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TALLINN: Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) adds 10 films to the already announced eight that will be competing in the First Feature Competition programme. The festival will be held from 15 November to 1 December 2019.

We look at the films in the Czech documentary competition at Ji.hlava IDFF.

Astra Film - Sibiu International Film Festival 2019 is a revealing experienceboth for general audiences who are willing to explore new realities from the entire world based on the proposed film selection and for young directors, through the programme for developing documentary film projects. DocTank, the special programme dedicated to industry professionals, will take place during Astra Film Festival between 17 and 19 October and it includes debates, workshops, events, presentations and networking opportunities.

Over the course of 3 days, theDocTankprogramme will bring together renowned directors and beginners, students from profile faculties, producers, distributors and buyers, festival representatives and other industry professionals from Europe and all over the world for a series of productive meetings.

DocTank also includes Astra Film Lab, an intensive workshop in which 10 ongoing projects of young filmmakers from Romania, Italy, Bulgaria, Republic of Moldova, Czech Republic and Ukraine will be screened for several outstanding industry representatives: Gabriela Bussmann (producer), Olivia Cooper-Hadjian (representative of Cinéma du Réel), Alina David (HBO producer), Aleksandar Govedarica (distributor), Martin Horyna (representative of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival), Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan (producer), Hanka Kastelicová (executive producer of documentaries for HBO Europe), Irina Malcea (producer), Sorin Manu (producer), Cornelia Popa (manager CineLab), Adam Paplinski (producer), Katarzyna Szarecka (consultant for Pitch the Doc), Elena Santamaria (producer) or Valentina Miu (coordinator MEDIA Desk Romania). This year, the tutors of the Astra Film Lab programme are Irina Maldea (who has over 30 years of experience working in the industry), Brendan Culleton (producer and director) and Michael Treves (producer and distributor). The winners will receive prizes for development, post-production and digital marketing. 

This year, DocTank teams up with Pitch the Docan online pitching platformin a workshop that maximizes the success rate of directors with an ongoing project, which will take place on Thursday, 17 October. On Friday, 18 October, Making your first documentary”,a roundtable discussion,will bring together the interested students andsome of the directors whose films are part ofthe official selection of AFF 2019. This meeting aims to encourage the sharing of personal experiences, advice and development opportunities, workshop and scholarship applications, the ways in which you can organize a project and the steps you have to take after the production of a film has ended. ”Creative Europe MEDIA” will also take place on Friday, during which European development opportunities for documentary filmmaking will be presented, as well as”From Script to Screen: best practices of documentary development, a panel discussion which will detail some of the current conditions, opportunities and issues that European filmmakers must take into accountThe discussions and meetings on Thursday and Friday will be heldin the Glass Hall of Filarmonica de Stat Sibiu. On Saturday, 19 October, at the Dome in the Large Square, there will be a discussion entitled”Interface. Comunication between machines and humans” about how messages converse with the space in which they are exposed to be fully integrated into the architecture through digital techniques, which allows a total video adaptation of the three-dimensional space. In each of the three days of DocTank, the guests will have access to the Video Bar at the Filarmonica de Stat Sibiu, where they can watch over 100 documentaries from the official programme of this edition of the festival.

The AFF 2019 Awards will be held on Saturday, 19 October7 PMat Filarmonica de Stat Sibiuithe presence of hundreds of guestsThe winning films of the 2019 edition of Astra Film Festival will be announced. A prestigious jury made up of 10 professionals had the difficult mission of evaluating the 46 films in the 4 competition sections: International, Central & Eastern Europe, Romania and DocSchool. The award ceremony on Saturday will end with a live music performance of Om la lună.

Astra Film Festival Sibiu is held under the High Patronage of the Romanian Presidency.

Astra Film Festival 2019 is coordinated by Astra Film, CNM Astra and the Astra Film Foundation, with the support of the Sibiu County Council, the Ministry of Culture and National Identity and the National Center of Cinematography. The event is co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the City Hall of Sibiu.

