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The Romanian rowers medalled at the Tokyo Olympics rowed towards the  Astra Film Festival screens

AFF2021 continues in Sibiu with a dense weekend, which can be considered a festival in itself

A special event at the Astra Film Festival. The Romanian rowers medalled this summer at the Tokyo Olympics came to row on the lake in Dumbrava Sibiului. This time, not to win new medals, but to see a film screened during the special Lifeboats Programme. We are talking about the documentary made by journalist Alex Dima (Pro TV, Romania, I love you!), which shows how Romania's forests and our children's right to breathe fresh air gets stolen. Astra Film Festival continues in Sibiu with a weekend that can be considered a festival in itself: on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there will be over 40 cultural events (film screenings, concerts, DocTalks, Q&A sessions).

Honorary guests of the Astra Film Sibiu 2021 festival, Ancuța Bodnar and Simona Radiș, gold medallists in rowing at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and Olympic vice-champions Ciprian Tudosă, Marius Cozmiuc, Mugurel Semciuc and Mihai Țigănesc were greeted with applause at the pier near the Lake Stage. And when they embarked the boats, they took with them a special passenger: a teddy bear, the hero of the People and Bears campaign.

"It's a special night. Last months, the Romanian champions in Tokyo were rowing for silver and gold medals, now they are rowing to get in front of the Astra Film screens to discover the realities presented in the films from the festival’s programme", said Dumitru Budrala, founding director of Astra Film Festival.

Ancuța Bodnar: "I never imagined that I would go to a movie by boat"

Our great athletes expressed their delight to experience, for the first time, watching a movie from a boat.

"I never imagined that I would go to a movie by boat, much less that I would row to see a documentary. It's something completely new to me. I want to thank the organizers of Astra Film Festival, who gave us the opportunity for such a wonderful experience "
, said the Olympic champion Ancuța Bodnar.

Olympic vice-champion Marius Cozmiuc also admitted that it was the first time he took part in such an event. "Watching a movie from the boat, with such a warm audience, is an amazing experience, which I recommend to everyone" said the athlete.

Before the screening of the film, there was silence. It was dark and there was only a ripple of water. It was a tribute to the memory of Ivan Patzaichin.

Alex Dima: "Astra Film is a bubble of normalcy"

The film of the evening, „Watch me rob you blind”, produced by journalist Alex Dima, kept the audience of over 300 people on boats and by the shore, breathless. "It's great to see the material I produced with so many people, who stayed in the boats and didn't care that it was cold. But at Astra Film there are some very warm and very nice people. At Astra Film there's a bubble of normalcy. We keep talking about how to get well. These people here are put in the service of the good and they are changing the face of the things around them. They are scattering rays of good for years. And the people who come to Astra Film are very beautiful people who know what is happening around them ", said Alex Dima

Journalist Paul Angelescu also wanted to mention the “joy and honour” of having presented his production, for the first time, the night before, at the Astra Film Festival. "It's an interesting feeling, but also a little scary, to see your report on the big screen and to observe the reaction of the audience in real time. The experience was amplified by the place chosen for the screening, the lake in the middle of the Astra Museum ", the journalist added.

The Astra Weekend – A Festival in Itself

The Astra Film Festival Sibiu continues this weekend with 42 cultural events not to be missed. Ten films will be followed by discussions with the directors - one of the most vivid moments of the festival, because viewers can delve even deeper into the secrets of the non-fiction film. Also, after the screening of „Between us” (Târgul de Țară, 21:00) a DocTalk discussion, in which the journalist Amalia Enache will analyse together with the psychologist Mihai Copăceanu, doctor in medicine, the couple relationships described in the film, will follow.

The entrance to the screening of "Between us", presented in the section Couples in troubled waters, will be free for couples who will come together to the Astra Museum tonight.

Other films that will be screened on Friday in the presence of authors and special guests: Border of Death (Astra Film Studio, 12:00 - d. Cătălin Apostol), Post-mortem Berlin (Amphitheater, 15:30 - d. Anton von Heisler), #Newtogether (Târgul de Țară, 17:00 - d. Carmen Lidia Vidu, guests Thomas Kloiber, Christoph Krutzler), Us against us (Astra Film Studio, 19:00 – d. Andra Tarara).  On Saturday there will be six films presented in the presence of the authors: Shawkat Mistery (Astra Cinema, 16:00 - d. Ágnes Maksay), Homo sovieticus (Târgul de Țară, 17:30 - d. Ivo Briedis), Hymn from the hive (Târgul de Țară, 19:00 - d. Jacopo Marzi), Motels 18+ (Besoiu Center, 20:30 - d. Claudia Quigua), Occasional Spies (Târgul de Țară, 21.00 - d. Oana Giurgiu) and Certainty of Probabilities (Piața Mică, 21: 00 – d. Raluca Durbacă).

The award gala of the Astra Film Sibiu festival will take place on Sunday, starting at 6pm, at Târgul de Țară, occasion on which the winners of the four competition Sections will be announced: Emerging voices of the documentary, Central and Eastern Europe, Romania and DocSchool.

The Astra Film Festival Sibiu, now in its 28th edition, presents 200 cinematic events that can be watched outdoors, in cinemas and online. At AFF Online, 43 titles from the official selection can be seen online, from anywhere in Romania, until September 19, at 11:59 pm.

Full programme: https://www.astrafilm.ro/ro/program-orar?date=10
Tickets and locations: https://www.astrafilm.ro/ro/bilete-si-locatii

The 28th edition of Astra Film Festival - The International Documentary Film Festival in Sibiu celebrates life, in all its diversity, through over 200 cinematic events. Launched in 1993 as an innovative project in Central and Eastern Europe, AFF Sibiu is an essential event in the European documentary film community, proving to be the most important festival of its kind in Romania, summing up a culture and a history of documentary cinema for decades.

Organized by: Astra Film, CNM Astra and the Astra Film Foundation.

With the support of: The Sibiu County Council, The Ministry of Culture, The National Center of Cinematography, The Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sibiu, The Austrian Cultural Forum, The Filmmakers Union.

Co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the City Hall of Sibiu and by the European Union through the Creative Europe Program.

The Astra Film Festival takes place under the High Patronage of the President of Romania.

Sponsors: HBO, DPD România, Materom Autohaus, Cinelab, Ursus, Nod Pub, The Refresh, Kulinarium, Sonne Restaurant Cafe

Media partners: TV5 Monde, Rock FM, Radio România Cultural, RFI România, Hotnews, News.ro, Newsweek, Spotmedia, Scena9, Avantaje, Liternet, Cineuropa, Film New Europe, Movienews, All About Romanian Cinema, Films in frame, Urban,ro, Turnul sfatului, Sibiu 100%, Tribuna, Ora de Sibiu, Știri de Sibiu, Capital cultural, Zile și nopți, Revista Transilvania, Hermanstaedter

Communication partner: PiArt Vision

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