Centrul Astra Film
Ro / En


Astra Film Festival

Astra Film Festival 2011

Profession Documentarist. A series of master classes à la AFF Sibiu

Between the 25th and 30th of October 2011, Astra Film Festival Sibiu 2011 will bring into focus the screening and debating of several documentary film genres: observational documentary, independent documentary, ethnographic documentary and television documentary, as well as the type of documentaries developed at the crossroads of documentary with the internet and the new media. The screening and film analysis, as well as the dialogue with cinema filmmakers and experts in this field, will represent an unique introduction into the secrets of communicating through various documentary genres. Students of film studies, media, journalism and social studies from Romania and Europe have priority to signing up for these master classes. Access is received by filling out the form. For more details on access conditions, see below.

1. Observational documentary and the films of Wang Bing

        Host: Cristi Puiu

        Focus film: The West of the Tracks, 2003, by Wang Bing, 554 minutes, screened in three parts:

        Date: 25th of October 2011, 11:00, The West of the Tracks, Rust (244 min.)

        Date: 26th of October 2011, 11:00, The West of the Tracks, Remnants (178 min.)

        Date: 27th of October 2011, 11:00, The West of the Tracks, Rails (132 min.)

Based on observational documentary film in its purest form, practiced by Chinese documentarist Wang Bing, Cristi Puiu will evidenciate his vision on observational cinema. This master class presents an unique opportunity of marathon-viewing of a reference film. The screening will be followed by a film analysis and an interactive debate with the participants, in the spirit of the “Cinema and reality” workshop held by Cristi Puiu this spring at UNATC, where the screening room was packed for three days in a row, and the heated debates carried on for hours.

This master class's debates will be held in Romanian (if there will be more than 10 students from Europe we will organize a sincron translation for them). The film will be screened with English subtitles.

2. Television and independent/ethnographic documentary

         Host: Michael Yorke

         Keynote speaker - guests: David MacDougall, Liviu Tipuriţa

         Date: 28th of October 2011

         Focus films:     Fish On!, 2008, 60 min., by Diane Perlov, Frode Storaas, Liivo Niglas

                                Upstream Battle, 2008, 97 min., by Ben Kempas

Both films present the dramatic situation and ecological problems that have appeared following the construction of a dam on the Klamath River in Oregon and California – the USA's most important salmon spawning area – and the way this new structure affects the life of the Native Americans living there. The master class will focus on pointing out the two different approaches the directors take in their productions.

The films will be screened with English subtitles, and the presentation will be in English.

3. Documentary and the web

         Hosts: Adina Brădeanu, Michael Stewart

         Date: 29th of October 2011

Documentary film remains one of the most innovative and, at the same time, hardest to define film genres. At present, a significant number of documentary productions are being made outside the industry structures; independent documentary remains a crucial experimental area in representing reality on film and, at the same time, a source of inspiration and renewal for narrative film throughout the history of the cinema. The last few decades have allowed the crystallization of an impressive number of new directions in documentary filmmaking, each one of them corresponding to tastes, goals, or institutional formats emerging through various channels, in various historical and (especially) technological contexts. The 29th of October master class will deal with some of the new narrative-experimental forms present in recent documentary filmmaking – especially those developed at the crossroads of the genre with digital media and the internet, such as interactive web documentary or 'live' documentary.

The presentations will be held in English.


Cristi Puiu

One of the most acclaimed Romanian directors and screenwriters of the new generation, the author of award-winning shorts and feature films. He has a declared interest in documentary, which is visible  in his feature films. Winner of many awards, including Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Silver Hugo Special Jury Prize of Chicago Film Festival and The Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. His most recent film, “Aurora”, is the second in his series “Six Stories from the Outskirts of Bucharest”. Starting with 2006, he is one of Astra Film Festival's jury members and has become a Friend of the Festival.

Michael Yorke

Documentary film director, producer of many award-winning BBC documentaries, and senior course tutor of Practical Ethnographic and Documentary Filmmaking at University College London. He is an active member of the Royal Anthropological Institute's Film committee. Astra Film Festival 2006's Portrait programme was dedicated to him. He has also led many of the Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking workshops organized by Astra Film Sibiu.

Michael Stewart

Founding member of  London OpenCity Documentary Film Festival (http://opencitylondon.com/). As a film producer, he has worked with both independent film production companies and the BBC. He is one of the most distinguished anthropologists doing research in Eastern Europe, and one of Astra Film Festival's closest associates, honouring us with his presence at all editions. Professor of Cultural Anthropology, founder and coordinator of the Practical Documentary Filmmaking Module at  University College London (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0808/08081102).

Adina Brădeanu

Film critic and associate lecturer at the Contemporary Media Practice Department of the University of Westminster. Her work was published in Sight&Sound, Cineaste, Third Text, Journal of South Asian Popular Culture, 24 Frames: The Balkans, DOX (European Documentary Network). She currently holds the position of Romanian Subject Consultant for the Romanian book collection of The Bodelian Library, University of Oxford's main research library.