The 25th edition of Astra Film Sibiu International Festival (AFF) officially begins on Monday, October 15. More than 400 cinema events will take place for 7 days, in 9 especially arranged rooms in the historical downtown. A selection of 128 top movies will be presented for the non-fiction movie lovers, to the professionals in the film industry, to the special guests and general public. 55 productions of them, from 30 countries, will participate in the AFF 2018 competition in the 5 competitional sections, and 28 titles are screened in the VR and full-dome formats. A total number of 17 documentaries represent the cinematography of the Romanian reality at the Festival, while more than 60 screenings will be followed by Q&A sessions with the Romanian and foreign filmmakers present in Sibiu. Over 50 selected movies will be screened for the first time at the Festival. Astra Film Festival runs the engines of the screening devices for the official start of the 2018 edition, an anniversary edition marked by a record participation: more than 3,000 enrolled movies from 93 countries. The results of the AFF 2018 competition will be decided by a jury consisting of 13 personalities in this field, representing all the sides of the non-fictional film industry – directors, producers, film critics, festival managers, teachers, writers. The winners of the competition sections will be announced on Sunday, October 20. The total amount of the granted prizes is over EUR 25,000. The Astra Film Festival opening gala will officially present for the first time the movie Transalpina – Drumul Regilor, directed by Dumitru Budrala, an intimate and fascinating journey into the unknown history of the most picturesque road of Europe, Transalpina. With a beauty that makes you breathless, Transalpina is more than a spectacular road. The age of the road connecting Transylvania to Wallachia is measured in millennia. In an outstanding cinematographic transposition, the movie suggests a journey along the road that many kings’ names are related to, as well as underground, on the paths o which the god Zamolxis was walking, but also on the sky, where in the times of the giants, happenings took place giving the name of the mountains and the valleys. “In Transalpina – Drumul Regilor, I’ve tried to catch a special experience, an immersion into the history and mythology of that place, from the most ancient times until today. I’ve tried to harmoniously combine mythology, history, geography and the stories of those who have witnessed the inauguration of the road by King Carol II, to be able to restore, for the spectator, the origin of the road’s name, as well as its story, as an outstanding achievement of those times. I’ve always believed that this road was a meeting point not only between people on one side and another of the mountains, but also between sky and earth, between reality and fiction”, director Dumitru Budrala, the director and founder of Astra Film Festival, confessed. “The movie is Dumitru Budrala’s confession. The movie is fabulous and necessary as the oven for the bread and our origins for those who were born there”, the Romanian Ambassador in Berlin, Emil Hurezeanu, stated. The AFF 2018 opening ceremony will take place on Monday, October 15, at the Thalia Hall, starting at 19.00, being followed by the screening of the movie Transalpina – Drumul Regilor at 19.30, and a live concert with the nominees of the Grammy The Tiger Lillies, starting at 21.00. Astra Film Sibiu International Festival was launched in 1993 as an innovative project in the Central and Eastern Europe, and for 25 years it had a significant contribution to establishing a framework for the development of the documentary cinematography in the entire region and especially in Romania. Astra Film Festival has constantly attracted the attention on the art of the non-fictional movie, supporting the development of the genre and opening new horizons for the filmmakers. Astra Film Festival 2018 is organized by Astra Film CNM Astra and the Astra Film Foundation, with the support of the Sibiu County Council, of the Ministry of Culture and National Identity and of the National Center of Cinematography. The event is co-funded by the Sibiu Local County through the Sibiu Municipality, and by the European Union, through the Creative Europe Programme. Astra Film Festival is held under the High Patronage of the Romanian President.
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