Floating Cinema on the lake in Dumbrava Sibiului
A weekend as if torn from a beautiful dream in Sibiu, where hundreds of people had a unique experience: floating in boats, in the moonlight, watching films projected on a huge screen, located between windmills, in the middle of Dumbrava Sibiului. The AFF Warm-Up event was offered to the audience by the Astra Film Festival organizers, representing also an invitation to the international documentary film festival that will take place in Sibiu, in cinemas and online, between October 9th -16th , 2022. Some films, most of which will be seen in premiere in Romania at #AFF2022 will later be available online, for the audience from all over the country.
Those who came over the weekend to the Astra Museum in Sibiu enjoyed a couple of wonderful autumn evenings. People were welcomed by the Astra Film Festival organizers with hot tea, served in cups on which suggestive messages from the non-fiction films “Who made you?” and “River” were written. To watch these films, the audience boarded boats or hydro-bikes and floated on the lake towards the screen located next to a thicket of reeds, between windmills. There, on the shore, at Casa Podarului, there were several hundred other spectators, who did not get to buy tickets for the boats.
On the first night, viewers from the floating cinema were faced with simple and direct questions about the future in which humans will coexist with artificial intelligence. The deepest and most philosophical moments of “Who made you?” (r. Härmä Iiris, Finland) were the surprising dialogues between children and robots. On the second evening, the viewers of the event film “River” (dir. Jennifer Peedom and Joseph Nizet, Australia, USA) experienced something extraordinary: it was as if the rivers on the screen were flowing into the water of the lake in the middle of Dumbrava Sibiului and up, to the starry sky, carrying with them the unspoken thoughts of people enthralled by the experience they were living.
`I had heard about film screenings seen from boats floating on the lake, and I really wanted to take part in something like that. I came from Bucharest specifically for this` said a lady, on the alley next to the pier.
“I rowed in the night, among the stars and reeds, among the moments of the past, present and future“, recounted a young woman deeply marked by the experience.
“We felt the film trying to stay still. But our boat moved smoothly, carried by the subtle currents of the lake. As in life“, said, after getting off the boat, an elegantly dressed gentleman.
“It is exciting and spectacular to float on boats, in the moonlight, to be able to watch a film premiering in Romania, on a huge screen between windmills. We are waiting for our audience this weekend, all lovers of non-fiction cinema, at the Astra Film Festival, where we have prepared over 200 cultural events”, said Dumitru Budrala, director and founder of the Astra Film Festival.
The AFF Warm-Up also included a very interesting discussion between documentary film professionals and teenagers from Sibiu, an event through which the Astra Film Festival organizers announce the return to the festival calendar, through screenings and special events in cinema halls and full-dome, of the Astra Film Junior program, the most popular film education project through documentary film in Romania.
About Astra Film Festival
Astra Film Festival Sibiu, launched in 1993 as an innovative project, is one of the most important non-fiction film festivals in Europe, and was included by the European Film Academy on the list of festivals that have the right to make direct nominations for European Film Awards.
Astra Film Festival is placed under the High Patronage of the President of Romania and is organized by Astra Film, CNM Astra and the Astra Film Foundation, with the support of the Sibiu County Council, The Ministry of Culture, The National Center of Cinematography, The Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sibiu and The Filmmakers Union. The event is co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the Sibiu City Hall and by the European Union through the Creative Europe Program.
Photo: AFF Rareș Helici