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Astra Film Festival 2017 - an immersive experience of Real & Virtual Reality

Festivals 2017-09-11

Astra Film Festival, the 24th edition, will enliven Sibiu between the 16th and 22nd of October 2017. In the 7 venues, turned into film theatres for 7 days, there will be screenings of the most recent and captivating Romanian films, hits of the international cinema, concerts, multimedia systems and immersive events. The films selected for competition were announced on the 31st of August, the information being available on

“Astra Film Festival is an event that consecrated documentary film in Romania for more than two decades. The films of this festival proved that they have a unique force to fathom directly, drilling into the substrata of the little explored contemporary human existence. In this year’s edition, topical events will shed light even on unfamiliar aspects of documentary film. Counting on the success achieved by the fiction films with a realistic/documentary touch, this year I made a bet on a surprise fiction film which will have the world premiere and official release at AFF, Sibiu”, says Dumitru Budrala, the director of the festival.  

Here are a few highlights of the edition:

DOCUMENTARY FILM DELIGHT - Over 2,000 films from 73 countries were submitted this year, and the audience will be able to choose from a selection of the finest 100 documentaries made recently in Romania and worldwide, and they will have the opportunity to interact with the directors of the films, most of them having announced their presence at the festival. The films in the 2017 AFF programme promise to be a documentary film delight, where productions from 30 countries present realities of 50 countries. They are grouped into several themes: A quest(ion) of identity, Against the odds, Romanian shortscapes, Focus Norway, In someone else’s country, Sidescaping Europe, Urbanscapes or The look of delusion.

COMPETITION The jury consisting of 13 professionals will judge the films of the 5 competitive sections of the festival: International, Romania, Central and Eastern Europe, Student and Short Films. Given that concision and runtime become very important and there’s a growing demand for short documentaries, but also due to the exponential growth of quality productions in this segment, we’ve introduced a new competitive section of short films.  

THE FUTURE IS NOW - For the second time, new forms of cinema, Full Dome and VR will be a remarkable presence at the very heart of Sibiu, and they will offer the festival’s audience the experience of the technologies of these new forms of cinema and the chance to discover the richest programme of virtual cinema, both of them being a unique experience in Romania. 

ASTRA FILM JUNIOR The broadest project of continuous film literacy, for the 9th time, with a rich and diverse programme that includes documentary and full-dome films, special workshops, competitions, designed and scheduled specifically for the students of grades 1-12, but also a programme dedicated to teachers.  

VOICES OF DOCUMENTARY - a dose of the latest productions of consecrated auteurs, that represent unique voices of the documentary cinema approach and the surrounding reality, such as: West of the Jordan River by Israeli director Amos Gitai, Mrs. Fang, directed by Wang Bing, which won the Golden Leopard at Locarno and Homo Sapiens, an extraordinary view over a post-human world, directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter.

DOC TALK - professor Bill Nichols, one of the founders and the most important theorists of the documentary film study, distinguished professor in the cinema department of the San Francisco State University and president of the advisory board of the Documentary Film Institute, will analyze the film Grizzly Man by famous director Werner Herzog before the audience.

“POST TRUTH TOOLS” - 3 films, one panel discussion and one masterclass, this programme will bring the latest news and unknown aspects of burning issues in the Post-Truth era: the problem with fake news and the truthfulness of documentary films.

Astra Film Festival 2017 is organized by Astra Film, CNM Astra and the Astra Film Foundation
With the support of Sibiu County Council, the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, the European Union – through the Creative Europe-Media programme and the National Centre for Cinematography  
Co-financed by Sibiu Local Council through Sibiu City Hall
In collaboration with Lucian Blaga University
Partners: ICR – Romanian Cultural Institute, UCIN – Romanian Filmmakers Union, Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sibiu, Cinetic
Digital partner: Urby
Official sponsor: Construcții SA
Sponsors: Romgaz, Electrica, Takata, Aqua Carpatica, Happy City, HBO, Cinelab
Car of the festival: Toyota
Media Partners: HBO, TVR, Europa FM, HotNews, Revista 22, VICE, Revista Timpul, Transilvania Reporter, Cineuropa, Film New Europe, Radio România Cultural, Radio România Actualități, Radio Cluj, Radio Antena Sibiului, Radio Târgu Mureș, RFI România, Cinemagia, LiterNet, CineFan, Sub25, All About Romanian Cinema, Cooperativa Urbană, ÎnFestival, Recorder, Iqads, Zile și Nopți, Tribuna, Turnul Sfatului, Sibiu 100%, Eveniment TV, Ora de Sibiu