AMSTERDAM: The European Federation of Screenwriters elected Polish writer Maciej Karpinski as its Vice President during the organisation’s general assembly in Amsterdam on 11 October 2019.

We announce the line-up of the Student Etudes Competition of the 27th edition of EnergaCAMERIMAGE International Film Festival .

First held in 1997, Student Etudes Competition supports the development of novice filmmakers and provides unique opportunity to confront cinematic achievements of students from various parts of the world. Each year, a growing number of film schools submit their best etudes for consideration of the EnergaCAMERIMAGE selection committee. The winners are chosen by an international jury of prominent filmmakers and industry professionals.

The author of the best cinematography wins the coveted Laszlo Kovacs Student Award - The Golden Tadpole. Silver and Bronze Tadpoles are awarded for the second and third place respectively. Additionally, Polish Filmmakers Association will award the winner of the Student Etudes Competition a cheque for PLN 10 000.

Pobierz obrazki


Pobierz obrazki

A short film based on the last moments of a ten-year-old girl named Julia, who has been trapped under debris from an earthquake in Italy for 17 hours.

Original title: 17ساعت
Polish title: 17 godzin
Director: Pedram Noori
Cinematographer: Aean Irani
School: Soore Art University Of Tehran
Country and year: Iran, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

Su Su Myat, a Burmese child soldier, escapes from battle with her best friend, Tin Min. When they get captured, she must face the most awful of decisions.

Director: Chen-Wen Lo
Cinematographer: Łukasz Dziedzic
School: AFI - American Film Institute Conservatory
Country and year: USA, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

War is raging. A boy loses his home in an air raid. Disoriented, he flees on his bike- his only possession- through an increasingly disrupted world. The people he meets and tries to connect with mirror his own search for the right path, although there is no set destination.

Original title: Das Rote Rad
Director: Nicolas Ehret
Cinematographer: Dennis Mill
School: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg GmbH
Country and year: Germany, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

In the past, when mothers wanted to stop breastfeeding, they would rub their breasts with an infusion of wormwood, so that the bitter taste would make the child never want breast milk again.

Original title: Piołun
Director: Maria Ornaf
Cinematographer: Zuzanna Zachara
School: Łódź Film School
Country and year: Poland, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

Chaos is a fairy-tale about the devil. What are one jogger, one hobo and two pigs doing in a forest? Chaos is a story about greed and its consequences. It’s a short that should be seen several times as, each time, the deeper meaning reveals itself even more.

Director: Samuel Auer
Cinematographer: Lukas Eylandt
School: DFFB - German Film and Television Academy 
Country and year: Germany, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

Jeanne, a young chef, has made it in a top restaurant. With an iron discipline, she tries to convince her chef, known for her brutal work ethic, of her talent, but in this kitchen there is a merciless pecking order. It is only when Jeanne cuts her finger that she accidentally creates the perfect sauce - with her own blood. Now she must decide how far she wants to go for her career...

Director: David Oesch
Cinematographer: Ramón Königshausen
School: ZHdK - Zurich University of the Arts
Country and year: Switzerland, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

Single mother Kathi is on day release from prison and finds her three-year-old son, who is living with his unstable grandmother, in a terrible situation. She is forced to find a way to make a better future for him, but time is against her - she has to be back in prison at 6PM.

Original title: Freigang
Director: Martin Winter
Cinematographer: Aram Baroian
School: Filmcollege Wien - VHS Polycollege
Country and year: Germany, Austria, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

A girl is lying on her bed, reading a book. This is the moment when she is overcome with a desire to explore. The girl will ask herself who she really is, what her legacy is, what she truly wants, and most importantly, is she free? An intimate and melancholic portrait of a young woman who, trapped within a monotony, determines how her life will be.

Original title: Flor de Invernadero
Director: Daniel Álvarez
Cinematographer: Daniel Álvarez
School: Escola Universitària ERAM - Universitat de Girona
Country and year: Spain, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

A world that is defined by neither time nor space. Nature overgrowing, gaping spaces and human emptiness shape this environment. You can get anything here, for the right price. Cheap staff or slaves, surrogate babies, vital organs, anything and everything is possible. The supposed dream of eternal life is for sale, along with human dignity.

