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Astra Film Festival

Astra Film Festival 2009 - Awards

Grand Prize

offered by Raţiu Family Charitable Foundation

Gsndhi's Children by David MacDougall, Australia


Beyond its indisputable ethnographic value and the extremely humane nature of the anthropological discourse, “Gandhi’s Children” has the great merit of reminding us that prior to being anything else, a film is the amazement in the eyes of the author, tenderly returned to the world in the form of an imperfect document resulted from the investigation of reality.

Sibiu - Hermannstadt Award

Alyosha by Meelis Muhu, Estonia


For the best treatment of the questions of identity and nationalism in a post-Communist society. Alyosha analyses the ways to redefine an oppressed national psyche following the loss of the geographical and political certitudes imposed by the past totalitarian regimes. In an innovative way, the main character of the film is a statue which crosses Estonia’s recent history and upon which are concentrated all the ethno-political tensions which affect today’s Europe.

International Competition - Best Film

offered by HBO Romania

Sweetgrass by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor, USA


SweetGrass, an anthropological film with soul, whose makers understand that the duration of sequences in the film is intimately connected with the temporality of the lives of transhumant cowboys.

International Competition - Special Jury Prize for Best Cinema Narrative

offered by Astra Film Sibiu

Glorious Exit by Kevin Metz, Switzerland .


For showing normal life in a society that is too easily seen as exotic. Strong cinematic narration, full of emotion and sensibility for its subjects within a strong formal frame that allows the importance of characters to shine out in a well told story

Europe Competition - Best Film

offered by Duna TV

Singing by Rossella Schillaci, Italy


For the grace and humour with which the film explores the traditions of the little known Albanian community of Sicily, bringing together a solid ethnographic research with cinematic elegance and a gift for avoiding all the pitfalls of exoticism. A film about what it means to live in modernity, keeping alive customs from a revolute past.

Europa Competition - Best Film on Eastern - European Issues

offered by The Foundation Deventer Roemenie and Filmhuis de Keizer, the Netherlands

Against Blood Justice by Nathalie Rossetti & Turi Finocchiaro, France


 For the sensible way in which we are shown the functionning of the procedure of forgiveness in a blood conflict in today’s Albania, where for a long while the vendetta seemed to prevail as the only form of justice. The film cleverly uses rough footage coming from the characters themselves, thus showing us through it the human capacity to transcend pain and guilt in order to safeguard collective dignity and the capacity to reinstaure the lost social harmony.

Romania Competition - Best Film

offered by Soros Foundation Romania

Bird's Way by Trencsényi Klára & Vlad Naumescu, Romania


A classic film of “salvage anthropology”, documenting the disappearing traditions of the Russian Old Believers’ community in the Danube Delta. The director’s access to her subjects speaks of mutual long-term respect and trust, with dedication and commitment to her characters. The film is crafted with sensitivity and a beautiful understanding of the power of the visual image to reflect the passage of time, space and communal memory, and ends on a charming and hopeful message for the future. Filmed with respect over three years, Birds’ Way penetrates the life of a vanishing minority in the historical context of today’s Romania

Romania Competition - Award for Best Research

offered by Formula As Cultural Magazine

Children of Uranium by Adina Popescu & Iulian Ghervas


For the methodical way in which the film reveals the daily ordeal of a small population of outcasts living in the highly contaminated zone of a Transylvanian valley, where during more than 50 years the strategic uranium ore has been extracted without any regard for the life of the inhabitants, first for the profit of the USSR, then by the successive Romanian regimes. We have been particularly touched by the human approach, as well as by the multilayered narration which touches a taboo subject, while letting the viewers draw their own conclusions.

Student Film Competition - Best Film

offered by National Centre for Cinematography / Centrul Naţional al Cinematografiei & Sony

Until the Time Comes by Zoltan Csubrillo, Hungary


 Best Student Film Award goes to Until the Time Comes... , for doing something that is vanishingly rare in films about Eastern European villages today: looking at a dying world without the slightest hint of nostalgia or feelings of loss and pity. This is a brave and heartening film that finds the metaphysical in the slightest gestures of the everyday. We find here a true cinematic vision.

Student Film Competition - Special Jury Prize

offered by Romanian Public Television (TVR)

Family 068 by Toni Edo & Ruben Margallo, Spania


Special Jury Prize in the STUDENT competition goes to Family 068 for its beautiful observation shot through with empathy for people living happy and inventive lives on big field of garbage in Nicaragua.