Romania’s Astra Film Festival announces 2018 winners

The 2018 edition of the Astra Film Festival (AFF) in Sibiu, in central Romania, announced its winners during an awards ceremony held on October 20.

The festival’s jury chose the winners out of 55 movies from 30 countries, selected from over 3,000 submissions from 93 countries. Prizes amount to a total cash value of over EUR 25,000.

I Am Another You (USA, 2017) by Nanfu Wang won the AFF Award for Best Documentary in the International Competition and Sand and Blood (Austria, 2017) by Matthias Krepp and Angelika Spangel won the AFF Special Mention of the Jury.

I Am Another You is exploring the meaning of personal freedom and its limits through the eyes of a young drifter who rejects society’s rules and chooses to live on the streets. Meanwhile, Sand and Blood is a call for empathy from Iraqi and Syrian refugees, who recall a time when life was normal in their homelands while watching online what has become of their home countries.

The AFF Award for Best Documentary in the Central & Eastern Europe Competition went to When The War Comes (Croatia, Czech Republic, 2018) by Jan Gebert, a scrutinizing look at the life of a typical European teenager who doubles as the head of a paramilitary group. Another winner was Nebojsa Slijepcevic , who won the AFF Award for Best Director in the Central & Eastern Europe Competition for Srbenka (Croatia, 2018).

The AFF Award for Best Documentary in the Romanian Competition was awarded to Caisa by Alexandru Mavrodineanu, for „a poignant perspective on Romanian society, showing a man who resists the cynicism around him to offer a refuge where the young can flourish”. Also in the Romanian Competition, Claudiu Mitcu won the AFF Award for Best Director for his film Anniversary.

Meanwhile, They Just Come and Go (Croatia, 2017) by Boris Poljak won the AFF Award for Best Documentary in the Shorts Competition while Ink of Yam (Germany, 2017) by Tom Fröhlich won the AFF Award for Best Documentary in the DocSchool Competition.

At the end of the ceremony, Dumitru Budrala, founding director of Astra Film Festival, presented the Award of Excellence to Michael Stewart, Director of the London Open City Documentary Film Festival (UK), for his utmost contribution to building and enriching the unique Astra Film Festival personality.

This year’s edition of Astra Film Festival was organized in Sibiu between October 15 and October 21.

Belgian short film, big winner of Romania’s animation film festival Anim’est 2018

Irina Marica, [email protected]

(Photo source:, photo by Cornel Mosneag)