The month of June is quickly approaching. For Cluj, it’s no ordinary month. No, Sir, not at all. On the opposite, it’s an extraordinary month. It’s the most extraordinary month in the life of the city. It’s the month where the city’s heart pumps life through all its pores, where energy flows on the streets, where every little square inch comes to life.
Why this excitement? Well, there’re several events that make the month this great, but I would single out two events:
1. The Transylvania International Film Festival – or TIFF
TIFF has already become a brand of the city. It has turned Cluj into the Romanian capital of film. For the last 10 years it has slowly evolved from a little project showing independent films in a few theatres to a full-blown festival engulfing the city, changing its core, even influencing the city’s overall direction. The major achievement of the festival though is that it has given Cluj a cultural brand. Through TIFF, Cluj is different. Cluj is unique. Cluj is great.
This year, TIFF will descend upon the city on June 3rd and will take it over until June 12th. I won’t go into details about the films, actors, events, etc, as the festival website (www.tiff.ro) has all the pertinent information you need. I will just recommend making time for it, because you have the opportunity to see the city in a completely different light (natural or projected), while watching great films from all over the world in a movie theater, in the Cluj main square
an opera house
the courtyard of a medieval castle being restored outside of town
or even on a highway under construction
TIFF is full of surprises!
2. This is new. A new event. A brand new event. The Internationa Romani Art Festival.
I recently found out about this festival. It started in Timisoara where it;s been growing for the past 5 years, this year the organizers decided to move it to Cluj. I am very excited about this festival. They will bring the Romani culture, with its beauty, nomadic spirit, music and all forms of art to Cluj.
The festival will start on June 16 and end on the 19th. It will include film presentations, music concerts. photo exhibitions, workshops, parties, etc. I am very happy, because it will again reveal the city’s multicultural essence.
I’ll also try to be honest – I am most excited about the music. They are bringing some great bands, including the “Taraf De Haidouks” (these guys played in Berkeley while I was in school there!!!) but also some other great bands.
For more info, check out their website (www.iraf.ro)
So, to wrap this post up, if you’re looking for a good time to come to Cluj, this is it. June. It doesn’t get better than this!