TIFF is always home at the French Institute

The French Institute is a very unique TIFF location were  mostly documentaries are shown. This cosy place hosts many interesting events besides TIFF festival, for instance, next week there will be Tres Court festival. So I wanted to know more about the people behind all these events happening here.

When I first saw Ioana – responsible manager for cultural and communication department in Institut francais – I thought she was French. Her hairstyle, clothes and the manner of speaking made me think so. Ioana studied French literature and language at the Faculty of Letters in Babes-Bolyai university. Then she did her Erasmus in  Sorbonne where she made her Phd! I was surprised to see that such a passionate about art and literature person is working as a manager, but I got to understand that her work has much to do with her skills. However Ioana said that she loves her job because she meets different artists, singers and other creative persons, she enjoys working with people and every day for her is unique! For sure she is the right person to be here and organize projects because looking at her one could really tell that she is enjoying what she is doing. I felt like I could talk with her forever about literature, France, art and movies!


It’s her first year of working as a manager in Institut francais and of course first time with TIFF. Ioana remembers how it’s all started 15 years ago and how in some years it has become so popular that many young people wanted to be volunteers there. And now she is responsible for 4 volunteers.

Sonya is in high school but even now she is quite a determinate person – the girl wants to enter Greenwich University in England (yes -yes that one that is on the Greenwich line). For now, she had already managed to watch 16 movies (and the number is constantly increasing) and her favorite one is a German film Wild. This is her second year of volunteering and she enjoys being part of the screening department and watching some movies afterwards.


Andrei was more shy and said that he is volunteering because he wants to make friends. He studies at Polytechnic University and has some exams now, that’s why he hadn’t unfortunately seen movies of the festival so far.



It’s the third time Antonia participates in TIFF. Movies is her passion and she tries to see as many during the festival as possible. “This is my reward”, - she said. This is her last year at FSPAC in Babes-Bolyai university where Film Studies was her favourite subject.  And there is one more volunteer who is not in the database of the festival but who helps Ioana a lot  – it’s her husband Sorin. He works in the airport and after he finishes he goes to help Ioana with the location. After meeting Ioana and her nice volunteers I got a feeling that they are like a family – there is so much understanding and mutual help and warmth! Maybe Ioana didn’t move to France but she has created her little France here – in Cluj.

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Nadzeya Prasvirava