The anniversary edition of the Astra Film Festival, which will take place in Sibiu between October 15-22, challenges the public to activate all their senses and look at documentary films as a mirror of their own inner world. Life stories that will be screened at the Astra Film Festival tackle essential topics, from social and political issues to deep explorations of human nature. So are the 17 Romanian productions selected in
three of this year's competitive sections
, Romania, Emerging Voices of Documentary Film and DocSchool, which propose forays into a carousel of human emotions. The complete list of all films from the official selection, here: https://www.astrafilm.ro/ro/news/official-selection-aff-2023.
" The Romanian documentary film has grown enormously in the last 30 years, since it has been promoting non-fiction cinema in our country . The directors who make, year after year, filmed jewels, and the refined audience of the Astra Film festival, which makes up one of the most remarkable cultural communities in Romania, deserve full congratulations. I'm meeting you all at the anniversary edition , in Sibiu" , said Dumitru Budrala, director-founder of Astra Film Festival.
Those who see the world behind bars
In the movie "Bitter" work-in-progress (Romania, Spain, 2023, 137 minutes), presented in the world premiere , director Diana Gavra enters the world of pickpocket networks that have been operating for years in Romania and in Europe. Beyond the spectacular revelation of some techniques used by pickpockets, the film also captures the attempts of the heroes to get out of this spiral of the criminal environment. The story of the inmate Gheorghiță, who works at the police canteen at the Botoșani Penitentiary ( " Cântece din curtea din spate " - Romania, Germany, 2022, 28 minutes, by Letitia Popa - European premiere ) is part of a similar universe .
Life seen through the eyes of remarkable women
In "Memoria clipei" (Romania , 2023, 61 min) , a film presented in Sibiu in the world premiere , director Ovidiu Georgescu takes the viewer to an isolated village in Transylvania to meet an octogenarian former teacher, full of life and with an unparalleled appetite for knowledge, while director Carla Teaha invites the audience into the fascinating, fragile and sensitive universe of the poet Nora Iuga ( "Why do I call myself Nora when the sky is clear" - Romania, 2023, 85 minutes). Another interesting portrait is that of a former boxing champion ( " Dana" - 2022, Romania, 19 minutes, world premiere .
The documentary "Between Revolutions" (co-production Romania, Croatia, Qatar, Iran, 2023, 68 minutes), directed by Vlad Petri, awarded with The FIPRESCI Award -Berlin 2023 and Special Mention - ZagrebDox 2023, speaks of a friendship that cannot be broken, reaching the deep problems of societies undergoing radical changes.
The music of life
"Playback" (2023, Romania, 77 minutes), by Iulia Rugină, illustrates the portrait of Sorin Lupașcu, one of the most famous DJs in communist Romania , who made his own soundtrack of his journey through life, during what the " Byst " (Romania, 2023, 23 minutes) by Arina Litvinova, a film presented in the world premiere in Sibiu, captures a twist in the story of a rocker from Iași who "comes one way, goes another".
And Valentin Rareș-Fogoroș says, in a national premiere , the story of a Romanian who dreams of building a famous Ferrari model at home, in memory of one of his twins who died at birth ( "Enzo & Mateo" - Romania, 2023, 21 minutes).
Beliefs and superstitions
Real faith, superstition, or even hypocrisy? Alexandru Solomon's characters make a "pilgrimage" through the universe of the Arsenie Boca myth ( "Arsenie, Viaț a de Apoi " - România , Luxemburg , 2023, 96 minutes ), while Octavian Şaramet shows how the priest Constantin continues the priestly mission of his father ( " Fac ă -se Voia Ta " - Romania , 2023, 24 minutes).
For Copel Moscu's characters ( "Paradisul Naivilor" - România , 2022, 72 minutes), salvation from problems arising from incurable diseases, disabilities, war or lack of freedom comes from art, and for those of Şerban Georgescu from work at a seemingly trivial bakery ( "Our daily bread" - Romania , 2022, 70 minutes, national premiere ).
In the documentary "Doamna Buică" (Romania , 2023, 83 min, world premiere ), Eugene Buică carefully captures the dysfunctional marriage of his parents. For their part, Daniel Bărnuti and Alexandra Lizeta Bărnuti present the emotional story of a couple in which he is a convert to Islam, and she is a free spirit from Cluj-Napoca, both being trapped in a confusing world, in which they struggle to resist ( " My Muslim Husband " - Romania , 2023, 71 minutes).
Elena Rebeca Carini brings a story from within the post-December Romanian realities, showing the story of a young woman from Italy, born in Bucharest, who discovers that she has a brother in Belgium. They were both given up for adoption in the first years after the fall of communism and now they are trying to figure out how much of who we are is DNA and how much the environment we live in matters ("The Earth we belong to" - Romania, 2022 , 91 minutes ) . Andrea Chiper's film is also about a rediscovered family, " I dance at my parents' wedding" (Romania , 2022, 23 minutes , world premiere ) , in which the author recreates the story of the beginning, using a VHS tape from her parents' wedding.
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, Luthello, CineGOLD, Promenada Mall, DPD Romania, Kulinarium, Sonne
Media partners: TV5 Monde, News.ro, G4media, Hotnews, Spotmedia, PressHub, Turnul Sfatului, Sibiu 100%, Tribuna, Messagerul de Sibiu, Ora de Sibiu, independent Sibiu, Sibiul azi, Hermannstädter Zeitung, Nine O'Clock, Cineuropa , Film New Europe, Cultural Observatory, Timpul, AaRC, MovieNews, Cinefan, Liternet, Cultural Capital, Revista Transilvania, Filmtet.
Monitoring partner: MediaTrust
Communication partner: PiArt Vision