Director: Sabine Ehrl
Cinematographer: Stephan Buske
School: Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Country and year: Germany, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

After their parents inexplicably leave them to fend for themselves, three brothers must learn to grow up in a world devoid of authority.

Director: Corentin Leroux
Cinematographer: Rob Schmidt
School: Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University
Country and year: USA, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

A young man living abroad visits his home-town to deal with the aftermath of his estranged father's death. The unexpected journey forces him to face feelings and affairs long thought to be gone. A film about the inability to connect, or to find a home.

Director: Attila Dávid
Cinematographer: Péter Lehr Juhász
School: SZFE - Színház- és Filmmûvészeti Egyetem, Budapest
Country and year: Hungary, 2018


Pobierz obrazki

In the countryside, siblings Leah (14) and Theo (10) live with their grandmother in an isolated farmhouse. But it's when their grandmother suddenly dies, and the two kids find themselves completely on their own, that Leah - on the brink of puberty - has her first encounter with the opposite sex. We watch as Leah struggles to cope with being the woman of the house, and we see her torn between taking responsibility for her brother, and being thrust into womanhood. As a thunderstorm approaches and, along with it, a group of troublesome teenagers, Leah and Theo's paradise is threatened to be destroyed forever.

Original title: Die letzten Kinder im Paradies
Director: Anna Roller
Cinematographer: Felix Pflieger
School: HFF München - Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film
Country and year: Germany, 2019


Pobierz obrazki

The death of a patriarch bridges the gap between a divorced cowboy and his young daughter. What follows is a tale of forgiveness, albeit in few words.

Director: Max Walker-Silverman
Cinematographer: Alfonso Herrera Salcedo
School: NYU - Tisch School of the Arts
Country and year: USA, 2018

Dear friends of documentary cinema, 

We are thrilled to share with you the list of films selected for the 23rd Ji.hlava IDFF! You can nowbrowse through 277 films selected from 3700 submissions. The programme this year includes 91 world, 47 international and 17 European premieres. The screening schedule day by day is now online as well. 

Cristi Puiu will select from nine Opus Bonum premieres

The Opus Bonum is the Ji.hlava's competition section, which presents the most noteworthy documentaries representing diverse trends from around the world. All nine films are significant and so the festival traditionally invites one juror - this year the renowned Romanian filmmaker Cristi Puiu - to pick one glowing work. Films from Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Madagascar, Palestine, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom have been selected. Read all about the films in competition here.

Six world and ten international premieres in Between the Seas

The Between the Seas section – the only competition focusing on the region of Central and Eastern Europe – will feature sixteen remarkable films from Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Apart from this main section, the Between the Seas student competition will again present mainly debuts by authors studying at the region’s film schools.

First Lights will introduce best documentary debuts

The First Lights section presents first feature-length documentaries by international filmmakers, with the aim of highlighting the search for new forms and the changing nature of subjects and styles. We focus on the works of emerging filmmakers, convinced that they will become a strong voice in documentary cinema. The section comprises debuts directed by five women and four men coming from very diverse film environments. Read all about the films in the competition here.

Ji.hlava’s official spot: After Godard, Dvortsevoy

We are proud that our official festival spots are keeping track record of being made by remarkable film directors. After Jóhann JóhannssonGodfrey Reggio or Jean-Luc Godard in 2018 we are honoured that the author of this year's festival spot  is Kazakhstani director Sergey DvortsevoyThe trailer consists of a single take: a look on the face of actress Samal Yeslam who won the best actress award in Cannes for her role in the latest Dvortsevoy’s feature film, Ayka. However, the scene in the spot is captured just by chance; the scene was not scripted, here Yeslam is being ‘just herself‘. The festival will present also a comprehensive retrospective of Dvortsevoy’s films.

