Centrul Astra Film

 

 

Astra Film Festival

Astra Film Festival 2013 - Films

  • 10 x Cultural Observer

    In the year 2010, the magazine Observatorul cultural/The Observer celebrated 10 years of existence, which was a great opportunity to bring tribute to all the people who were involved along the years, as collaborators or as readers, in the life of and the system of values promoted by this independent weekly publication. The years that passed were marked by attitudes, cultural memories and free debates, without restriction, censorship or chosen subjects, in which The Observer, together with publications like “Dilema veche” or “România literară” have promoted the authentic Romanian cultural values, standing out from the crowd of superficial and aggressive media to be found in Romania these days. The film tells the story of an outstanding cultural project developed in a society that grows more and more fragmented and indifferent. ...

  • 8th of March

    In the documentary The 8th of March, simple human stories become parts of a complex historical puzzle. An abandoned mine, a tram depot, an old tailory once part of a communist fashion studio, a dairy factory, they are all remains of a world that ceased to exist, and the setting for the lives of several women who used to work there in communist times. They were young and did not complain, in spite of the difficult conditions. The documentary also observes the way in which 8th of March, the International Women's Day, is celebrated in the ex-socialist countries. ...

  • A Kalahari Family, Part One: A Far Country

    Thus Oma Tsamkxao, a Ju/'hoan hunter of the Kalahari Desert, recalls his first encounter with the ethnographic filmmaker, John Marshall, in 1951. John, his sister, and their parents had come to the Kalahari to study the last independent hunter-gatherers in southern Africa. A FAR COUNTRY documents the lives of the Ju/'hoansi engaged in their ancient economy based on hunting game with poisoned arrows and gathering wild bush foods. The film also chronicles the early years of a relationship between the Marshall family and the Ju/'hoansi that would last for more than a half century. In their own words, ≠Oma, his wife !U, and members of their extended family relate their personal histories and describe Ju/'hoan society. ≠Oma recounts the tale of a days-long giraffe hunt. "Women do important things, just like men. It's we women who fed the people." And indeed, the Marshalls learn that bush-foods gathered by women and girls provided 80% of the Ju/'hoan diet. Ju/'hoansi were self-sufficient in the 1950s, but the old life was hard. "We were owners of thirst and owners of hunger," says ≠Oma. And as the film ends, many Ju/'hoansi are imagining a different life. ...

  • A spoon's tale

    The film presents one of the oldest trades of the Romany, practiced nowadays only by the elderly members of the community: wood carving. Moreover, the documentary tells the story of the times when "the earth was ploughed with two fingers" and the Gypsies did not have to face the social realities of the current days. The story goes on about the identity of the rudari, a Romany group who believe they are descendents from the Dacians and do not like to be considered Gypsies. ...

  • Alethea

    Since of the year of 1989 multinaational mining companies have been coming to Turkey in order to mine gold with the cyanide leaching process. Eurogold, an Australian and Canadian joint venture is one of them. Their mine is situated in Bergama. The people living in Bergama and the 17 villages in the surroundings started to resist the project. The people won all the instances of their legal struggle. However, the mine still operates. The story in the documentary is about the people and their long struggle. We followed their struggle since 1996. ...

  • An Awesome Film

    In a country poisoned by worthless policies, by corruption, poverty and deforestation, Alin - a heroic character - creates a country of his own. A "country within a country", governed by common sense and led by volunteers who dedicate themselves to making the world a better place through culture and education. The film, symbolizing "an act of cultural volunteering", follows the activity of the volunteers from Tăşuleasa Social during one year, in their attempt to change the mentalities and propose new solutions for a better future. ...

  • Anatomy of a Departure

    The director recreates the journey of his family who left Romania at the end of the '80s and are now looking back, after 20 years at the memories of the country they left behind. On the one side, we see the dark viewpoint of the parents about a country persecuted by an oppressive system and transformed into a confined space. On the other side, we discover the romantic vision of the son, of a heavenly space, marked by teenage friendships and a forever lost family happiness. ...

  • As You Like It

    The documentary brings together several stories of people who choose photographs of themselves for their tombstones. Some of them opt for photos from their young age, but others are rather fussy and undecided, being very concerned about the way in which their picture will be perceived and criticized by the generations to come. Created under the form of a photo album, the film also points out that a cemetery can also be a living record of society. ...

