Astra Film Festival 2015

One film festival follows the other and the months of October and November is high season. Tonight the veteran Astra Film Festival in Sibiu Romania starts and runs for 7 days with an exciting programme that is both looking back and reflects what goes on in documentary filmmaking of today.

For the looking back enthusiasts, the film historical interested, there is a series called ”NeoRealism and New Realisms” with films by Visconti (La Terra Trema, of course) and de Sica as well as ”The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” by Romanian Cristi Puiu and Portuguese Teresa Villaverde’s ”Os Mutantes”, to mention a few titles.

The festival has four competitive programmes: International, CE (Central and Eastern Europe) Europe, Romania, Student – all together 48 films. In the international section of 10 films you find ”I am the People” by French Anna Rousillon – it has this description:

“January 2011 in Egypt was marked by anti-government demonstrations. While tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo, poor villagers in the country’s south followed the tense situation on Tahrir Square on their TV screens and in the daily newspapers. It is from their perspective that this documentary captures the political changes in Egypt, from the toppling of President Mubarak to the election and fall of Mohamed Morsi. The film reveals the villagers’ hopes and disappointments, and shows that despite the wild events, very little has actually changed in their lives, Anna Roussillon’s interviewees fretting more about their irrigation systems and pregnant wives than ideological struggles and political emancipation.”

And of course Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence” is there, as Nanau’s “Toto and his Sisters” is in the CE Europe category as is Tina Gudac’s Croatian “Naked Island” (PHOTO).

Take a look at the website and notice the many interesting side programmes, there is a lot of thought behind this programme.


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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