Crime Thriller 'Dogs' Takes Top Prize at Transilvania Film Fest

Caini 3 - H 2016
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

The film is the debut feature by Bogdan Mirica, write and co-director of hit HBO Romanian TV gangster series 'Umbre.'

Bogdan Mirica, writer and co-director of HBO's hit Romanian gangster series Umbre (Shadow), on Saturday won the main award at the Transilvania IFF, Romania's top film festival, for his debut feature, Dogs (Caini), which picked up a FIPRESCI prize last month when it screened in Cannes sidebar Un Certain Regard.

Mirica's Transilvania Trophy for Dogs — a thriller about a young city man who travels to the country to sell the land inherited from his grandfather, only find himself caught up in a local mob war — came with a €15,000 ($17,000) cash prize.

Best director honors went to Israeli filmmaker Avishai Sivan for the spiritual drama Tikkun, and a special jury award was given to Icelandic director Runar Runarsson for the father-and-son drama Sparrows.

The festival, which closed late Saturday with special lifetime achievement awards for Sophie Loren and Mad Max: Fury Road producer Iain Smith, also was the venue for the announcement of plans to introduce tax incentives in Romania to bring it in line with other European countries and the local premiere for another Romanian Cannes title, Cristi Puiu's Sieranevada.

Plans to shake up Romania's system of state film funding could offer international producers incentives to shoot in the country, festival president and film producer Tudor Giurgiu said Friday during a panel discussion.

A new cinema law currently being prepared could include tax incentives similar to those introduced in recent years across Central and Eastern Europe in countries ranging from Hungary to Lithuania.

Incentives, or cash rebates, are among proposals submitted to the Romanian government under a current consultation process, according to Giurgiu. The idea is "to create a more healthy climate for the film industry in Romania," he said.