  • Black Harvest

    The third film on the renowed trilogy on Papua New Guinea join First Contact and Joe Leahy's Neighbours. Black Harvest charts the progress of Joe in convincing the Ganina tribe people to join him in a coffee growing venture. He provides the money and the expertise; the supply and land and labor. But on the eve of success, the world coffee price collapses and tribal warfare errupts in the valley. Always suspect because of his mixed-race status, Joe is in deep trouble with the tribepeople when his promises of riches fail to materialise. As he organizes to emigrate with his family to Australia, he is a saddened man with an uncertain future. ...

  • Bogota Change

    Antanas Mockus and Enrique Penalosa are the initiators of a spectacular urban crusade. What at first seems a battle with the windmills, proves to be a stubborn and effective war against a corrupt political system and a tired and satiated mentality. Finally, the people of Bogota takes seriously its role as a key actor of this amazing metamorphosis .The two politically independent mayors with unpopular and controversial methods, manage in a few years to change not only the face of one of the most dangerous and unfriendly cities in the world, but also to make its residents more engaged and responsible citizenship. ...

  • Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

    The film observes an ancient Kyrgyz custom, which is still active today although it has been declared illegal some years ago. In Kyrgyzstan, one of the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia, a man would abduct the woman he has chosen for a wife. Typically, he takes several friends, hires a car, stakes out his bride-to-be's movements, snatches her off the street, and takes her to his family home. A delegation is then sent to her family to inform them of the kidnapping. The abducted woman is kept by the groom's relatives until someone from her family arrives to discuss the marriage. The level of consent and the familiarity of the bride with the groom vary. Sometimes the kidnappings are consensual - the bride is engaged to the groom and agrees to the kidnapping. In this case, the kidnappings are merely playful rituals. In many other cases however, the bride does not want to marry her suitor, or has never even met him before. Recent studies estimate that about half of all marriages in Kyrgyzstan today are conducted through kidnapping and that in half of these cases the woman is forced into marriage against her will. This documentary follows the dramatic stories of four of non-consensual kidnappings. ...

  • Bucharest - Year of the Dragon

    „Anul Dragonului” tells the stories of Chinese immigrants in Bucharest, lost in the social and economic landscape of present-day Romania. At the same time, it captures scenes of Romanian realities as seen and understood from their perspective. Han Wenlong is an illegal immigrant whose dream of working in an Eastern European construction site has ended even before it began. Shen Xiaoming is a Chinese businessman and, at the same time, a Romanian citizen who lives divided between the two worlds. Li Jianhua is a journalist who put his own life in danger trying to present objectively the life of a developing community. ...

  • Café-Finovo

    The film attempts to change our perception on death, presenting the story of the first German café located in a cemetery - Café-finovo. Within the walls of the cemetery Alter St. Matthäus from Berlin where Wilhelm Grimm is buried among others, one can find artists and story-tellers involved in the cultural life of the café while enjoying its famous cakes. Café-finovo hosts various events not related to death or mourning: literary mornings, concerts, exhibitions and other leisure activities. The film tries to answer the question: if cemeteries existed for the living more than for the dead, would we accept more easily our own death and limitations? ...

  • Char... the No-Man's Island

    Ten years ago, a flood of the Ganga river destroyed the Rubels’ house. An island was formed from the river's waters, a no man's land the inhabitants called Char. Rubel and his family, together with other homeless people, decided to settle on this barren and desolate strip of land. Rubel is 14 and his dream is to return to his old school in India and go on with his studies, but the reality forces him to make a living from smuggling rice on the Ganga, at the border between India and Bangladesh. The summer is almost ending, the weather is changing and the river threatens to flood again and wipe out the small and fragile island. Despite this, Rubel smiles and says "Char may disappear, but we won't". ...

  • City Tour

    The film captures aspects of three famous areas of Bucharest city, dangerous places but at the same time fascinating, where marginals live - Ferentari, Gara de Nord, Griviţei. The documentary follows the distribution of free syringes to the inhabitants of these neighbourhoods. ...

  • Clinical Romance

    62 year old Hao Hebbinghaus has two passions: taking pictures of every moment of his life and collecting objects that relate to all sorts of memories. Despite this, he feels very lonely, so one day he decides to call his ex-wife, from whom he had separated ten years ago. His plan is that the two of them spend the evenings together, but they gradually find out that the years of separation have changed them completely. ...

  • Dancing alone

    When she was 12 years old, Biene ran away from home, leaving behind a family stricken with hatred and violence, and ended up in an orphanage. Nowadays, she is 33 years old and wants to reunite with all the members of her family - her mother, her father and sisters, in an attempt to understand them and reanalyze her past. The reunion, however, is not desired by anybody and the relationships are still under tension, altered by the brutal memories of childhood, of physical and sexual abuse. Strong, shocking and unusual, this film is a cruel and blunt reflection of a present failing to find reconciliation with the past. ...

