AF Junior 2016
Welcome to ASTRA FILM JUNIOR 2016!
The most cherished cinematic event dedicated to pupils and teachers returns for the 8th time in Sibiu, within Astra Film Festival. This year, Astra Film Junior brings lots of novelties and waits for you to see its programmes between the 17 and 21 of October 2016.
Our lives, including the lives of the pupils, are filled with information coming from screens, monitors, or even cell phones, yet the experience shared with friends and colleagues in front of a big screen remains a magical moment. Film literacy gains more ground, being supported by European directives promoting media education. Starting with 2009, Astra Film Junior has taken on the role of a promoter of these forms of education by promoting the experience of viewing films in theatres, through film literacy activities following film viewing, through the training of the teachers to guide pupils in these activities, and last but not least, through the workshop dedicated to the initiation of pupils in producing their own films.
This year, we bring a series of changes in the Astra Film Junior programmes, we take a step forward with success formulas from previous years, and we add new spices to diversify our cinema experience offer for pupils.
The immersive full-dome cinema programme brings, for the very first time in Romania, full-dome films screened in a special room designed like a hemisphere, set up in Piața Mare in Sibiu. This technique is also called 360 degree cinema and it is a unique experience. The films are viewed on a dome-like screen, which gives the viewers the feeling that they are part of the film. Full-dome films selected for the Astra Film Junior 2016 are Dream to Fly (by Paulina Majda from Poland), which is a history of flying machines and their inventors, The blind man with starry eyes (by Damien Beguet from France), a fairytale about the importance of knowledge, and The longest night: A Winter’s tale (by Donovan Zimmerman and Jan Burger from the US), a fable about courage, generosity and the rebirth of nature.
The films for the grades I-VI (6+ films) are part of a series of documentaries for and about children made by the German TV channel called Schau in meine Welt! (Take a look at my world). In this year’s selection, children from Bhutan, Germany, South Africa, the US and Romania are presented before the audience of Astra Film Junior (the protagonist of the film made in Romania is a 13-year-old boy from Agârbiciu).
The films for the grades VII-XII (13+ films) are important international award-winning feature films. Searching for Sugar Man (by Malik Bendjelloul from Sweden) is the incredible story of an American singer from the 1970s. The film was released in 2013 and it won an Oscar and a BAFTA award, as well as other awards from important festivals. Sonita (by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami from Iran) has impressed the juries of many festivals. It is the story of an Afghan girl, who has to fight archaic prejudice and traditions in order to make her dream of becoming a rap singer become true. True Cost (by Andrew Morgan from the US) caused outrage when it was released in 2015, because it courageously investigates the true costs which people from developing countries have to pay so that the fashion industry can deliver on a weekly basis cheaper and cheaper clothes.
For the pupils in the grades X-XII we have prepared a film about the underbelly of the internet (Down the Deep Dark Web by Duki Dror and Tzachi Schiff from Israel), a documentary that weighs the pros and cons of the right for privacy on the internet.
The workshop My first documentary film went on this year with a new generation of high school pupils. The 10 participants took part in an intensive training for 10 days, ending up with 6 short films. The films of the high school pupils are scheduled for the gala screening on Sunday, the 23 of October 2016, at Thalia Hall of the Astra Film Festival.
We re-edit the Cartoon competition for the grades I-IV. Children who participate in the viewing of the films in the programme will be able to manifest their creativity by transposing their vision into the film they have seen.
Astra Film Junior has a calendar of activities which expand during the year, beyond the period of the festival itself, bringing more activities dedicated to film literacy in Sibiu. The screenings within the “Other kind of school” week are very popular, as well as the Astra Film Junior Traveller Caravan, a national documentary film programme for pupils, organized in cities around the country and in the rural area of Sibiu County.
The year 2016 was an important step towards diversifying the activities film literacy, by inaugurating the Film Club dedicated to high school pupils and the Class of film literacy for professors, teachers and educators.
The Film Club aims to create a space for viewing documentary films opened to young people, where they can freely express their opinion and discuss with their colleagues about making films and their subjects. Given this context, they are also the ones who view the films proposed for the following edition of the festival and make propositions for its programme.
The class of film literacy opens a series of trainings aiming at introducing teachers to documentary film and its use in the educational process. The class organized in 2016 is a pilot-project, within which Astra Film Junior has invited an international trainer, with experience in the use of documentary film in schools and the elaboration of learning materials based on documentary film. The project will continue by inviting other trainers from the country and/or abroad, one of the main objectives being, aside from introducing teachers from Sibiu to this field, to prepare trainers for film literacy.
Astra Film Junior is a programme approved by the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research in Romania and it functions based on an official protocol, signed with the County Board of Education in Sibiu, which supports and encourages the activities within the Astra Film Junior programme.