From Disappearing World to Meeting Zelenskyy

This year, in a special edition of the "A Life in Documentary - Masters" series, Astra Film Festival has as a special guest one of the most influential documentarians in the world, André Singer, an Emmy Award winner.

Over the course of five decades, as a director, producer, executive producer, and commissioning editor, André has been responsible for creating hundreds of documentaries for both cinema and television.

André will talk about how anthropology led him to the world of documentary filmmaking, starting with his work on the iconic Granada Television series, "Disappearing World," where he began as a researcher.

At the BBC, André was involved in commissioning and exec-ing independent documentaries, and he created one of the most iconic documentary series in the world, Fine Cut, later known as Storyville. In his conversation with Bafta-nominated director Liviu Tipurita, André will offer his perspective on working with world-renowned directors such as Jean Rouch, Mike Grigsby, D.A. Pennebaker, Robert Drew, and Fred Wiseman, among others.

 We will also learn how, as a director and executive producer, André tackles challenging, historically and profoundly human subjects in feature-length documentaries, such as "Night Will Fall" (winner of the Peabody and Emmy Awards), Joshua Oppenheimer's surprising and surreal diptych, "The Act of Killing" (Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning), and "The Look of Silence" (Oscar-nominated), or the intriguing portrait of the last leader of the Soviet Union in "Meeting Gorbachev," which André co-directed with Werner Herzog.

Herzog, Gorbachev, Singer

A significant theme of this Masterclass is André's remarkable 31-year collaboration with Werner Herzog, which includes an impressive repertoire of 17 productions.

The Masterclass will be illustrated with clips from the films that have marked André's career and through two feature-length documentary portrait films that André has made about two extraordinary contemporary personalities - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and director and filmmaker Werner Herzog.

The first film, which André co-directed with Liev Schreiber, follows Zelenskyy's remarkable journey from childhood under USSR domination to the heady days of show business stardom, and to presidency.  "Meeting Zelenskyy" will be presented at the opening of the festival, in a version that is still work in progress. André will discuss this film in a panel discussion moderated by writer, publicist, and diplomat Emil Hurezeanu with surprise guests.

The second portrait film, produced by André, directed by Thomas von Steinaecker will be presented at the festival on Wednesday, October 18, prior to his discussion with Liviu Tipurita at the Thalia Hall.

"Werner Herzog – Radical Dreamer" (2022) tells the story of one of the most important and original contemporary directors. It's the tale of a director who was shot during an interview, transported a 300-ton steamship over a mountain in Peru, hypnotizes his actors, descends into volcanoes, talks to death row inmates, cooks and eats his own shoe.

Through interviews with Herzog's close collaborators, including Robert Pattinson, Nicole Kidman, Christian Bale, but primarily through direct access to the protagonist himself and previously unseen archival footage, the film offers a captivating look into Herzog's creative process and personal life. François Truffaut once called  Herzog "the most important film director alive."

It's a documentary that must be seen because Herzog's story is primarily one about how to live a full life as a person and as an artist.

André Singer's significant contributions to the documentary film industry have been recognized with his appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

André's family roots are Romanian, with his mother being born and raised in Cernauti during a time when this region belonged to Romania.

"A Life in Documentary - Masters" is a series of live events that celebrate the art of documentary by exploring the works and philosophies of legendary filmmakers who have made a major contribution to the development of this film form.

The series is created and hosted by Bafta-nominated director Liviu Tipurita and offers filmmakers and the Astra Film Festival audience the opportunity to meet and engage with the most famous documentary filmmakers in the world. It's a chance to learn from the best in the industry.

The series, hosted by Astra Film Festival, is created by BAFTA-nominated director Liviu Tipurița, and offers filmmakers and the AFF audience the opportunity to meet and dialogue with the world's most famous documentary filmmakers. It's a chance to learn from the best in the industry.



October 15th at Thalia Hall as follows:

6:00pm Opening Gala of the festival

7:00pm screening of the film Meeting Zelenskyy - work in progress, 2023, a portrait of the Ukrainian president, one of the most extraordinary characters of our times. Co-directed by André Singer and Liev Schreiber Producer:  Rhodri Lowis (90 minutes)

8:30pm André Singer in a panel discussion with surprise guests. Moderator: writer, publicist, and diplomat Emil Hurezeanu.


October 18th at Thalia Hall as follows:

5:00pm screening of the film Werner Herzog – A Radical Dreamer (102 minutes) producer André Singer, director Thomas von Steinaecker (Germany, 2022)

7:00pm André in conversation with Liviu Tipurita about his 50-year career in documentary as director, producer, and commissioning editor (90 minutes)

            8:30pm Q&A with the audiences (30 minutes)

The event will be filmed and broadcast on the AFF website, on Facebook, YouTube and on television.



"Meeting Zelenskyy" (work in progress, 2023) – a portrait of the Ukrainian president that answers many questions about one of the most extraordinary figures of our time. 90 minutes, Co-directed by André Singer and Liev Schreiber. Presented at the Festival opening on October 15th at 7:00 pm at Sala Thalia, followed by a panel discussion with special surprise guests moderated by Emil Hurezeanu, writer, publicist, diplomat.

"Werner Herzog – A Radical Dreamer" (2022) – a film that presents a portrait of one of the most prominent documentarians and cinema authors of our times. 102 minutes, Presented at 5:00 pm before André Singer's conversation with Liviu Tipurita at Sala Thalia.

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, Cinelab, Materom Autohaus, Luthelo, CineGOLD, Promenada Mall, DPD Romania, Kulinarium, Sonne
Monitoring partner: MediaTrust
Media partners: Europa FM, TV5 Monde,, 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, Cultural Capital, Revista Transilvania, Filmtett, Modern Times Review
Communication partner: PiArt Vision

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