition entries from Asia: The Old Bachelor by Iranian director Oktay Baraheni, Day Tripper from China by Tanqi Chen, and two Indian films: The Adaman Girl, directed by Vinothraj Palani, and Girls Will Be Girls by director Shuchi Talati.

The second edition of the festival’s documentary competition sidebar What’s Up, Doc? is bringing ten itles, nine European productions, and one American: The Featherweight by Robert Kolodny, the true-life story of Italian-American boxer Willie Pep. Romanian cinema is represented with Alice On & Off directed by Isabela Von Tent.

Some of the highlights in the sidebar sections include Danish superstar Mads Mikkelsen historical drama The Promised Land; Yorgos Lanthimos Cannes competition entry Kind of Kindness, which earned Jesse Plemons best actor award; German director Tilman Singer’s bonkers horror thriller Cuckoo with Hunter Schafer and Dan Stevens; South Korean box-office smash Exhuma directed by Jang Jae-hyun; German dramedy Dying by Mathias Glassner who won the Silver Bear for best screenplay at this year’s Berlinale; and acclaimed queer fantasy romantic drama All of us Strangers with Paul Mescal directed by Andrew Haigh.

Tokyo Story

Courtesy of TIFF

TIFF is paying special tribute to Japanese cinema through Focus Japan showcasing contemporary and classic Japanese films and anime and documentary stories. Among other titles the lineup includes three films by one of the most celebrated contemporary Japanese filmmakers Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Evil Does Not Exist, Drive My Car and The Passion) as well as masterpieces from Japanese masters Kenji Mizoguchi (The Governor of Sansho), Shohei Imamura (The Ballad of Narayama) and Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story).

The full 23rd Transilvania International Film Festival competition and documentary line-ups are below.

Official Competition

Daniel Auerbach (Israel) Directed by David Volach

Day Tripper (China) Directed by Yanqi Chen

Girls Will Be Girls (India) Directed by Shuchi Talati

L’Homme D’Argile (France) Directed by Anais Tellenne

Permanent Picture (Spain) Directed by Laura Ferres

Summer Brother (The Netherlands) Directed by Joren Molter

The Adamant Girl (India) Directed by PS Vinothraj

The Hypnosis (Sweden) Directed by Ernst De Geer

The Old Bachelor (Iran) Directed by Oktay Baraheni

The Other Son (Colombia) Directed by Juan Sebastian Quebrada

See Also
Netflix Previews Wallace & Gromit, Zack Snyder’s Twilight of the Gods

Toll (Brazil) Directed by Carolina Markowicz

Where Elephants Go (Romania) Directed by Gabi Sarga, Catalin Rotaru

What’s Up Doc? Competition

Alice On & Off (Romania) Directed by Isabela Tent

April In France (France) Directed by David Boaretto

Casablanca (Italy) Directed by Adriano Valerio

Danger Zone (Poland) Directed by Vita Drygas

Echo of You (Denmark) Directed by Zara Zerny

Eternal You (Germany) Directed by Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck

Glass, My Unfulfilled Life (The Netherlands) Directed by Rogier Kappers

Kix (Hungary) Directed by Dávid Mikulán, Bálint Révész

La Reine (Czech Republic) Directed by Nikola Klinger

The Featherweight (USA) Directed by Robert Kolodny

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