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November 29, 2022

Astra Film Festival 2022, spectacular debut

The audience that filled Thalia Hall on Sunday night  applauded for minutes the film “The Chalice.  Of sons and daughters”

The Thalia Hall was filled last night at the opening of the 29th Astra Film Festival. The production “The Chalice  Of Sons and Daughters”, by Cătălina Tesăr and Dana Bunescu, was applauded for a long time by the audience, who remained for an hour in the armchairs of the elegant Sibiu hall, after the screening of the film, to participate in an emotional discussion with the authors and protagonists. The discussion was moderated by journalist Amalia Enache. Nina, the protagonist of the film, answered with emotion the questions from the audience. The atmosphere was heated by Taraf de Caliu. The Astra Film Festival continues in Sibiu with a dense program, which includes over 350 cinematographic events. Details here: https://www.astrafilm.ro/program-complet.

Hundreds of people lined up on Sunday evening in front of the Thalia hall, along Cetății Street, “the most beautiful street in Sibiu”, to participate in the opening Gala of the 29th edition of Astra Film  Festival.  Taraf de Caliu introduced the audience to the atmosphere of the film right from the start.

In front of an already enthusiastic audience, journalist Amalia Enache, the host of the Gala, presented the messages sent to the AFF2022 audience by actor Victor Rebengiuc and world swimming champion David Popovici.  The founding director of the festival, Dumitru Budrala and artistic director Csilla Kato also took to the stage, as did the vice-president of the Sibiu County Council, Marcel Luca, who expressed his satisfaction that, thanks to the Astra Film Festival, Sibiu is on the map of European cinema

Excited as every time in the last 29 years, at the start of the festival, Dumitru Budrala, director-founder of Astra Film Festival, showed that “these days we have the opportunity to travel around the world and through the world, to share, through the documentary film,  the stories of people all over the planet“.  The festival director spoke about the festival’s competitive sections (Romania, Emerging Voices of the Documentary, Central and Eastern Europe, DocSchool) and the fact that the award-winning films will be eligible for this year’s European Film Academy Awards.

Amalia Enache also spoke about the other highlights of AFF2022, such as the Astra Film Junior educational program or the spectacular fulldome screenings in Sibiu’s Great Square.

Then followed the movie “The Chalice.  Of sons and daughters”, watched with rapt attention by the spectators who were lucky enough to be in the hall.  The narrative thread thought by Dana Budescu was rendered with mastery by the sure hand of the professional, who made the most of the excellent documentary material filmed by the anthropologist Cătălina Tesăr.

“The film, which started from the question, ‘What dramas hide the colorful skirts of the Cortorari women?’, shows for the first time on the screen the daily life and the dramatic turmoil within the community of Cortorari.  Bringing unprecedented things to the surface, with which you untie knots of ignorance and misunderstanding in society…, this is the true act of culture.  This film would not have existed if there was no Astra Film Festival.  It’s a moment of celebration for all of us!” said Csilla Kato, the festival’s artistic director.

After the screening, one of the liveliest Q&A sessions followed, with many questions from the audience.  There were dozens of minutes when no one got up from their seats, because everyone was curious to know more.  The star of the evening, Nina – the protagonist of the film, who also saw the film premiere at AFF2022, took the stage accompanied by her son and grandson.

“I didn’t feel like an actress, I behaved normally, because we consider Cătălina a member of the family and we’re used to her filming us.  I want people to see what we are like, to understand us, and I would like to know their opinion about us,” said Nina.

For her part, the director Cătălina Tesăr, who has a doctorate in anthropology in London, on the subject of the Romani cortorari, and who worked for 17 years to document the subject, spoke very warmly about the cortorari community: “I wish from this film that  , after watching it, the audience will love them as much as I do,” she said, visibly moved.

The screening of the film was preceded by the opening of the exhibition “Tokmeala – I give you daughter-in-law, I give you wealth”, which contains clothes from the girls’ dowry, photos and videos taken over the years at the cortorari community that was the subject of the production “The Chalice. Of  sons and daughters”.  Two curators (Cosmin Manolache and Lila Passima), a filmmaker (Dana Bunescu), a photographer (Eric Roset) and an anthropologist (Cătălina Tesăr) participated. The exhibition is open at Astra Film Studio, Piața Mică no.  11, between October 9-16 (between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.).  Access is free.


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.



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