Short Joy: Vote for the Best Short Film now!

Short Joy is a traditional competition section of Ji.hlava IDFF presenting the best short documentaries. This year again, we invite the public to become the jurors. Voting is possible viaDoc Alliance portal, where you can watch all the films in the competition online and for free until October 22 midnight (CEE time). The winner, which will be announced at the Ji.hlava's opening ceremony on October 24, is automatically eligible for the pre-selection in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Academy Awards®.

Virtual Reality at 23rd Ji.hlava, online reservations open

This year, Ji.hlava will again present the largest collection of virtual reality works in the Czech Republic, which reflects the dizzying pace of change in their design, as well as technological and visual qualities. You can look forward to linear 360° films which we present in a VR cinema in four curated programme blocks, and six interactive experiences that will be presented as installations. You can now make online reservations for the VR cinema. More information here.

Matchmaking Accelerator will help your networking

Over 1,100 film professionals are expected to arrive to the festival this year to the Ji.hlava’s richIndustry programme. From October 16 you can start planning your meetings in Ji.hlava via our matchmaking service. Simply turn to our matchmaking coordinator and we will advise you and suggest who you can meet. You can also visit our online Industry guide to see who and when is attending the festival.

Silver Eye Awards at Ji.hlava IDFF

Ji.hlava will see the eleventh Silver Eye Awards given by the Institute of Documentary Film to the best films from Central and Eastern Europe submitted to the East Silver Market. International juries will select winners in two categories: short- and feature-length. This year, 21 films (10 shorts and 11 features) were nominated from 1027 submitted films. Film professionals at Ji.hlava will be able to use the services of the East Silver video library consisting of almost 300 film titles.

27/09: Symposium at KIFF
27/09: Artist Film in Focus at KIFF
28/09: Screening at KIFF
28/09: Artist Film in Focusat KIFF

Join us for the On & For events and coinciding 
Kaunas International Film Festival programme.

On & For Production and Distribution Symposium“ is a project focusing on questions dedicated to artist moving image production and distribution. Symposium will host discussions among film and art curators, producers, artists. Event is composed of talks, discussions, film screenings and Q&As with filmmakers.


open to the public
9:30 - 16.00
Location: VDU Didžioji aula, Gimnazijos g. 7, Kaunas


9:30 – 10:00 Welcome and coffee

10:00 - 10:05 Introduction and moderation by Ilona Jurkonytė (Researcher, Film Curator, Artistic Director of Kaunas IFF) 

10:05 – 12:00 Two Approaches to Understanding Artists’ Moving Image: National/Institutional and an Artist Film Case Analysis

Two talks on artists’ moving image (AMI) production experiences, addressing how different production contexts and frameworks affect the kinds of works that are being produced in different countries and how production and dissemination can be centred around individual artistic practices.

10:05 – 11:05 Navigating the Foggy Seas of Artists’ Moving Image Production – Len Murusalu (Artist, Filmmaker, Producer at ChronoLens, EE)

11:05 – 12:00 “On & For Production” Case Study: Labour Power Plant (FR, DE, 2019, 83 min) by Romana Schmalisch (Artist, Filmmaker, DE) and Robert Schlicht (Artist, Filmmaker, DE)

— Labour Power Plant (FR, DE, 2019, 83 min) by Romana Schmalisch and Robert Schlicht will be screened on September 28: Artist Film in Focus

13:30 - 16:00 Defining Artists’ Moving Image Production and Distribution 

How do different institutions participate in AMI production and distribution processes? How does the production process influence not only the kind of work that is being produced, but also its dissemination potentials? What are the best ways to foster new forms of cinema? Do language and formal requirements set by commissioners and funding bodies help open the potentials of audio-visual critical thinking? How can we redefine the notion of “success” in relation to audio-visual work? How can we rethink existing funding structures and initiate more suitable ones? 

