26 April 2018
Home » About us

About us

100 years ago Kolozsvár (Cluj, Klausenburg) was an important centre of cinematography and film production. A fantastic person, Jenő Janovics (Ungvár /today: Ujhorod/, 1872 – Kolozsvá /today: Cluj-Napoca, 1945), director of the Hungarian Theatre, film actor and director, producer and founder of the Corvin Studio produced the first film ever made in Cluj, Sárgacsikó (The Secret of the Blind Man), presented for the first time in Budapest in 1914.

Because of the real success of his first film – 137 copies made and sent to every corner of the world, from America to Japan –, he decided to create a strong, powerful and important film production centrein Kolozsvár, which became reality in a very short time. In 1914 he decided to found his own film studio (the Janovics Studio, transformed and renamed several times), to purchase his own equipment and to contract young film directors and cameramen. Among these young filmmakers there were Mihály Kertész (known in Hollywood as Michael Curtiz), the Hungarian director of “Casablanca”, with which he won the Academy Award, or Sándor Korda (later Sir Alexander Korda), one of the leading figures of British film industry (his film The Private Life of Henry VIII [1933] was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture).

Janovics Jenő, Kertész Mihály és Korda Sándor

In the following 7-year period (1913–1920) Janovics made more than 60 films in his studios, many of which were considered real successes. However, the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the following political turmoil put an end to his career, and also to film production in Kolozsvár.

After a long period of inactivity, following the fall of the communist regime in Romania, Kolozsvár started to recreate its own small film production centres, trying to regain its former importance and reputation. At this moment, there are three universities in the Cultural Capital of Transylvania, which offer possibilities for film studies, and we boast with one of the biggest and most important film festivals in Central and Eastern Europe, an amazing cultural event, the Transilvania Film Festival (TIFF), dreamed and accomplished by young Romanian film director Tudor Giurgiu.

The local government of the municipality has started to build a new center for creative industries, including film industry. And the list could continue with several non-governmental institutions involved in film production.

Finally, we mustn’t forget FfeST, the International Student Film Festival, the youngest one among the cinematographic events of the city. The organisers of the festival are the three universities with film, media or photo departments, the Babeș-Bolyai University, the Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania and the University of Art and Design. The partner of FfeST is the TransFilmArt Association.                                                                                                                                        Jenő Janovics, Mihály Kertész, Sándor Korda

The goal of this festival is to create an opportunity for young filmmakers to enter into an international competition, to share experience and to learn from eachother. We hope that FfeST could be a first, but at the same time an important step in the professional career of these young and talented students.

We believe that through this film festival dedicated to students we can contribute to the success and reputation of our city in its aspiration and effort to become again an important regional film production centre, just like in the time of JenőJanovics.

 About usDezső Szenkovics PhD, Director FfeST

* the data about the Janovics period were taken from the book of Erzsébet Zakariás: Janovics, the Creator of the Transylvanian Hollywood. Tracus Arte Publishing House, Bucharest, 2014