ABOUT AF JUNIOR
Comic Gallery 2022
Dear young and very young friends,
I am both very happy and very excited to meet again at Astra Film Junior, the first and largest audiovisual education program through documentary film in our country. Astra Film Junior will take place in Sibiu, between October 10-16, 2022, after a two-year break.
These years have been difficult and I am looking forward to seeing how thousands and thousands of children and teenagers will come, from all corners of Sibiu County, to the cinema halls and the Dome installed in Piața Mare. I look forward to feeling your tremendous energy, to see the excitement in your clear eyes, to hear your opinions and questions (you children and teenagers always ask the best questions, the hardest and deepest, and most of the time , you still have the most challenging answers).
And this year we aim to familiarize you with the cinematic language and show you different perspectives on the world we all live in and which will soon be your world 100%. I am waiting for you to give free rein to your imagination during the screenings in the cinemas and the Dome and, of course, at the comic contest!
I know that you are the generation that consumes a lot of audiovisual content from a young age, but I also know that you are given too few opportunities to reflect on it. This is precisely where the role of the Astra Film Junior Program is: to provide you with the necessary tools for training critical thinking and practicing the ability to understand the audiovisual content you are exposed to.
We have prepared for you narrative documentary films, made especially for your age. And what can be more interesting than watching a movie with colleagues and friends? The documentaries are carefully selected in such a way that you discover the real life, thoughts, dreams and hopes of children and teenagers with whom you are contemporaries and with whom you can thus become friends, even if you are on different continents.
Astra Film Junior is the round the world that offers you many cinematic perspectives. For those in the 6+ category we have life stories of children close to their own age, children who have come out of anonymity by thinking outside the box, their constant desire for knowledge and their insight. It is, for example, about Yang, an 11-year-old boy from China, who makes many sacrifices to learn all that traditional Chinese theater means. In another movie you will meet Aatos, Amine and Flo, three inseparable friends who are looking for answers to big people's questions. Then you will meet Azat and his colleagues, who take care of an important mission each week through the "Young Journalists" association, respectively Clara, Matei and their friends, who embark on a journey full of adventures and adventures in the Danube Delta.
Children in the 11+ category will find out what children from different corners of the world dream about. Asho from Iran wants to become a famous actor; Ayana, from Kyrgyzstan, would like to be first in an exclusively male sport; Reshad, from Azerbaijan, wants to become a pigeon breeder, and Julieta, a young woman from the Netherlands, initiates an action to green the ocean, which she considers her second home.
High school students will discover, in the program dedicated to the 15+ category, the life of one of the most followed 14-year-old girls on Instagram and how the image of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu is perceived by today's teenagers. Through the documentary films selected for them, young people learn how to react to sexual predators in the online environment and what are the effects of the rapid spread of artificial intelligence - saving humanity or, on the contrary, its total control.
We will also have a Film Workshop for high school students, which aims to practice both the ability of teenagers to understand a documentary film and the process by which it is made, as well as the ability to speak in public.
We challenge you again this year to the long-awaited meeting with comics – a creative educational tool through which we invite you to analyze and interpret the watched audiovisual content, but also to tell your own story through comics – an exercise to strengthen the skill of making a paper on a given theme.
Dear teachers who will accompany the students to Astra Film Junior screenings, we invite you to reflect and discuss in class, together with the students, about the films watched. "Profession Educator", a project dedicated to teaching staff and educational advisors, completes the festival program, offering access to the special screening of the disturbing documentary film: "Why Didn't You Stay for Me" (directed by Milou Gevers). The film will be accompanied by a presentation and followed by a free discussion about the help we can give to children who are going through difficult times after the loss of a parent.
I await you with much love, joy and impatience.
Let's all come to the magical land of documentary film!
Dumitru Budrala, founding director of the Astra Film festival