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November 29, 2022

Astra Film Festival 2022 starts on Sunday in Sibiu with a documentary about the Cortorari Roma from southern Transylvania

Victor Rebengiuc: “The documentary film is a cultural act that honors human nature”

The 29th edition of the Astra Film International Documentary Film Festival in Sibiu starts on Sunday, from 7pm, at Sala Thalia, with the screening-event of the production “The Chalice.  Of Sons and Daughters” (2022) directed by Cătălina Tesăr and Dana Bunescu, “a diary of a family of Roma cortorari from Sibiu county, which revolves around money, gold and honour“.  The atmosphere of the Opening Gala will be completed by Taraf de Caliu, recently returned from the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival.  The traditional message of invitation to the festival is sent this year by the actor Victor Rebengiuc, who says that “a non-fiction film festival that respects its viewers, like Astra Film from Sibiu, is a real indoor exhibition“.  The full program of the festival can be consulted here: https://www.astrafilm.ro/program-complet.

To make the film about cortorari, the anthropologist Cătălina Tesăr meticulously documented, for more than ten years, the life of a group of traditional Roma from southern Transylvania.  The documentary captures the tradition and culture of the cortorari and closely follows a young couple trying to have a son and reproduces the atmosphere, discussions and emotions in the extended family related to the sex of the unborn child, the fate of the inheritance and, by implication, their own.

“The Chalice.  Of Sons and Daughters” exposes, for the first time in the cinema, the fascinating universe of the Romani cortorari who, like the European aristocracy, make and break matrimonial alliances according to race and wealth.  These alliances revolve around family crests – silver-gilt goblets handed down from father to son.  The pressure is all the greater as the completion of the alliance is conditional on the birth of a boy.

When we say Roma, we say “arranged marriages”.  Cortorari Roma who live in villages near Sibiu do not even have the word “marriage” in their language.  They use the term “tokmeala” when they are incarcerated.  Thus, for a deeper understanding of the film, the organizers have prepared an unprecedented exhibition, an immersion in the universe of black fabric hats and colorful skirts.  Tokmeala includes photos, videos and clothes from the dowry of the cortorari girls.  The exhibition will be opened at Astra Film Studio, Piața Mică no.  11, during October 9-16, in the time interval 10-18.  Access is free.

As every year, the Astra Film Festival organizers invite the public to the festival through a prominent cultural figure from Romania.  This year, the message belongs to the great actor Victor Rebengiuc.

Documentary film is, anytime, anywhere and at any age, a cultural act that honors human nature.  Showing it, in all its splendor… A non-fiction film festival that respects its viewers, like Astra Film from Sibiu, is a real indoor exhibition.  Where dozens and hundreds of real, deep stories are exposed, that is, as many perspectives on life.  And everything vibrates and reaches the viewer’s inner forum.  And it remains there for a long time after the screening“, says Victor Rebengiuc in his message to the Astra Film Festival audience.

Full message can be seen here


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.

Sponsors: Campari, Promenada Sibiu, Ursus, Cotnari, Cinelab, CineGold, Sonne, Kulinarium, Cafe Pardon, Nod Prăjitorie

Main Media Partners: PRO TV, VOYO

Supported by: Europa FM

Media Partners: HotNews, Radio România Cultural, News.ro, G4Media, Edupedu, Spotmedia, PressHub, TV5 Monde, Film New Europe, Cineuropa, All About Romanian Cinema, Movienews, Observator cultural, LiterNet, Films in Frame, Film Menu, Cinefilia, Cinefan, Capital cultural, Turnul sfatului, Tribuna, Sibiu 100%, Ora de Sibiu, Știri de Sibiu, Sibiul azi, Zile și nopți, Transilvania, Hermanstadter Zeitung, A List Magazine

Press monitoring partner: MediaTRUST

Delivery partner: DPD România

Reading partner: Librăriile Cărturești

Communication partner: PiArt Vision

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