The 26th edition of the International Astra Film Festival had its opening on Monday, October 14, and from the very first day it seems that it will register as a real box office success. The festival started in the company of an impressive audience, sold-out screenings and a festive atmosphere. The festival takes place between 14-20 October in 11 venues spread out across the city of Sibiu.
Astra Film Festival opened its 26th edition with the nationwide premiere of the documentary “State Funerals” directed by Sergei Loznitsa, in the presence of a large audience consisting of Romanian and foreign special guests who have arrived in Sibiu for the festival. Before the screening held at Filarmonica de Stat Sibiu, the founding director of Astra Film Sibiu, Dumitru Budrala was awarded with the distinction of the High Patronage of the Romanian Presidency, event followed by a discussion with Emil Hurezeanu, the Romanian ambassador in Berlin.
”In the 26 years that have passed since the first edition of the festival, 10% of approximately 20.000 films that had applied to be selected were shown on the screens of Astra Film Sibiu, which means that over 2.000 directors have presented their works during the festival. Some directors sought to bring us stories, histories, human experiences and occasionally they have risked their lives to complete their films. The Astra Film mothership took off this morning with the most cherished programme of the festival, Astra Film Junior. The things happening this week in Sibiu are miraculous and those who claim that the interest in culture and education has died should take a closer look at this festival”, said Dumitru Budrala, founding director of Astra Film Sibiu.
”I am very glad to be your guest once again in Sibiu and I congratulate the extraordinary performance of the organizers of hosting the most interesting documentary film festival from this geographical area in Sibiu. I must emphasize that this is one of the few festivals in Romania that has survived these past difficult years”, said Emil Hurezeanu, the ambassador of Romania in Berlin.
”I wish you success and a long life”, was the message sent by Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, to the organizers of the festival.
”We are honored to offer our support to such events. Astra Film Festival has become a significant part of our cultural heritage and it makes Sibiu a city of superlatives. We are here today because a young teacher from a forgotten village followed his dream with passion, perseverance and a lot of work. Dumitru Budrala managed to infect many people with his passion for cinematography. In the era of Mineriads, he managed to create a film festival in Sibiu, something that was unheard of at that time”, declared Daniela Cîmpean, President of Sibiu County Council.
”Astra Film Festival animates a touristic city during the autumn season and it serves as evidence that when state institutions and authorities collaborate, fabulous things can happen, such as this festival”, said Ciprian Ștefan, general manager of CNM ASTRA, the main partner of the festival.
Astra Film Junior also started on Monday, 14 October, bringing children from every school in Sibiu county in the movie theatres. Currently at its 11th edition, Astra Film Junior has broken a new record of registrations and the official data will be published at the end of the festival. Tickets for Monday at the Dome in the Large Square were sold out as audiences crowded to watch the scheduled films.
Astra Film Festival continues until Sunday, 20 October, and the vast and diverse programme of the 2019 edition proposes a very wide, panoramic overview that extends both geographically on large territories and over time, going back to the past and coming back to the present, while also looking towards the future using new technologies. Over 400 cinematographic events, absolute premieres, dozens of Q&A sessions, event-meetings, prestigious guests from the industry, debates and concerts will literally make the historical center of Sibiu and many other areas come to life.
You can find the complete festival programme here: https://www.astrafilm.ro/en/program/
Tickets for AFF 2019 can be purchased online: https://eventbook.ro/festival/astra-film-festival
Astra Film Festival Sibiu is held under the High Patronage of the Romanian Presidency.
Astra Film Festival 2019 is coordinated by Astra Film, CNM Astra and the Astra Film Foundation, with the support of the Sibiu County Council, the Ministry of Culture and National Identity and the National Center of Cinematography. The event is co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the City Hall of Sibiu.