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Astra Film Festival

Astra Film Festival 2015 - Jury

John Appel

John Appel studied Classical Literature at the University of Amsterdam and graduated from the Netherlands Film Academy in 1987. He directed more than 40 films for cinema and television. His films - She believes in me, The Last Victory, The Player and Wrong time, wrong place, have received recognition in international film festivals. John Appel is also a mentor for many international workshops - Greenhouse Development Programme in the Middle East (since 2006), Binger Doclab in Amsterdam (2005 & 2010), Aristoteles Workshop in Romania (2010 & 2013, 2014), delivers masterclasses all over the world and has served as jury member in major film festivals such as IDFA, Karlovy Vary, Visions du Reel.

Manuela Cernat

Manuela Cernat, Ph.d., D.h.c., is a major representative of the Romanian academic society and an important Romanian cultural ambassador. Film historian and writer, journalist and essayist, documentary screenwriter, she is member of the Romanian Writers Union and of the Romanian Filmmakers Union, of the Scientific Council of the History of Art Institute of the Romanian Academy, where she also served as Scientific Director, as well as President of South Eastern European Cinema Schools, member of the Executive Council of Société Européenne de Culture (Venice). In academia she served as Vice Rector of the “I.L. Caragiale” National University of Theatre and Cinema (2008-2012), Head of the Audio-visual Communication Department for over a decade and PhD supervisor since 1994. She was granted several important distinctions in Romania and abroad including Commander of the “Romanian Cultural Merit” Order.

Géza Csákvári

Journalist, film critic, playreader and festival organizer. He graduated as a theatre-historian and playreader but has moved into the world of moving images “just in the right time”. He has also tried himself in the practical side of filmmaking, his etude Tékás has been broadcasted on several TV channels. For 15 years he has been a film specialist, critic and festival correspondent of the newspaper ‘Népszabadság’. He has made several interviews with Hungarian and international film professionals, including Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg. His essays and articles appear on a regular basis in Hungarian (Mozinet, Vox) and international (Cahiers du Cinema) film magazines. He is a member of the FIPRESCI and a regular in the juries of film festivals all around the world. A voting member of the European Film Academy and the artistic director of Jameson CineFest Miskolc International Film Festival.

Roberto Cueto

Roberto Cueto is member of the San Sebastian Film Festival Selection Committee. He also is in charge of the film programming at Cineteca theatre in Matadero Cultural Centre in Madrid, a cinema entirely devoted to documentary film. He is also Professor of Audiovisual Communication at the Carlos III University in Madrid and consultant for the documentary film festival Documenta Madrid.

Christine Dollhofer

Born in Austria, Christine Dollhofer studied film and theatre science in Vienna. From 1992 to 1997 she was the director of the prestigious Viennese art house cinema Filmcasino, from 1997 to 2003 she co-directed the Diagonale, Festival of Austrian Film in Graz. In 2004 she founded the Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz and is still its artistic and managing director. She is furthermore a jury member of the Austrian Film Institute, board member of the sales company Sixpack Film, acquisition consultant for the Austrian distribution company Filmladen and since 2011 program delegate for the Int. Film Festival San Sebastían for Austria/Germany/Switzerland.

Thierry Garrel

Thierry Garrel, a French Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, joined the Research Department of French Television (ORTF) at the age of twenty and went on to Head of the Documentary and Junior Authors
Division at the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA). From 1987 until 2008, he was the Head of the Documentary Film Department of La Sept and ARTE France, European cultural channel. Since 2009, he works as a consultant and is devoted to “experience feedback”, by tutoring international seminars and workshops focusing on young documentary creators and professionals.

Cíntia Gil

Cíntia Gil graduated in Philosophy in the University of Porto after attending the Cinema course at the Portuguese School of Cinema and Theatre. She is a researcher at the ”Aesthetics, Politics and Arts” Research Group of the Philosophy Institute of Porto University, for which she writes and publishes. In the context of this institute work, she has collaborated at the organization of an international conference and presented essays in several international science meetings abroad. Between 2001 and 2007 Cíntia worked on the production of several films. She also has taught the courses of narratives structures and cinema and contemporaneity at the Video and Documentary Cinema School of Abrantes. After being a member of selection committee of the Vila do Conde Short Film Festival and Doclisboa, since 2012, she's Director of Doclisboa Film Festival.

Virgiliu Mărgineanu

Virgiliu Mărgineanu, film producer from The Republic of Moldova, graduated the College of International Economic Relations at the Academy of Economic Studies in  Bucharest in 1995, followed by the ECUMEST courses, and a Master’s in Cultural Management at the Superior School of Commerce in Dijon, France. Since 1999 he is the general director of the “OWH Studio” film house in Chișinău and has produced over 50 documentary films and co-produced the feature film Nuntă în Basarabia. He is the initiator and president of the CRONOGRAF International Documentary Film Festival in Chișinău and a member of the Filmmakers Union in Moldova and the Authors’ and Filmmakers Union in Romania.

Vintilă Mihăilescu

A graduate of the College of Psychology in Bucharest in 1974, Vintilă Mihăilescu is a professor of Anthropology and the Head of the Department of Sociology at the National School of Political Science and Public Administration. A permanent correspondent of Dilema Veche cultural magazine, general director of the Romanian Peasant Museum between 2005 and 2010, professor Mihăilescu founded the Romanian Society of Cultural Anthropology and the first Master program in Anthropology in the country. He taught at universities in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy and Canada. He was a member of the jury at Astra Film Festival in 2004 and taught the Roma Stories masterclass at AFF 2012.

Cristi Puiu

Director, screenwriter and producer, Cristi Puiu shows a keen interest for documentary cinema that transpares in his films. His debute feature Stuff and Dough (2001) is considered to have started the Romanian New Wave in cinema. Cristi Puiu won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 2004 for the best short film Cigarettes and Coffe. The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu (2005) won the award Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and numerous awards at other international film festivals, and has been included by Empire in the Top 500 Greatest Movies of All Time. Aurora (2010) is written and directed by Puiu who also plays the leading role.

He directed Das Spektrum Europas for the omnibus project The Bridges of Sarajevo coordinated by Jean-Michel Frodon (2014).

Tania Rakhmanova

Franco-Russian filmmaker,  she began with work on the award-winning Discovery/BBC series THE SECOND RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (Brian Lapping Ass).   She has worked on several awards winning documentaries in the UK and France, including the EMMY winning CUBAN CRISIS. Since 1997 she has produced and directed more than 20 documentary series and films, her films received many international awards including EMMY and Europe Prize nominations, Golden eagle, Fipa, Pessac. Her latest films include: “Lords of the Spin”, a two hour series on the history of political spin in the world, a 52’ program “How Putin Came to Power”, “Iraqi Exodus”, “The Arctic Conquest”, “Roma: the First European Nation”. She has been a member of jury of several international festivals.  For more than ten years she has been teaching in University of France Television.

René Wolf

René Wolf (1963) is head of acquisitions/senior programmer at EYE Film Institute, before the Filmmuseum of The Netherlands. He studied Political Sciences and Communication studies at the University of Nijmegen (KUN).  Since 1988 he has worked for the Filmmuseum in various positions. Since 2005 he acquires titles for both distribution and the archival collection and since EYE moved to a new building in Amsterdam-North with four screens, he is responsible for the first run and classics-programming there.