Twin Peaks marathon, meeting via Zoom with Shane Atkinson, and other special events at AIFF 8

A marathon of the most fascinating art-house series of the ’90s, Twin Peaks, screenings of cult films, which among other things pay homage to the late legend Roger Corman, meetings with renowned American directors, screenwriters, and producers, are some of the surprises prepared by the American Independent Film Festival (AIFF) this year for its audience. Șansa Ta, Teen Challenge, Studiourile Ferentari, Hospice Casa Speranței, and Expert Forum are the five non-profit organizations to which this year’s festival proceeds will be donated, continuing AIFF’s charitable mission.

Screenwriter Larry Gross and producer Rose Kuo will be present at this year’s edition in Bucharest and Bran. Larry Gross will hold a Q&A session after the screening of Eddie Murphy’s debut film, 48 hrs, on Monday, June 10, at 8:00 PM at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Bucharest. Rose Kuo will introduce the films Hit Man and Love Lies Bleeding in Bran and will moderate a Zoom Q&A with director Alexander Payne after the screening of his film, The Holdovers. Also on Zoom, director Shane Atkinson will be present after the screening of his film LaRoy, at Elvire Popesco.

Nearly 2,500 euros were donated last year to active NGOs in Romania. This year, all AIFF proceeds will be equally distributed among the Șansa Ta Association, which works with families with children in risk situations; Teen Challenge, the only network of centers dedicated to rehabilitation and combating addictions in young people in Romania; Studiourile Ferentari, an NGO that offers free courses to children from Ferentari; Hospice Casa Speranței, the largest foundation in the country providing free palliative care services; and Expert Forum, a think tank for public policy and administrative reform. Cinephiles will be able to learn more about these causes from representatives of each association who will be present before some festival film screenings to briefly present their activities.

The special screening of Twin Peaks, 24 years after the series premiere, brings the fascinating story of Laura Palmer to the big screen in a Bucharest cinema for the first time. The audience will be able to watch the first season of the series, lasting 7 hours, at the Cinema Muzeul Țăranului, at the price of a regular screening (25 lei). The strange tone, supernatural elements, and campy, melodramatic portrayal of eccentric characters make this series a surreal, unconventional work that continues to have ardent fans worldwide.


LaRoy (dir. Shane Atkinson), starring indie stars John Magaro (First Cow, Past Lives), Steve Zahn (The White Lotus), and Dylan Baker (The Americans, The Good Wife), is a dark comedy about crime, packed with eccentric characters, memorable performances, and plot twists, telling a strange and threatening story of betrayal, greed, and sacrifice that will stay with you long after viewing. The audience will be able to meet Shane Atkinson in a Q&A on Zoom after the screening of the film.

Between the Temples (dir. Nathan Silver) is an unusual romantic comedy starring one of Wes Anderson’s favorite actors, Jason Schwartzman, and the incredible Carol Kane, inspired by Hal Ashby’s classic Harold and Maude. One of the big hits at Sundance this year, Between the Temples can be seen in Bucharest at AIFF before it hits theaters in the USA.

La Cocina, by Alonso Ruizpalacios, a multi-award-winning director at Berlin, is a film with a unique atmosphere, a tragicomic tribute to the invisible people who prepare our food, shot in black and white, with Mara Rooney in the lead female role.

Riddle of Fire (dir. Weston Razooli) is a modern fairy tale set in Wyoming, where three mischievous children, trying to bring their mother her favorite blueberry pie, are kidnapped by poachers, fight a witch, outsmart a hunter, befriend a fairy, and form a friendship that will last forever.

TRIBUTE TO ROGER CORMAN (April 5, 1926 – May 9, 2024)

Roger Corman can be called the father of American indie cinema, the author of numerous genre films that have attained cult movie status. As a director, he discovered future stars like Robert De Niro, Peter Fonda, and Jack Nicholson; as a producer, he helped filmmakers like Peter Bogdanovich, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese realize their visions; and as a distributor, he brought the works of the most important foreign directors, from Federico Fellini to Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa, to the USA. In 2009, Corman received an honorary Oscar for his entire career. AIFF will screen House of Usher (1960), directed by Corman, an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s famous story starring the legendary Vincent Price, and Targets by Peter Bogdanovich, produced by the same late filmmaker.


Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s classic story, House of Usher, directed by the legendary Roger Corman, stars Vincent Price as Roderick Usher, a man convinced his family is cursed with incurable madness. So certain of his family’s tragic fate, when his sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey) announces her engagement to Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon), Roderick will stop at nothing to prevent the marriage and the descent of the Usher family.

A former horror film legend, played by a former horror film legend Boris Karloff, is thinking of retiring but gets a new opportunity. On an ordinary day, an apparently normal young man shoots his family and continues his killing spree. The two stories intersect in Targets (1968), Peter Bogdanovich’s debut, who would become a major name in the American film industry with films like The Last Picture Show (1971) and Paper Moon (1973).

Before Lethal Weapon or Die Hard, there was 48 Hours (dir. Walter Hill, 1982), an action film about a cop teaming up with a convict given a 48-hour parole to catch two dangerous criminals. Starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in his first role, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. Get ready for a rollercoaster full of adrenaline, uncensored humor, and a lot of emotion. The audience will be able to meet screenwriter Larry Gross in a Q&A after the film screening on Monday, June 10, at 8:00 PM at the Romanian Cultural Institute, with free entry.