Speakers: Lene Berg (Artist, Filmmaker, NO), Mindaugas Bundza (Chief of Staff, Lithuanian Council for Culture, LT), Dr. Lolita Jablonskienė (Lithuanian National Gallery of Art Chief Curator, LT), Audrius Kuprevičius (Film Production Department, Lithuanian Film Centre, LT), Len Murusalu (Artist, Filmmaker, EE), Asta Vaičiulytė (Curator, Contemporary Art Centre, LT), and Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė (Producer, Just a Moment, LT).

Curator Ilona Jurkonytė
Curator’s Assistant Agnė Valatkaitė

Read more on our website:Symposium

Image: Labour Power Plant (2019) by Romana Schmalisch and Robert Schlicht

Artist Film in Focus
Screening and Q&A

open to the public
Location: Kauno kultūros centras, Kęstučio g. 1

The Artist Film in Focusat KIFF invites Lene Berg to screen her latest film, False Belief (NO, 2019, 105 min), and to engage in a conversation on the making of the film together with her protagonist, known as D in the film. 

False Belief is the love story of a couple caught up in the gentrification of a neighborhood that is wiping out a seminal African-American cultural legacy and displacing its original residents. In 2008 Norwegian artist and filmmaker Lene Berg moved in with her partner, a black New York publisher, who will be referred to as D. After giving a statement to the police about being harassed by his neighbor in Harlem, D was arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned. But for what exactly? This initiated a journey where D's faith in the American justice system put everything he cherished in life at risk.

Curator Ilona Jurkonytė
Assistant Curator Agnė Valatkaitė

Read more on our website:Artist Film in Focus

open to the public
Location: Kauno kultūros centras, Kęstučio g. 1

On & For is delighted to screen the latest films of Beatrice Gibson, I Hope I am Loud When I’m Dead (UK, 2018, 20 min) and Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters (UK, 2019, 23 min), at Kaunas International Film Festival.

I Hope I am Loud When I'm Dead

Reframing our current political moment in intimate terms, Gibson's urgent snapshot of social calamities doubles as a document of practical resistance. Pauline Oliveros' music and the words of poets CAConrad and Eileen Myles imbue images of street riots and refugee migration with graceful complexity.

Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters

Two sisters (who are not sisters), two pregnancies, a two-seater car, a beauty queen, a poodle. The election of a second fascist – this time in Brazil. A crime thriller without a crime, Two sisters unfolds like a dream. 

Curator Ilona Jurkonytė
Assistant Curator Agnė Valatkaitė

Read more on our website: Screening

Screening and Q&A
open to the public

The Artist Film in Focus at KIFF welcomes back the artists Robert Schlicht and Romana Schmalisch to On & For to screen their film Labour Power Plant (FR, DE, 2019, 85 min) and to engage in a conversation on the film. 

A new production centre, set in an undetermined future. What is being produced here? People with their own wills, interests and desires are being equipped with the different physiological, cognitive, psychological and social core competencies to transform them into human resources. Welcome to Labour Power Plant.

Labour Power Plant was one of the first projects to be supported by On & For Production, with a Work Session in 2014, and we are thrilled to see it released!

Don't miss the artists discussing the production of this film during the On & For Production and Distribution Symposium in Kaunas on 27 September. 
Location: Kauno kultūros centras, Kęstučio g. 1

Read more on our website: Artist Film in Focus

On & For Production and Distribution

On & For Production and Distribution (On & For) is a cooperative European project that is conceived to advance and strengthen the field of artists’ moving image. 

On & For is a project initiated by Auguste Orts (BE) in collaboration with Kaunas International Film Festival (LT), LUX/LUX Scotland (UK) and Nordland Art and Film School (NO).

With the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Europa Distribution will hold its 13th Annual Conference in the scope of MIA Market – Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo – in Rome. The event will take place from October 16 to 19 and will bring together around sixty independent distributors, all members of the European network. 

Continuing with the now traditional “Everything you always wanted to know about distribution but were afraid to ask” talk series, on Saturday October 19 from 09.30 to 11.00 Europa Distribution and MIA will co-host an open panel entitled “Why Together is Better: How collaboration between sectors can help the promotion of independent films.”

