Astra Film Festival presents the real Romania through its diverse selection of documentary feature films

The 29th edition of the Astra Film Festival, which will take place between October 9 and 16, at the Astra open-air Museum in Sibiu, presents a selection of the most recent Romanian documentary films.

The screenings will take place in the presence of the filmmakers, who will enter a dialogue with the audience.

"This autumn's edition will truly be a festival, in all the brightest meanings of that word, considering that most of the films in the official selection are premieres and bring never-before-seen content to the big screen,” says Dumitru Budrala, director and founder of the Astra Film Festival. “These are poorly financed productions that spent years in the making, which is another argument to support their claim as relevant and valuable content.”

The film that will be opening the festival is Cătălina Tesăr and Dana Bunescu’s The Chalice. Of Sons and Daughters (2022) – an incursion into the fascinating world of the Roma ‘cortorari’. The film shows what life is like for this traditional Roma community from Transylvania, exploring ancient customs, marked by arranged marriages, at the center of which is symbolically placed the golden cup handed down from generation to generation. The film was conceived a few years ago within the DokTank Astra Film laboratory program, and in order to document it, Cătălina Tesăr, Ph.D. in anthropology at University College London, spent two years among the locals, during which time she learned their language and customs.

Community and tradition are also discussed in two other films: Memories from the community of Gheorgheni and Frumoasa by Armine Vosganian (2022) – a film that features 100-year-old Peter, the only man from Frumoasa who still speaks Armenian and knows the customs of earlier times; and Alexandra Gulea’s deep foray into the community of Aromanians in their historical exile, between the mountains and the sea – Flying Sheep (2022).

Writer Adina Popescu and director Iulian Ghervas bring to the silver screen a documentary film that tells the story of a football team that has been in the bottom league for decades, and of a rural community in the middle of Transylvania - Eagles from Șaga (2021).

Documentary filmmakers are still studying the impact that the communist regime had on the lives of so many people.

Dragoș Zămosteanu’s In search of the engineer Dragomirescu (2022) is a story about a man that was sent to prison for singing Romania’s present-day national anthem Deșteaptă-te, Române!, never to return.

Rear Entrance to Socialism (2022) by László Csibi describes communist censorship as perceived by Hungarian media representatives, members of political structures and cultural figures who were active during the communist regime.

While Sebastian Mihăilescu’s You Are Ceaușescu To Me (2022) is an experimental mix of documentary and fiction that follows the reactions of young people between the ages of 15 and 22 who want to play the role of Nicolae Ceaușescu in his youth.

Two Romanian films from the official selection address the phenomenon of migration.

The film Waves on dry soil (2021) by Raluca David was filmed in Ecuador, the Republic of Moldova and Portugal, and tells the story of a young Moldovan surfer who tries to overcome his immigrant status.

While Arsenie’s First Birthday (2022) by Valentin-Rareș Fogoroș follows the struggle of a woman from Ukraine as she fights bureaucracy to obtain EU documents for her son Arsenie.

One of the most emotional portraits that will be presented at the festival is Trapped In His Own Movie (2022), a documentary in which Alexandru Oiță presents the fate of director Andrei Cătălin Băleanu, showing the truth behind the Romanian expression “Life trumps film”.

And Too Close (2022) by Botond Püsök is a tense story about a mother of two children, and the turmoil she experiences when she is forced to accept parental visitation from the father of the second child after he is released from the penitentiary where he had been imprisoned for what he did to the woman’s first child.

All of these films create a collage of what Romania looks like and is in its depths.

After the festival, some of the films will be available to watch online on Romanian territory.

More information is available on the film festival’s official website.

maia@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Astra Film Festival)

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Astra Film Festival presents the real Romania through its diverse selection of documentary feature films

The 29th edition of the Astra Film Festival, which will take place between October 9 and 16, at the Astra open-air Museum in Sibiu, presents a selection of the most recent Romanian documentary films.

The screenings will take place in the presence of the filmmakers, who will enter a dialogue with the audience.

"This autumn's edition will truly be a festival, in all the brightest meanings of that word, considering that most of the films in the official selection are premieres and bring never-before-seen content to the big screen,” says Dumitru Budrala, director and founder of the Astra Film Festival. “These are poorly financed productions that spent years in the making, which is another argument to support their claim as relevant and valuable content.”

The film that will be opening the festival is Cătălina Tesăr and Dana Bunescu’s The Chalice. Of Sons and Daughters (2022) – an incursion into the fascinating world of the Roma ‘cortorari’. The film shows what life is like for this traditional Roma community from Transylvania, exploring ancient customs, marked by arranged marriages, at the center of which is symbolically placed the golden cup handed down from generation to generation. The film was conceived a few years ago within the DokTank Astra Film laboratory program, and in order to document it, Cătălina Tesăr, Ph.D. in anthropology at University College London, spent two years among the locals, during which time she learned their language and customs.

Community and tradition are also discussed in two other films: Memories from the community of Gheorgheni and Frumoasa by Armine Vosganian (2022) – a film that features 100-year-old Peter, the only man from Frumoasa who still speaks Armenian and knows the customs of earlier times; and Alexandra Gulea’s deep foray into the community of Aromanians in their historical exile, between the mountains and the sea – Flying Sheep (2022).

Writer Adina Popescu and director Iulian Ghervas bring to the silver screen a documentary film that tells the story of a football team that has been in the bottom league for decades, and of a rural community in the middle of Transylvania - Eagles from Șaga (2021).

Documentary filmmakers are still studying the impact that the communist regime had on the lives of so many people.

Dragoș Zămosteanu’s In search of the engineer Dragomirescu (2022) is a story about a man that was sent to prison for singing Romania’s present-day national anthem Deșteaptă-te, Române!, never to return.

Rear Entrance to Socialism (2022) by László Csibi describes communist censorship as perceived by Hungarian media representatives, members of political structures and cultural figures who were active during the communist regime.

While Sebastian Mihăilescu’s You Are Ceaușescu To Me (2022) is an experimental mix of documentary and fiction that follows the reactions of young people between the ages of 15 and 22 who want to play the role of Nicolae Ceaușescu in his youth.

Two Romanian films from the official selection address the phenomenon of migration.

The film Waves on dry soil (2021) by Raluca David was filmed in Ecuador, the Republic of Moldova and Portugal, and tells the story of a young Moldovan surfer who tries to overcome his immigrant status.

While Arsenie’s First Birthday (2022) by Valentin-Rareș Fogoroș follows the struggle of a woman from Ukraine as she fights bureaucracy to obtain EU documents for her son Arsenie.

One of the most emotional portraits that will be presented at the festival is Trapped In His Own Movie (2022), a documentary in which Alexandru Oiță presents the fate of director Andrei Cătălin Băleanu, showing the truth behind the Romanian expression “Life trumps film”.

And Too Close (2022) by Botond Püsök is a tense story about a mother of two children, and the turmoil she experiences when she is forced to accept parental visitation from the father of the second child after he is released from the penitentiary where he had been imprisoned for what he did to the woman’s first child.

All of these films create a collage of what Romania looks like and is in its depths.

After the festival, some of the films will be available to watch online on Romanian territory.

More information is available on the film festival’s official website.

maia@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Astra Film Festival)

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