The Anniversary Edition of Astra Film Festival
begins on Sunday with a film about Volodymyr Zelenskyy

On Sunday, October 15th, Astra Film Festival kicks off in Sibiu, Romania. It is the most important documentary film event in Romania, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The organizers set a high bar right from the start of this special edition by scheduling an exceptional film, "Meeting Zelenskyy" (work-in-progress). Co-directed by Emmy Award winner André Singer and director-actor Liev Schreiber, the film follows the story of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, from his childhood in the USSR to his days of fame and success in the show business industry and eventually his role as the President of Ukraine. Those lucky enough to secure a seat in the Thalia Hall will be among the first to see this highly anticipated film. The opening gala, hosted by journalist Amalia Enache, will also feature a panel discussion moderated by writer, journalist, and diplomat Emil Hurezeanu, with André Singer and surprise guests.
"Astra Film Festival lives up to its reputation by offering the audience films that any festival in the world would desire. This includes the film about the Ukrainian president, as well as dozens of Romanian premieres and films from all over the world. We also maintain a tradition that has been going strong for 30 years: most films are screened in the presence of their creators, leading to high-level dialogues with the audience," said Dumitru Budrala, the founder and director of Astra Film Festival.
Each day of the festival is packed with unmissable events, leaving the audience with difficult choices to make. However, there is a second chance for them, as many films will be available for online viewing after their cinema screenings. The juries, on the other hand, face the tough task of selecting the winners from the closely contested competitions in four categories: Central and Eastern European, Emerging Voices of Documentary Film, Romanian, and Student Competitions. You can find details, schedules, and tickets here:
In addition to the films competing for prestigious AFF awards, the organizers are presenting numerous non-competition films, including the highly anticipated work-in-progress "Calea laptelui" by Dumitru Budrala, "Werner Herzog: A Radical Dreamer" by Thomas von Steinaecker, Germany's submission for the Oscars "In the Chancellor's Office" by Ilker Çatak, "Change for Bogotá" by Andreas Mol Dalsgaard, and films produced by journalists from Pro TV (Romania, I Love You!) and Recorder.

AFF 2023 also offers several special programs, such as "Think Freedom: The Catalyst," about "Vă vedem," the longest-running citizen protest in Romania, and the program "Our Lives Online," exploring original approaches to overwhelming themes, including children's TikTok videos, identity theft, deepfakes, and the blurring of lines between the real and virtual worlds in online games.

There will be several masterclasses where world-renowned professionals in the documentary film industry will share their experiences with participants who have the chance to attend. One of these is the "Masters: A Life in Documentary" masterclass, in which André Singer will discuss anthropology, working with globally renowned directors, and approaches to sensitive and symbolically important subjects with BAFTA-nominated director Liviu Tipuriță.
Astra Film Festival also features exhibitions by Dan Perjovschi, Iulian Ignat, and Dumitru Budrala, book launches, and concerts by Adrian Naidin & Jazz Band, Cimpoierii din Transilvania, Kana Jambe, Nightloosers, DJ Jarl Flamar, and a retro party with DJ Sorin Lupașcu, Gabriela Atanasov, and Horia Stan.
About the Astra Film Festival
Astra Film Festival Sibiu, launched in 1993 as an innovative project, is one of the most important non-fiction film festivals in Europe. Under the High Patronage of the President of Romania, the festival is organized by Astra Film, CNM Astra and the Astra Film Foundation, with the Ministry of Culture as a strategic partner, with the support of the Sibiu County Council, the National Center of Cinematography, the Romanian Cultural Institute, the Consulate of the Federal Republic Germany in Sibiu and the Union of Cinematographers. The event is co-financed by the Sibiu City Council through the Sibiu City Hall.
Strategic partner: Ministry of Culture
Sponsors: HBO Go, Martini, Cinelab, Materom Autohaus, Luthelo, CineGOLD, Promenada Mall, DPD Romania, Kulinarium, Sonne
Monitoring partner: MediaTrust
Media partners: Europa FM, TV5 Monde, Radio Romania Cultural,, G4media, Hotnews, Spotmedia, PressHub, Turnul Sfatului, Sibiu 100%, Tribuna, Messagerul de Sibiu, Ora de Sibiu, independent Sibiu, Sibiul azi, Hermannstädter Zeitung , Nine O'Clock, Scena9, Cinemagia, Cineuropa, Film New Europe, Observator cultural, Timpul, AaRC, MovieNews, Cinefan, Cinefilia, Liternet, Capital Cultural, Revista Transilvania, Filmtett, Modern Times Review
Communication partner: PiArt Vision