The discussion will focus on the role of film distribution today and on the value of the synergy and cooperation among the different players involved in film production, distribution and exhibition. Because of their specific place in the value chain, distributors are playmakers linking the creative and production part of a film’s life with the exhibition part and the audiences. They have a pivotal role in creating a market for a film when it moves to its b2b life to the b2c one. This role makes them work with each other as well as with other sectors of the value chain, essentially the international sales and the exhibition sectors.  Times are tough and collaboration has rightly won its place in the current debates, notably as part of the Distribution Selective Scheme. This panel wants to be a place where all players can discuss with the audience the needs of their evolving sector, and how to make it better for the sake of independent films.

The confirmed panellists are the film director Gianni Zanasi, the producer Ed Guiney(Element pictures, Ireland), the sales agent Katarzyna Siniarska (New Europe Film Sales, Poland), the distributor Stefano Massenzi (Lucky Red and Co-president of Europa Distribution, Italy), the exhibitor Kim Foss (Grand Teatret Copenhagen, Denmark), and the VoD platform representative Guido Zucchini (CHILI, Italy).

Attending distributors will also participate in the MIA activities, including works in progress and special screenings, meetings and networking events. Europa Distribution’s General Assembly will provide an opportunity for members to discuss the activities of the Association, while the many evolutions to come for the independent distribution sector, will be addressed during dedicated round tables. Together, distributors will explore ideas to increase the circulation and promotion of independent films.

Europa Distribution is the association of independent film distributors. With around 120 leading independent distributors representing 30 countries in Europe and beyond, it serves as the voice of the sector, and acts as a network and a think tank. Since 2006, Europa Distribution has been creating new bridges for its members to share knowledge and mutualise experience. Through dedicated brainstorming and training sessions, open panels, informal gatherings, the Association’s aim is enhancing the circulation of information and ideas and to improve the curation, promotion and distribution of independent films. 

On Monday, October 14, the hustle and bustle will start in the historical center of Sibiu and it will last for 7 days during the 26th edition of Astra Film International Festival, an event of great significance and high cultural standing. The official programme of the 2019 edition is impressive: 126 documentaries were selected, 46 of which will be competing in the 4 competition sections, 58 will have their premiere at AFF 2019, 55 screenings will be followed by Q&A sessions with the Romanian and foreign directors who will be attending the festival and 29 films will be screened in VR and full-dome format.

Hundreds of cinematic events will carry the film enthusiasts between 9 screening venues in the historical center of Sibiu: Thalia Hall, Thalia Glass Hall, Gong Theatre, Astra Film Cinema 1, Astra Film Cinema 2, Cinema Ion Besoiu – Large Hall, Cinema Ion Besoiu – Small Hall, Full-dome and VR dome, while a series of events will take place at Hub AFF Thalia. The audience will discover diverse and profound stories about the world we live in through the directors’ lens.

This edition of Astra Film Festival promises to be one of superlatives from its very first day. The opening gala will be marked by two exceptional events: the Romanian premiere screening of “State Funerals” directed by Sergei Loznitsa, one of the most important voices in world cinema, and the panel discussion on communism and post-communism with Emil Hurezeanu, one of the most valuable   political analysts from Romania, who has been acting as Ambassador of Romania in Berlin since 2015. The opening film that Loznitsa describes as “a visual study of the nature of Stalin's personality cult” fit to cause unrest in the current global context will be the starting point in the discussion. The event will be held at Thalia Hall, at 7:00 PM, in the presence of hundreds of special guests.

