Astra Film Festival in Sibiu Romania

… has existed since 1993 and offers a quality program, of course with a focus on what happens in current Romanian documentary but also with an international scope – the festival takes place October 16 to 22 in nice Sibiu. I was there some years ago and enjoyed the stay and the festival.

Let me quote from the site and urge you to get the whole picture through the link below:

”Voices of Doc is a theme section dedicated to authors whose names have become a synonym of authenticity and creativity in cinema. This section bring the latest works signed by three

authors: Wang Bing (China), believed to be the most prominent director of his time, Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Austria), an artist of cinema, famous for his fascinating images and his own rhythm, and Amos Gitai (Israel), a committed director, often vexatious and always controversial because of his uncompromising stance towards the eternal conflict in the Middle East. The films in this section are: Mrs. Fang (by Wang Bing), which has just won the Golden Leopard at Locarno, a disturbing and straightdforward film about the cultural transformation in present-day China, that transposes a millenary civilization into the model of a consumerist society; Homo Sapiens (Nikolaus Geyrhalter), the extraordinary and terrifying view of a post-human world, as disturbing as a SF thriller; and West of the Jordan River (Amos Gitai), the director’s journey into Palestinian territories taken over by Israel in an attempt to find solutions in the energy of the people he meets which politicians are unable to find.”

”Authenticity and creativity in cinema”… The festival has competitive sections and – as above – works with themes like ”post-truth”, ”the look of delusion”, ”a quest(ion) of identity”… and also at this festival days are dedicated to an industry programme that presents ”Romanian Docs in Progress” and ”financing and networking opportunities” with talks by Hanka Kastelicová on HBO Europe, Maja Lindquist on ”Doc Lounge” and being festival programmer for the Nordisk Panorama, and Vincent Lucassen who will ”introduce the work of UMW, an aggregator that offers a one-stop-shop solution to film makers and producers to exploit their films on global platforms like iTunes, Google, Amazon and Microsoft”.

And there is Bill Nichols, American film critic, talking about Herzog’s ”Grizzly Bear”. From the International competitive program let me mention ”Burma Storybook” (PHOTO) by Petr Lom and Corinne van Egeraat. From the section from central and Eastern Europe Polish ”Communion” by Anna Zamecka, ”Convictions” by Russian Tatiana Chistova and ”The Beast is Still Alive” by Mina Mileva and Vezela Kazakova – all written about on this site – not to forget Alexandru Solomon’s ”Tarzan’s Testicles”, a film that I will watch very very soon.

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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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