  • Danube Hospital

    The documentary captures the daily routine in one of the largest hospitals in Europe and creates an intricate puzzle whose pieces generate meaning only when they are fully assembled. Filmed in various places in the hospital, in conference rooms, in the patients' wards or in the offices of various departments, the film shows in great detail the relationships and medical processes that are usually invisible for the patients or visitors. The entire film is a mirror of our society, of the way it deals with health and illness, life and death. ...

  • Drill Baby Drill

    One day, the people from a small village of only 50 families in the East of Poland near the Ukrainian border discover that Chevron, the world's fourth largest energy corporation, intends to build a shale gas well in their village. At first, the villagers are not against the construction, however, after they realize that their farms can be affected, they start to mobilize and revolt against Chevron. They appeal to politicians and to the state institutions, but their actions remain without answer. Meanwhile, Chevron has brought the bulldozers and started work on the construction. The Polish farmers however are determined to fight to the end for their village, which lies in an ecological and agricultural region also known as the "lungs of Poland". ...

  • Dzukija's Bull

    Jonas, nicknamed by the villagers „The Bull” because of his incredible strength, lives in an archaic world, far away from civilization. He goes through life without rush or certainties, reminding the modern man of his fragility. Despite the Soviet past, the people in the Lithuanian region Dzukija have kept their primitive point of view on the world. Dzukija seems a place divided between degradation and holiness, where life and death, happiness and sorrow, joy and pain are inseparable, coexisting in a world full of apocalyptic visions. ...

  • Eighteenth birthday

    The day before turning 18, Goska leaves the Youth Educational Center of Lodz to go home, where she dreams of throwing a bang-up birthday party with her boyfriend and friends. However, the first discussion with her mother ends up in a fight. Like a multi-facet mirror, the film shows various aspects of the young protagonist's personality, capturing with delicacy the anxieties and problems of adolescence. ...

  • Facebook Follies

    Facebook, the world's widest known social network has completely changed the way in which people communicate. Currently, over three quarters of a billion Internet users from all over the world have Facebook accounts, since it is easy to use and access. Our relationships, thoughts, passions, memories, life and even death are recorded daily on Facebook, like in a routine. The film presents a series of interviews about the consequences of posting on Facebook personal information. This includes people whose recklessness cost them their job, their marriage or even their freedom, but also the happy case of a man who found his family after 50 years thanks to Facebook. ...

  • Father Arsenie Boca in Spirit and Truth

    Arsenie Boca is considered by many Christians as "Romania's last saint". The monk became a legend due to his prophetic words and his deeds, considered to be miracles by those who witnessed them. The film focuses on the testimony of Mother Marina, and on the murals of the church in Drăgănescu village, painted by Arsenie Boca after he was released from the hell of the Communist prisons. One of the paintings shows the martyric death of Saint Stephen the New whose destiny strikingly resembles that of Arsenie Boca. ...

  • Forget Me Not

    Director David Sieveking is making his mother's portrait - Gretel, an elderly woman, suffering from Alzheimer. In their youth, David's parents were actively involved in the student movement of the '60s and had an "open relationship", which is now remembered by Gretel in a tragic way, through the disease that she suffers from. David presents his parents with humour and affection, exploring their human side and the transformations that force the members of the family to face their own conflicts and learn new ways in which to express their feelings and personal experiences. ...

  • Gangster of Love

    Matchmaker Nediljko Babic, a.k.a the "Ganster", tries to help a single mother from Bulgaria to find a husband in Croatia. Throughout the searches, the woman meets several possible matches, but without any results. Croatian men are rigid and conservatory, and they cannot imagine marrying a foreigner who also has a child on top of everything. Nediljko Babic is a captivating character in the role of a marriage broker, and the film deals very earnestly with the issue of rudimentary mentalities and social aspects of the rural areas in spite of the humorous and casual approach. ...

  • Google And The World Brain

    The documentary speaks about the most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet, and about the dilemmas and dangers involved. In 2002, Google Inc. has started scanning millions of books with the intention of creating a gigantic virtual library, which would contain every book in the world. However, over half of the scanned books were protected by copyright, and authors across the world launched a campaign to stop the project, which culminated in a trial in New York. The representatives of Google claim that the purpose of the project is to create a superior form of intelligence, predicted by H.G.Wells in his 1937 essay " World Brain ", however, the sceptics believe that, their real intentions entirely different. ...