The cinematic adventure will continue during the following days with hundreds of screenings, absolute premieres, guests from all over the world and spectacular events. A series of films followed by discussions with the authors and special guests thoroughly explore significant topics in contemporary society. The phenomena of corruption is tackled by the screening of the documentary “The House with a Lock” and the discussions that will follow with director Dana Gavrea, Dumitru Borțun (SNSPA professor, interviewed in the film), political analyst Cristian Pârvulescu and Marius Panduru, Eugen Kelemen and Cristian Radu, members of the production team. What is justice and who are the people behind the court cases are questions that will be answered by the screening of “People of Justice” and by the protagonists themselves, Iulia Georgescu and Theodor Ioniță, during the Q&A session. The Romanian education system is scrutinized in the film “Teach” followed by a discussion with director Alex Brendea. The screenings that will be attended by the authors, protagonists or other special guests are marked with the Q&A sign on the festival programme.

This year, the festival proposes 12 diverse, complex and captivating special programmes that will fully engage the members of the audience, pushing them towards introspection and guiding them out of their comfort zone: “The Family Camera”, “Marriage, Sex and Beyond”, “Unknown China”, “DokStation”, “Europe 30: Between Walls”, “Great Masters”, “Sex Work Stories”, “Power is Feminine”, “The Legal System under Scrutiny”, “Videograms Romania 1989”, “The Professional Foreigner. Asen Balikci and Visual Ethnography” and “Special Screenings”.

The programme of this year’s edition of the festival is completed by live music performances (Adrian Naidin, Disco Sigaretta, Balkan Taksim, Om la lună and Ungo Visuals), the DocumentaryTank@AFF programme, which also includes Astra Film Lab, a development programme for documentary film projects that will bring to Sibiu around 50 specialists with international experience, event-meetings such as “The Film Collector” with director Andrei Ujică or “Astra Film: Life in Documentaries”, a panel discussion with legendary Peter Dale (Head of Documentary Department at the National School of Film and Television), during which he will present his prestigious career and his perspective on storytelling in documentary film-making.

Over the past 26 years, Astra Film Festival has gained international recognition. Consequently, many filmmakers want to present their films in Sibiu charmed by the original festival programming, the warmth with which the public receives the films, the permanent flux of ideas and the multicultural atmosphere within the former medieval citadel. Having the experience of previous editions I can attest to the fact there are lots of established directors who first came to Astra Film Festival. That is why it is important that you watch as many films from our generous programme. The official selection is filled with documentaries that can penetrate the minds of audience members and remain forever imprinted in their memory”, said Dumitru Budrala, founding director of Astra Film Sibiu.

You can find the complete festival programme here: https://www.astrafilm.ro/en/program/

Tickets for AFF 2019 can be purchased online: https://eventbook.ro/festival/astra-film-festival

Astra Film Festival Sibiu is held under the High Patronage of the Romanian Presidency.

Astra Film Festival 2019 is coordinated by Astra Film, CNM Astra and the Astra Film Foundation, with the support of the Sibiu County Council, the Ministry of Culture and National Identity and the National Center of Cinematography. The event is co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the City Hall of Sibiu.

From over 3000 eligible submissions, the sub-festival of Black Nights Film Festival selected a total of 40 short films to the live action short film competition programmes, with 24 in the Live Action Competition and the festival's student section entitled New Talents hosting 16 films.

The PÖFF Shorts live action competition consisting of films from across the world will see the International Premiere of CHRISTMAS STORIES (Ukraine), directed by Valeria Sochyvets and Philip Sotnychenko, the team behind TECHNICAL BREAK which won the PÖFF Shorts Best Live Action Film in 2017.

Also being welcomed back will be Even Hafnor who won the festival’s Grand Prix award in 2013. He, along with co-director Lisa Brooke Hansen, will present the darkly funny FUN FACTORY (Norway). Other highlights will include THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US AND THE SKY. (Dir: Vasilis Kekatos, Greece, France), the winner of this year’s Palme d’Or for Best Short Film, THE SANDS OF VENUS (UK), directed by frequent Terry Gilliam collaborator Tony Grisoni and starring stalwart British actors Ian Hart, Toby Jones and Shirley Henderson, and FROM MATTI WITH LOVE (Dir. Jarno Lindemark, Finland) starring Estonia’s own Rain Tolk.

