Investigative Video Journalism, special topic at the Astra Film Festival

Sensitive topics such as the unseen faces of war, decisive death or eternal love, for the attention of the AFF audience

Astra Film Festival brings to the public existential themes that concern the modern world today, such as the faces of war, eternal love or decisive death. At the same time, a substantial journalistic video investigation program will be presented, with productions by some of the most formidable Romanian journalists of the moment, such as Paula Herlo and Alex Dima (Pro TV, Romania, I love you!), Mihai Voinea and Cristian Delcea (Recorder) and Răzvan Butaru (TVR), whose productions will be seen for the first time on the big screen. Full program #AFF2022, here:

"We continue the thematic programs of the Astra Film Festival, in order to be able to explore a series of topics of maximum interest, exposed through the force of documentary cinema on the big screen. We will thus create that living space of dialogue between filmmakers, guests, specialists, and the public", said Dumitru Budrala, director-founder of Astra Film Festival.

Main themes of #AFF2022

The Unseen Faces of War is a hot topic in the context of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine and offers a themed program that exposes lesser-known aspects of war through harrowing stories about what war really means today and what are its effects in society.

In "Chris the Swiss" by Anja Kofmel (Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, 2018) a film that tells a story of the most recent war in the region, the one that led to the breakup of Yugoslavia, a Swiss war correspondent becomes involved in fights and is killed by his mercenary comrades. War means, therefore, a generalized chaos through which absolute evil can no longer be kept in check, and death can only be escaped by sheer luck. In the documentary "Children of the Enemy" (by Gorki Glaser-Müller - Denmark, Sweden, Qatar, 2021) we see how the most innocent victims of wars are children. This harrowing story traces the fate of a young couple from Sweden who join the ISIS forces, along with their entire family. The film will be followed by a debate, moderated by anthropologist Valer Cosma, with sociologist Gelu Duminică as his guest (Thalia hall, Monday, October 10, from 8:40 p.m.).

In addition to the non-fiction films within this theme, there will also be a concluding lecture on "Nuclear Orthodoxy and the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in the occupation war of the Putin regime" (with Valer Cosma and Vasile Ernu) - Monday, October 10 (3pm), at the ULBS University Library.

The films in the thematic section Decisive Death give us the opportunity to reflect and revaluate existential themes related to suicide ("Why didn't you stay for me?", directed by Milou Gevers - Holland, 2020), euthanasia ("Closing words" , directed by Gaëlle Hardy and Agnès Lejeune - Belgium, 2021) and abortion ("Empty handed", directed by Moriya Ben Avot - Israel, 2022). The hope to stop or prevent suffering underlies difficult decisions, while the elimination of suffering by the voluntary termination of life remains a controversial topic in all contemporary societies. On Wednesday, October 12 (7:15 p.m.), a debate with Father Necula on this topic will take place at Sala Thalia.

The theme of Eternal Love, rarely touched, difficult to know and perceive, asks some existential questions: At what depth of couple relationships is eternal love welded, how long does it take to form and how long does it last? Does eternal love exist or is it just a creation, a projection of romantic imaginary delusion? Thus, the film "Who we will have been" (Erec Brehmer - Germany, 2021) takes us into the vortex of a couple's relationship that seemed to be heading towards the "definition" of eternal love. After the screening on Friday, October 14 (20:45, Cine Gold 4), there will be a dialogue with the audience - Q&A moderated by Ioana Ciurlea (DIGI 24). The show "Julieta" (by András Visky, directed by Heni Varga, with Melissa Lorraine), performed for 16 years in Chicago and on other stages in the USA and Europe, respectively the film "Performing Juliet" (András Visky - USA, 2021) places us in the right position to clearly see the trials and soul substrates in which the alloy of eternal love can be welded. After the screening (Friday, October 14, 6:40pm - Thalia Hall), the writer Radu Vancu will have a dialogue with the author.

Focus/Investigation, an absolute novelty

The Focus/Investigation program, launched a few days after brave investigations shook the political scene and part of the media, offers the public a selection of the most relevant video journalism productions made in the last two years in Romania.

"Thus, we complete the festival's audiovisual content palette with a related genre and create a dynamic debate space, in which stories are told, secrets are revealed and dysfunctional knots of the society we live in are untied with the scalpel, in order to find the necessary solutions". said Dumitru Budrala, director-founder of Astra Film Festival.

The investigation "Romania with everything", by Paula Herlo (Pro TV, Romania, I love you!) shows how the money allocated for the development of local communities ends up in the pockets of "house companies", while the works are bungled (October 10, 19:00, Cine Gold 2, Sibiu). After the film, the journalist Amalia Enache will enter into a dialogue with the author of the film and Gheorghe Damian, the mayor of Ciugud commune.

On Tuesday, October 11 (19:30, Cine Gold 3), TVR journalist Răzvan Butaru presents his investigation about the dirty business at the Petroșani Theater - "Business behind the curtain", after which he will enter a dialogue with the audience.

The video journalistic investigation "The State of Deception" (Alex Dima, Pro TV, Romania, I love you!), presented on the big screen on Friday, October 14 (7:00 p.m., Cine Gold 4), shows how a huge bureaucratic apparatus suffocates the state and blocks it. The screening will be followed by a debate moderated by Cătălin Striblea (Europa FM), with the participation of Alex Dima (PRO TV), Claudiu Pândaru (Digi 24) and Christian Năsulea, professor of global economy.

Saturday, from 15:00 (Thalia Hall), the Recorder team presents their latest investigation, "The Price of Silence", which reveals the mechanism by which political parties buy a large part of the media with money from the state budget, passed through the accounts intermediaries and then delivered to media trusts. A special panel dedicated to investigative journalism will follow; with Cătălin Striblea and his guests: Mihai Voinea, Cristian Delcea (Recorder) and Răzvan Chiruță (PressHub).

About 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, and was included by the European Film Academy on the list of festivals that have the right to make direct nominations for European Film Awards.

Astra Film Festival is placed under the High Patronage of the President of Romania and is 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 and The Filmmakers Union. The event is co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the Sibiu City Hall and by the European Union through the Creative Europe Program.

Sponsors: Campari, Promenada Sibiu, Ursus, Cotnari, Cinelab, CineGold, Sonne, Kulinarium, Cafe Pardon, Nod Prăjitorie

Main Media Partners: PRO TV, VOYO

Supported by Europa FM

Media Partners: HotNews, Radio România Cultural,, G4Media, Edupedu, Spotmedia, PressHub, TV5 Monde, Film New Europe, Cineuropa, All About Romanian Cinema, Movienews, Observator cultural, LiterNet, Films in Frame, Film Menu, Cinefilia, Capital cultural, Turnul sfatului, Tribuna, Sibiu 100%, Ora de Sibiu, Știri de Sibiu, Sibiul azi, Zile și nopți, Transilvania, Hermanstadter Zeitung, A List Magazine

Press monitoring partner: MediaTRUST

Delivery partner: DPD România

Reading partner: Librăriile Cărturești

Communication partner: PiArt Vision