King Michael documentary voted most popular film at Transylvanian film festival

The Last King Behind the Iron Curtain, Chainsaw Film productions
The Last King Behind the Iron Curtain, Chainsaw Film productions

Moviegoers at the 2022 TIFF festival have voted  „King Michael: The Journey Home,” the most popular film to beat a wide selection of  Romanian and international films.

Romanian king

The 55-minute film which covers the exile of the late Romanian king registered an average approval rating of 4.85 out of a total score of 5 in a In a multi-screen survey, according to Aperitiff, the festival’s official magazine.

In total, 38 movies were in competition in the „open” all-category competition.

Tudor Giurgiu, TIFF’s director called “King Michael: The Journey Home”: „The most loved film by the public” speaking to an audience of 2,500 film-makers and movie goers gathered on Cluj’s main square at the closing ceremony.

He added that the docu-film „had great success at TIFF and it will continue to have a remarkable international career on the streaming platforms.”

In the „Romanian Days” category, the audience handed the first prize to  “Capra cu 3 Iezi.”

The Transylvanian International Film Festival which started in 2002 ran from June 17 -26 this year.

Queen Marie

In 2019, the TIFF audience voted „Queen Marie: Heart of Romania” the most popular of all Romanian movie and it won second spot in all movies.

Both films were written and directed by Trevor Poots and executive produced by John Florescu.  Their first film, „The King’s War” (2016), was released to unexpectedly high ratings on TV broadcast leader ProTV and then followed an international release via History Channel to over 40 countries.

It is estimated that these two films have reached an audience of over 5 million.

Romanian heroes

„I am very happy that regular viewers, one by-one, voted for our films that show Romanian heroes – illustrious men and women who deserve the attention they are getting from the public, young and old.” said John M. Florescu.

„King Michael: The Journey Home” focuses on the little-known life of Michael, spanning 40 years from life in exile in Switzerland and England until his return to his homeland in the early 1990s.

The King finally died in exile in Aubonne, Switzerland in 2017 and was buried at the royal crypt at the cathedral in Curtea de Arges.

The docu-film was released by the HISTORY Channel in October, 2021 and has set a nation-wide viewing record for „one-off” programs on the HISTORY Channel since the network began broadcasting in Romania.

Platinum Jubilee

In Western Europe, the film had a special prime-time airing last month on SKY-History in the UK to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, whose late husband Prince Philip appears in the documentary.

It has also aired across Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in Sweden, Belgium, Holland and India. The film has drawn critical praise from diplomats, historians, journalists and Romanian civic leaders.

In April, Chainsaw launched a new longer version of „King Michael: The Journey Home” to kick off the “2022 National Educational History Tour.”


The 25- city tour began in May, 2022 and will continue into the first quarter of 2023.

It is sponsored by main production backer Banca Transilvania as well as by the History Channel, Groupama, Nuclear Electrica and BAT Romania.

The Chainsaw team who produced the films includes Viorel Chesaru, Senior Producer, Editor Micea Lacatus, Associate Producer Dan Draghicescu and Research Director Laura Beldiman.

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