The New Talents competition will include a screening of ALL CATS ARE GREY IN THE DARK (Dir. Lasse Linder, Switzerland), the documentary that won the IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Short at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

The international short film and animation festival PÖFF Shorts comprises of three competition programmes: live action and animation with their respective student sections known as New Talents, and a National Competition to showcase the best of Estonian short form cinema.

Full programme will be revealed online by November 8.

The international short film and animation festival PÖFF Shorts will be held from November 19-27, 2019.

For more information on PÖFF Shorts go to http://2019shorts.poff.ee/en/english/
For more information on Black Nights Film Festival go to: www.poff.ee
Press accreditation for the 23rd Black Nights Film Festival now open: https://vp.eventival.eu/poff/23
PÖFF Shorts 2018 Flickr gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/poffihunt/collections/72157700601395162/

Full list of live action films in competition:


12 K. MARX STREET. Dir: Irine Jordania, Georgia
A SISTER. Dir: Delphine Girard, Belgium
BANALITY. Dir: Balázs Simonyi, Hungary
CHRISTMAS STORIES. Dir: Valeria Sochyvets, Philip Sotnychenko, Ukraine
DANCING FOR YOU. Dir: Katarzyna Lesisz, Poland
ELECTRIC SWAN. Dir: Konstantina Kotzamani, France, Greece, Argentina, 
FROM MATTI WITH LOVE. Dir: Jarno Lindemark, Finland
FUN FACTORY. Dir: Even Hafnor, Lisa Brooke Hansen, Norway, Germany
FUNFAIR. Dir: Kaveh Mazaheri, Iran
GYPSY HUNT. Dir: Mikkel Andreas Smidt, Denmark
HOLY FAMILY. Dir: Margarida Lucas, Portugal
IN BETWEEN. Dir: Samir Karahoda, Kosovo
MONSTER GOD. Dir: Agustina San Martín, Argentina
SHOOTING MS REHA'S FILM. Dir: Elvin Adigozel, France, Azerbaijan
SILENCE OF THE FISH. Dir: Hilke Rönnfeldt, Iceland, Denmark, Germany
TEN O'CLOCK. Dir: Samuel Tebandeke, Uganda, Kenya
THE DEVIL'S HARMONY. Dir: Dylan Holmes Williams, United Kingdom
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US AND THE SKY. Dir: Vasilis Kekatos, Greece, France
THE EVIL EYE. Dir: Leonore Kasper, Germany, Romania
THE LAMB. Dir: Nina Violic, Croatia
THE SANDS OF VENUS. Dir: Tony Grisoni, United Kingdom
VINEGAR BATHS. Dir: Amanda Nell Eu, Malaysia
VIRAGO. Dir: Kerli Kirch Schneider, Estonia


ALL CATS ARE GREY IN THE DARK. Dir: Lasse Linder, Switzerland
APRIL. Dir: Kinsey Zhang, China
BINI. Dir: Erblin Nushi, United States
ELEPHANTBIRD. Dir: Masoud Soheili, Afghanistan
I AM MACKENZIE. Dir: Artemis Anastasiadou, United States
LIKE A GOOD KID. Dir: Arian Vazirdaftari, Iran
MY PLANET. Dir: Valery Carnoy , Belgium
PARENTAL ADVISORY. Dir: Benjamin Belloir, Belgium
PERFECT MOMENT. Dir: Matthew Noydens, Belgium
SEÑOR. Dir: Masha Clark, United Kingdom
STORMY. Dir: Jeong-gil HAN, Korea
THE APRICOT TREE. Dir: Gideon Van Eeden, Netherlands
THE PREGNANT GROUND. Dir: Haolu Wang, China
THE RASPBERRY TASTE. Dir: David Noblet, Belgium
THE YEARNING. Dir: Cesar Reyna, Estonia
THEM. Dir: Tim Dünschede, Germany

PÖFF Shorts 2018 award ceremony. Photo: Lampros Rousodimos / PÖFF

PÖFF Shorts 2018 Night Cinema screening. Photo: PÖFF