Astra Film Festival 2023. Official Selection

Top Productions in Non-Fiction Cinema Premiering in Sibiu for the anniversary edition „30 Years of Documentary Film”

The Astra Film Festival's anniversary edition, set to take place in Sibiu from October 15th to October 22nd, 2023, marks a significant milestone in the world of documentary filmmaking. Over the past three decades, Sibiu has established itself as a prominent hub for documentary cinema. This enduring tradition continues into its 30th year, where numerous documentary filmmakers choose to premiere their works in front of an informed audience. In fact, three-quarters of the films selected for the competition are making their world or national premieres.
Year after year, the Astra Film Festival has championed a central idea: regardless of the challenges faced, every moment in life should be viewed with emotion and joy, with the mind and soul wide open. This philosophy extends to the festival's audience, as reflected in the official event poster, which features artwork by the artist Dan Perjovschi.
This year's selection includes over 130 films from more than 40 countries, spanning four competitive sections and numerous special programs across 15 event spaces. Among them are 75 national premieres and films already acclaimed at prestigious festivals such as Sundance, Cannes, Berlinale, and IDFA. The festival program is further enriched by films selected for full-dome projection, exhibitions, concerts, parties, and surprise events over eight exhilarating days. You can find a complete list of all the films in the official selection on the Astra Film website:
"After 30 years of the Astra Film Festival, I can confidently say that documentary filmmaking has rightfully earned its place in the tapestry of Romanian cinema. I am delighted that, through the festival, we have contributed to this achievement. I extend my gratitude to Romanian directors who have submitted their films to the festival and, over the years, have transformed the Astra Film Festival into the home of documentary film," declared Dumitru Budrala, the director of Astra Film Festival.
Four competitive sections
In the four competitive sections of the Astra Film Festival in Sibiu (Romania, Emerging Voices of Documentary, Central and Eastern Europe, and DocSchool), 43 films have been selected, of which 31 are world, European, or national premieres.
ROMANIA: As is the tradition in the three-decade history of the Astra Film Festival, the Romanian Competitive Section showcases the newest and most valuable documentary films made by Romanian directors between 2022 and 2023. Out of the 11 selected films, produced in France, Luxembourg, and Romania, six are premieres (four world premieres and two national premieres).
EMERGING VOICES OF DOCUMENTARY: This section, dedicated to emerging filmmakers on the path from debut to recognition, presents nine very recent films, with five of them premiering nationally in Sibiu.
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE: In this section, audiences will experience true stories from Southeastern Europe. Ten films have been selected, with seven of them having their Romanian premiere in Sibiu.
DOCSCHOOL: Student documentary filmmaking continues to shine, with 13 out of 14 films in competition being premieres (including six world premieres, three international premieres, and four national premieres).
In addition to these sections, the festival offers several dozen more films in special programs, including DokTank (the festival's industry program), Astra Film Junior (an educational program through documentary film), Cinema DOM screenings in Piața Mare, and profiles dedicated to masters of documentary cinema.
About Astra Film Festival
The International Documentary Film Festival Astra Film in Sibiu was launched in 1993 as an innovative project and has since become one of the most important non-fiction film festivals in Europe. It's included by the European Film Academy on the list of festivals with the right to make direct nominations for the European Film Awards. 
The Astra Film Festival is under the High Patronage of the President of Romania and is organized by Astra Film, CNM Astra, and the Astra Film Foundation. It's offered support by the Ministry of Culture as a strategic partner, and it receives support from the Sibiu County Council, the National Centre for Cinematography, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sibiu, and the Filmmakers' Union. This event is co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the Municipality of Sibiu and by the European Union through the Creative Europe Programme.
Other News
Astra Film brings to Chisinau a selection of films presented at the anniversary edition of AFF 2023
14 nov. 2023
Astra Film arrives again in Chisinau less than a month after its 30th anniversary. The organizers, Astra Film - CNM Astra and the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova (DRRM) within the Government of Romania, will bring to Chisinau, between November 17-19, 2023, a selection of films enthusiastically received by the Romanian public and which were awarded at AFF 2023 by the juries of the Romania and Emerging Voices of Documentary Competitions. In the opening, the film-event Calea Laptelui (work-in-progress), by Dumitru Budrala, will be presented, in the presence of the author.
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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.