Other News
Registrations for Astra Film Festival 2024 are open
23 ian. 2024
Registrations are open for the 2024 edition of the Astra Film International Documentary Film Festival in Sibiu. AFF 2024 will take place this year from October 20-27, and filmmakers from all over the world can submit their documentaries until April 15.
Astra Film Festival 2023 Awards
22 oct. 2023
The best films of the 30th anniversary edition of the Astra Film Festival were announced on Saturday night in Sibiu, in a Thalia hall full of people and emotion, as is the case every time a competition chooses its winners.
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„Milky way," by Dumitru Budrala, Special Screening at Astra Film Festival
18 oct. 2023
The documentary film „Milk Way" (work-in-progress), directed by Dumitru Budrala, which portrays the fascinating world of transhumance, will be presented to the Astra Film Festival audience in the presence of the main characters on Friday evening at 6:00 PM at Thalia Hall in Sibiu
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Exhibitions Are an Experience at Astra Film Festival
17 oct. 2023
The Astra Film Festival public is invited to four exhibitions open in Sibiu only during the festival, in spaces full of stories, from the Astra Film headquarters in Piața Mică and the foyer of Sălii Thalia, to Promenada Mall and the Mini Dome installed in Piața Mare. Access is free, and the experience is unique, the organizers say.
Dadestar Chaveste. Fiddle Story by Iulian Ignat at Astra Film Festival
16 oct. 2023
The fascinating universe of fiddlers is presented at Astra Film Festival 30 in a unique exhibition entitled "Dadestar chaveste"/ "From father to son", signed by the photographer Iulian Ignat. The exhibition will be inaugurated today, starting at 16:00, in the side foyer of the Thalia Hall, with the release of an album, with the same name, in the presence of the author
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Astra Film Festival Has Started! Gala Screening of the Film About Volodymyr Zelenskyy
16 oct. 2023
The 30th anniversary edition of the Astra Film Festival debuted on Sunday evening with the film "Meeting Zelenski" (work-in-progress), co-directed by the American actor, director and producer Liev Schreiber and the British director and producer André Singer. A film that the spectators from Sibiu or from other areas of Romania, who filled the Thalia hall in Sibiu, had the opportunity to see in the premiere and which they applauded for a long time.
Liev Schreiber, the famous actor, director, and producer from Hollywood, will have a live intervention at the opening of the anniversary edition of the Astra Film Festival
15 oct. 2023
The renowned Hollywood actor, director, and producer, Liev Schreiber, who has 6 Golden Globe nominations and 9 Emmy nominations to his name, will speak live during the Opening Gala of the Astra Film Festival, taking place today, October 15, starting at 6:00 PM at the Thalia Hall in Sibiu. Schreiber co-directed the documentary film "Meeting Zelenskyy" alongside André Singer and will discuss his experience meeting and filming the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensyy
Mirabela Dauer and the Documentary "Playback", by Iulia Rugină, Revive the Atmosphere of Discotheques from the 80s at Astra Film Festival
15 oct. 2023
The artist Mirabela Dauer will perform a concert at the Astra Film Festival as part of a memorable retro party, which will take place on Monday, October 16, starting at 21:00, at Sala Thalia (Chimniță) in Sibiu. Along with the beloved artist, Gabriela Atanasov, Horia Stan and the legendary DJ of the 80s, Sorin Lupașcu, will take the stage.