  • Grass: A Nation Battle for Life

    Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life is a 1925 silent documentary film which follows a branch of the Bakhtiari tribe of Iran as they and their herds make their seasonal journey to better pastures. It is considered one of the earliest ethnographic documentary films.The film is Merian C. Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack, and Marguerite Harrison's documentation of their journey from Angora (modern-day Ankara, Turkey) to the Bakhtiari lands of western Iran, in what is now the Chahar Mahaal va Bakhtiari province. They then follow Haidar Khan as he leads 50,000 of his people and countless animals on a harrowing trek across the Karun River and over Zard Kuh, the highest peak in the Zagros Mountains. In filming the journey, Cooper, Schoedsack, and Harrison became the first Westerners to make the migration with the Bakhtiari. The film highlights the extreme hardships faced by nomadic peoples, as well as the bravery and ingenuity of the Bakhtiari. ...

  • Hay Days

    The film presents Anthony and Petra Ingram's story, a British couple who sold their house in the UK and decided to settle in a farm in Harghita county. In 2012, during hay making season, the director and his wife visit the two at their farm in Romania. Discussions start about the decisions taken by them, about infertility in the couple and the desire to have children and about the fact that Anthony was adopted when he was a child. ...

  • Hello Stranger

    The story of this documentary built as a personal diary oscillates between family, friends and love. The director goes through a challenging moment, forcing him to face his personality, confront his family who have a different view on life, and become the connection between loved ones who, apart from him, share nothing in common with others. The film becomes a personal reflection on the borders between love and sexuality, on religious limitations and moral values, in a constant search for freedom. ...

  • Hopes for Sale

    This experimental documentary presents a series of interviews with seven girls from Romania who were sold abroad for prostitution. These victims of sex trade manage to escape eventually and agree to reveal their stories. Demonstrating generosity and great courage, Andreea, Ramona, Andrada, Maria, Camelia, Gabriela and Luminița accepted to go through the strain of speaking up about this part of their lives so that other girls would not go through similar experiences. ...

  • Horizon

    Filmed in the cities of Jæren and Lista, the documentary describes in a series of poetic imagery the coastline scenery from the South-West of Norway, the buoys, the ships, the birds, the animals and the fields. Without any dialogue, inspired from music and painting, the film is a tribute to the beauty of the nature and, at the same time, an incentive towards its preservation and protection. ...

  • How it's made. Episode 38, 79, 190, 222

    How It’s Made is a television series consisting of 130 24-minute episodes. Each episode contains 4 segments of 4 minutes and 30 seconds where we discover what certain everyday household items are made of, like toothpicks, compact discs, cereal, fiber optics, chips, airplanes, etc. Each capsule is supported by a narration that informs the viewer about the making of each product. This commentary is accompanied by an original soundtrack, composed specifically for “How It’s Made”. How It’s Made is broadcast in over 180 countries throughout the world. ...

  • If 6 was 9

    The film is the portrait of a 50 year old man who tries to prove that he is "a normal person". Corneliu Simionescu finds his peace by making movies, including production, acting and sound. This is the reason why he sometimes argues with the filming crew about subjects related to filmmaking. The favourite characters he enacts are Saint Nicholas and the Romanian feudal ruler Ştefan cel Mare. Fed up with fighting with the state authorities and with the other residents who fear him and believe he is "crazy", the protagonist looks for salvation in religion because, as he says, the relationship with God is constant, while the one with people is not. ...

  • Igrushki

    In the town Zhlobin of Belarus, after 21 years since the Soviet Union collapsed, most of the locals make a living from making and selling soft toys. Their only customers are the passengers of the trains passing by that make a brief halt in the station outside the town. However, this itinerant trade is a more difficult activity as it might seem, since selling things in the station is illegal and the authorities are always there, ready to stop the merchants to get near the trains. ...

  • In Mayor's name

    Welcome to Piatra Neamţ, Romania! At the Townhall, people queue for audiences even if the mayor himself is out of office. Everything looks like a game closely captured by the camera. Each look, each gesture create an allegory of power. Tragic, comic, and at the same time very serious, the documentary alludes to Ionesco's absurdism. ...

  • In-Between Days

    This is the story of Chiranjit and Bubai, two young transgender friends from Kolkata. Rejected by society, and even by their own families, they have no other choice but prostituting themselves to well-paying customers, while also working for an NGO working in LGBT advocacy and HIV awareness. Chiranjit dreams of becoming an important business person, while Bubai seeks a loving partner. Time goes by, and their dreams come true to some extend: Chanjit gets promoted, and Bubai finds a new boy-friend. But their former bond ceases to exist. ...

