The summer always starts with a fresh week of inspiration from TIFF 2016 in Cluj Napoca, probably the most creative place in Romania. Some of the best designers, photograpers & painters started out in this lovely old town. The city becomes crowded with actors, directors, writers, lifestyle art & culture bloggers and journalists, architects, designers and all sorts of creative, free-spirited people who work in the movie-making industry, in the press or are just movie aficionados and fans.

Whether you’re going out to eat or just working in a coffee shop, there’s big chances you will see a huge actor or director sitting at the table next door. I’m not talking about celebrities, I’m talking about artists that create the kind of movies that inspire anc change lives. Although there’s a lot of well know people this year as well.

Here you can find FIVE things to do while at TIFF 2016 – besides watching movies, of course.

 

1. Sophia Loren at TIFF 2016

SophiaLoren-jumping-TIFF 2016

Sophia Loren from the Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book  (The Bible of Jumping)

This shouldn’t need any more comments but the fact that they’re bringing and celebrating Sophia Loren’s career this year in just the best news ever. The legendary actress will be present at some events and movie screenings as she will receive an award. And yes, you can buy tickets for the screening where she will attend.  And yes, I am keeping my fingers crossed for a selfie with La Loren.

2. Cofeee shops

If you have a ‘weakness’ for working in coffee shops, Cluj is a heaven. Casa TIFF is filled with people who work in the festival or came here to attend it from far far away. Then there’s Sisters Caffe. There’s Koffer which has a wonderful design and the best cakes. Then there’s Amadeus Mozart Cafe. And Doamna T, which is one of my favorites because the interraction with the staff, the stories they tell and the garden is just magic.
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This one is at Sisters Caffe
Probably the place I’ll visit the most these days is Donuterie, the best donut place in Romania, by far. They have it only in Cluj, Sibiu and Targu Mures and I’m going to leave this photo here for you to enjoy.
 clujnapoca-coffeeshops-tiff2016

3. The live music concerts at TIFF 2016:

You need to let your groove on at the end of the day. And what better way to do it then with live music from really talented artists, surrounded by cool people? So here’s a bit of a schedule with jazz, rock, electro, blues and DJ sets. You can get tickets to any of them. Or all of them.
31st of May 2016 
De Beren Gieren – Live Casa TIFF – really curios about listening to them, they’re doing a lot of improvisations on their live sets with  a bass, piano and drums.
A Hawk and Hacksaw – Live  at Casa TIFF
Baasch from Poland – Live at Urania Palace
1st of June 2016
Alexandrina Hristov – Live  at Casa de Cultura a Studentilor – this is not one to miss, she has an incredible energy at every live show, I’ve listened to her play for 10 people and 500 people and the energy is unique everytime
Suie Paparude – Live at Urania Palace
2nd of June 2016
OCS – Live at Urania Palace
Zmei3 – Live at Casa TIFF – this is my pick for that day

3rd of June 2016
Zum – Live at Casa TIFF
Urma – Live at Urania Palace
4th of June 2016
Vita de vie – Live at Urania Palace 

4. The Cluj-Napoca Botanical Garden

Seriously, if you’re in Cluj, you need to check out the garden in the summer, it’s in full bloom and it looks and smells like heaven. It’s best to do it in the afternoon when the sun starts setting. It will make the festival experience a bit more chilled-out and green. It’s relaxing, especially in the Japanese garden. And if it’s raining, it’s even more special. I have a tradition of going there with my friend, Cristina Bazavan. So I’m going there in two days, when she’ll be at TIFF and we’ll take our laptops and work there. Or just enjoy a few quiet hours in the garden.

Here’s a few photo she took of me two years ago.

The-Fashion-Jumper---japanese-garden---3

5. The parties at TIFF 2016

It’s all about the HBO party, the MasterCard party, the after parties that happen almost every night at Casa TIFF and other secret parties. In the past, I went to a few of them and it felt surreal to be in the same room with people who inspire, change and create such wonderful pieces of art. Starstruck x 100.
The minus is that it’s not easy at all to get an invite. That’s why I put it last on my list.

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