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Astra Film Festival

Worshop Sibiu as seen by high school students

Sibiu as seen by high school students

Sibiu as seen by high school students is an intensive applied workshop for initiation in the stages of making a documentary film. The objectives of the workshop are the acquisition of abilities in field research and social documentation, as well as the appropriation of the basic notions in audiovisual creation: techniques and methods to photograph and film, editing concepts and techniques, etc.

The films made within the workshop in 2016 can be seen HERE.

This workshop dedicated to high school students is part of the educational programme “film literacy”, released by Astra Film as far back as 2009, comprising sets of activities designed to develop the students’ judgement, to make them have a have a taste for screenings in film theatres, and to initiate them in the right and active interpretation of audiovisual products. 

For the organization of the workshop Sibiu as seen by high school students, Astra Film continues the collaboration they have had for years with the Vira Association, having years of experience and notable success in the activity of cinematic training with high school students (notable is the fact that, aside from the awards won for short films they have made, they have also had a film selected for the Short Film Corner within the Cannes Film Festival).

The format of the workshop 

The workshop is open for high school students in Sibiu. Its purpose is that the participants should understand the complexity of making a film, which will contribute to the deeper understanding of cinematic and audiovisual products to which they are exposed. At the same time, the participants are intensively taught notions of scriptwriting, shooting and editing, and in the applied modules they are faced with actually putting this knowledge into practice.  

At the 2016 edition, 10 students from Sibiu high school have participated. The workshop ended with 6 short films whose gala screening is included in the official Astra Film Festival programme.



Participants will split into teams. After going through all stages, each team will have made a documentary film by the end of the workshop. 

The “Script” module 

• the creation of storyboard (how does one tell a story cinematically?) 

The “Shooting” module 

• notions of framing, composition, camera movement 

• luminosity, exposure time, colour temperatures

The “Editing” module 


• non-linear editing techniques

The “Sound” module 

• notions of sound recording and editing

Applied module

In the first stage of the workshop the ideas for the film are developed, the concept of “storyboard” is explained, different forms of documentary film are presented and discussed, and propositions for subjects of the films that are to be made by the participants are debated. Moreover, technical aspects for using the camera are discussed, as well as theoretical concepts regarding the composition of a story, and documentary films from previous workshops are viewed, in order to form an image on the results that can be obtained and to present ways to decipher films. The stages of production are presented, from the development of the idea of planning, the production process and up to its completion – the screening in front of the audience. 


The Pre-Production stage


In this stage, preparations for shooting are made, the location for shooting is selected, the subject of the film is established, and a storyboard is created through which the film’s anticipated direction is decided. 
As much as possible, according to the film which is to be made, technical aspects and camera shooting styles are established. The filming process entails technical aspects such as camera, lenses, format, lighting instruments, as well as methods related to the composition of the image, the movement of the camera and the subject adjustment in order to tell the story through film. 
A variety of concepts is presented, as well as techniques and applied exercises in order to delve into the basic knowledge regarding the camera, the luminosity and how to manipulate it. 



The Production stage 

This is the stage when rough shots are made, according to the direction established in the storyboard. It is time to discuss the theory and practice for establishing an enactment, the subject is observed in essence, as well as everything that composes the filming frame. Participants develop a creative and methodological process to relate to the shot image, find their visual style and put it into practice, through the way they decide to render the sequences and emotions which they want to convey through the filmed material. Thus, high school students gain a different experience by the way they choose to shoot the image, the creation of motion picture being an art in itself. The shooting technique, the camera settings, the choice of lenses used and the small aesthetic differences are the one that significantly contribute to the final outcome. An essential role is played by the quality and content of recorded sounds.

Through this stage, the concept of a film is led by the participants based on the guidelines of the storyboard, starting from the idea and up to the post-production stage.  

The Post-Production stage

After the process in which luminosity, sound, image composition, camera movement, and working on a team are taken into account, participants enter the editing stage of the film and the sound mix. 

This is the activity through which abilities of communication and collaboration among members of the team are concretely developed, being indispensable in order to be able to work together efficiently in a professional manner.  

At the same time, concepts of digital editing of the materials are assimilated through the Adobe Premiere Pro program, from uploading the film materials into the program and to the completion of the final product. Participants are therefore initiated in the creation of a project, in organizing and naming the files in order to make their editing work easier. 

Basic aspects of editing, the technique of continuity, effects, adding titles, sound, colour correction and basic composition are discussed. Post-production offers an extraordinary creative power through editing images, sounds, sound mix, music and colours. 



The purpose of a film is for it to reach an audience as large as possible. The films made within the workshop enter the Astra Film Junior programme and they are screened in front of the audience on a large screen like the one in a cinema theatre, in order to ensure the most authentic and pleasant cinematic experience for the viewer.  

Participants thus share their ideas, dreams, passions, fears ad by the way they see the world, they make their voice heard in front of a large and diverse audience.  

Aside from the screenings for pupils within Astra Film Junior, the films of the workshop Sibiu as seen by high school students have a gala screening within the official programme of Astra Film Festival, the Sibiu International Film Festival.


Action co-financed by the Sibiu County Council and Sibiu City Hall through the Community Agenda.