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October 3, 2022

Registrations for the 2021 edition of the Astra Film Festival are now open

The 28th edition of the International Documentary Film Festival in Sibiu will take place in two stages: August 27th – September 12th and October 11th – 16th

A new edition of the most important documentary film festival in Central and Eastern Europe is being organised in Sibiu. From today until April 15th, directors, and producers of documentaries from around the world can register their productions made in 2020 and 2021. The official programme of the festival will include three competition sections and a series of curatorial sections and thematic programmes.

The festival will be taking place in two stages. Between August 27th and September 12th, 2021, Astra Film will take place outdoors (August 27th – September 5th) – with film screenings and outdoor events, in innovative locations, and online (September 6th – 12th) – with film screenings, events and a programme dedicated to the documentary film industry. Astra Film Junior will be taking place from October 11th to October 16th – an introductory programme into documentary film developed for young and very young audiences. The organizers say that, depending on the COVID-19 regulations that will be in force during the expected period, the announced programme may be subject to change.

Founded in 1993, the Astra Film Festival has become one of the main platforms of documentary films in Romania and in all Europe, and it is in constant search of documentaries with a strong presence of the director’s perspective, both in form and content. AFF specialists and audiences especially appreciate the cinematic qualities, honesty, courage to approach difficult topics, originality, and creativity.

“The 2021 edition will continue to explore the new climate in which cultural events take place, as we did last year, when we virtually reinvented the festival and found new ways to reach our loyal audience and attract new audiences. Examples include the projections on a screen placed between windmills, viewed from boats floating on the lake, in the middle of the miraculous Astra Museum. This year, we will come back with new surprises, in an edition that will take place both outdoors and online, together with the long-awaited Astra Film Junior event, which we will be happy to resume “, said director Dumitru Budrala, Director of the Astra Film Festival.


Three competition sections


AFF2021 will host three competition sections: “Emerging voices of the documentary”, “Central & Eastern Europe” and the “Romania” section, as follows:

  • Emerging voices of the documentary. Feature film documentaries (lasting more than 50 minutes) are eligible, given they were completed after January 1st, 2020 and if they represent the author’s first, second or, at most, their third movie.
  • Central & Eastern Europe. In this section feature film documentaries (over 50 minutes) completed after January 1st, 2020, which address issues specific to the ex-communist bloc, are eligible.
  • Romania. Documentaries completed after January 1st, 2020, produced or co-produced in Romania or documentaries that address issues specific to Romania are eligible, regardless of their duration.

In addition to the competition sections, the official programme includes a series of curatorial selections, thematic sections, and special programmes. The registration of the films can be done starting today and until April 15th. The full competition rules can be consulted here: https://2021.astrafilm.ro/

The international juries  that will decide the prizes of the competition sections include respected specialists and professionals from the international film and from the academic world. Three prizes will be awarded: the “Emerging Voices of the Documentary” Prize, the Prize for the Best Documentary of the Central & Eastern Europe section, and the Prize for the Best Documentary of the “Romania” section.

The official selection will be published on the Festival’s website (www.astrafilm.ro), and the authors of the selected films will be invited to participate in the festival for discussions with the public and other events related to the films featured in the official selection.

The Astra Film Festival, organized with no interruptions for the public since 1993, is placed under the High Patronage of the President of Romania and is organized by Astra Film, CNM Astra and Astra Film Foundation, with the support of Sibiu County Council, The Ministry of Culture, The National Centre of Cinematography, The Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sibiu and The Union of Filmmakers. The event is co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the City Hall of Sibiu and by the European Union through the Creative Europe Programme.

Photo: Rares Helici

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