Dumitru Budrala is a film director, director of photography and author of documentary photography. His documentaries have been screened and awarded at festivals all over the world. He holds a PhD in visual anthropology and has published books and articles based on his research work in Transylvania. He is the founding director of Astra Film Studio (1991) and of Astra Film Festival (1993).
Csilla Kato has been with Astra Film Festival since 1998, She is working in the departments of communication, film selection / programming, Astra Film Junior, DocumentaryTank @AFF. For several editions from the position of artistic director, coordinates the programming department of the festival. She has served in international film festival juries and was appointed as an expert in various international industry programmes in documentary film festivals across Europe and beyond. She studied cultural anthropology and film at Eötvös Loránt University in Budapest, as well as studies at the London School of Economics and the Australian National University in Canberra.
Adina Marin has worked with Astra Film since 1996 as a programmer, publications editor, festival producer among others. She has been the programmer of the DocSchool section since its inception almost two decades ago. More recently, she has coordinated the programming of the New media section ''The Future is now''. She has extensive, decades long, experience in documentary cinema industry . She has curated retrospectives and thematic programmes for Astra Film Festival and year-round programmes such as the Astra Film Cinematheque and the Traveling Festival. She has served in international juries.
Michael Stewart is the founding director of Open City Documentary Festival, London and Director of Open City Docs School at University College London (UCL) where he runs a Masters in Ethnographic and Documentary Film. He runs the Future Media Studio at UCL which works with Open City Docs School to deliver film training at all levels. He is an anthropologist and spent a number of years in Broadcast production (Everyman, Timewatch, BBC). Michael has been a most friend to the Astra Film since its very first edition and for all these years the Festival has relied on his academic and documentary film production expertise.
Critically-acclaimed and award-winning Romanian director and screenwriter Cristi Puiu is often labeled as one of the founders of the Romanian New Wave, even though he rejects this label. His first feature film The Death of Mr. Lazarescu has won him the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival 2005. After his next film Aurora (2010), for which he wrote the script, did the direction and played the main character, Puiu wrote and directed Sieranevada, which was selected in the Palme d’Or competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2016. Malmkrog, his most recent film has been selected in the new competition section of the Berlinale, Encounters. According to his own statement, "cinema is about truth", and with this view he shares Astra Film Festival's vision and has been one of its most valued collaborators for the past two decades.