  • Ion

    The film presents the unusual destiny of Ion Beleaua, a blind Romanian immigrant living in Liège since the early '90s. Ion lost his sight as a child but he managed to overcome his disability with the support of his wife Maria, also visually impaired, and even to take risks and confront dangerous situations, such as speaking his mind during the communist regime. Today he is one of the six visually impaired persons employed by the Belgian police for transcribing telephone interceptions. ...

  • Jews for Sale

    The film approaches an unusual subject - "the largest citizen sale operation ever employed by a European state”. In 1974, a Romanian passenger carrying a diplomatic passport boarded from the Zürich airport with the destination Bucharest. Upon arrival in Bucharest, he noticed that one of his suitcases was missing. It was a suitcase handed over by an old acquaintance shortly before his departure. The diplomat was General M., a commander in the General Office of Foreign Intelligence, the Securitate's espionage division. The suitcase contained one million dollars designed to facilitate the emigration to Israel for a certain number of Jews. This is just one episode in the history of the human trafficking operations organized by the Romanian communist state: the sale of Jew Romanian citizens to Israel. ...

  • Kedi

    Kedi is an experimental documentary, of the type Cadavre Exquis – a game invented in 1925 by surrealist artists, where words and images are put together by a group where every participant has to contribute, either according to a previous rule, or by seeing the contribution of the one before them. Several people of Istanbul are captured in their imagination, thus creating a "moving" collective portrait. They create and narrate together the story of a cat's life. ...

  • Krasna Malanka

    The inhabitants of the local village Krasna, on the territory of Ukraine, are getting ready to celebrate Malanka. This traditional yearly celebration is an important event for everybody, but especially for the young, representing a form of rite of initiation. At night, the group goes from house to house and make pranks or perform small plays in which each member of the group has a certain role, and the entire action is led by a young bachelor dressed as a woman. ...

  • La maison de la radio

    The documentary invites us to spend twenty four hours in the backstage of the national radio station Radio France. Along the corridors, in the recording studios, on a motorcycle that accompanies the cyclists from the Tour de France, or together with a "storm hunting" photographer, the filmmaker skilfully presents charismatic and savoury characters. Among them are a news editor with a sense of humour, an anchor training to present the latest news or a dedicate producer who knows from the first clue how to get what he wants from a subject. Throughout the film, we discover the entire production process of a mass media institution and the people behind it who, especially in the case of a radio station, usually remain invisible. ...

  • LET'S DANCE - Argentina, Bretannia, Georgia, Finland, Italy, Cypru

    Little dancing-heroes from all over the world show us their music and folklore. Dancing is a vivid emblem of a country and a culture. In Europe, the USA, Africa, Asia and South America, melodies and the gestures that go with them are constantly present in daily life and in ceremonial occasions. The hero of each episode is a child dancer. We follow him in his daily activities, among them dance classes and rehearsals as well as preparing costumes. We also attend special events in the culture's folklore, as our escort performs in front of an audience. The child will then act as our guide in these typical festivals and ceremonial occasions. We will discover the “artists'” costumes, accessories, head-dresses and make-up. Beyond the folk element, each episode will focus on the story and the world of one child: his dreams, desires, artistic sensibility, and his first steps in what may, one day, become his profession. As music and dancing are wonderful direct ways of introducing children to different countries and cultures, this series uses dancing as a means of exploring a specific cultural universe. It provides young viewers with an informative way of better understanding other people, and respecting their cultures and differences. ...

  • Letter

    An isolated village in the North-West of Russia. An old wooden house hosts a mental hospital. The place and the people seem untouched by civilization. The black and white image, set in a hallo that reminds of the fog of rural mornings, presents ghostly characters going on with their daily activities. In this pure, primordial framework, no human voice is heard. The dialogues are mute, and the enigmatic faces suggest a symbolic dimension, transmitted through the senses, through a combination of suffering and anonymity, thus creating a texture of sounds full with untold personal stories. ...

  • Leviathan

    Filmed completely aboard a fishing ship in New England, the documentary offers a unique stylistic and visual experience: nearly 90 minutes of sounds and images - wind, water, noises, processing mechanisms and struggling fish. The entire industrial process, the daily routine of people working aboard the fishing vessel, the nature, life and death on the sea, are captured in great detail, wordless, object to pure observation, without bias or preconceptions. The shots filmed from multiple angles and spots, simultaneously, with the help of small digital cameras placed in the corners of the ship, on the fishermen's helmets or in the water, expose continuously the reality of a visceral cinematographic examination. ...

  • Little Land

    Since the beginning of the crisis in Greece, a growing number of unemployed Athenians have decided to move to the countryside, hoping to change their lives for the better. Among them is Theodoris, 35, who settled in Ikaria, a remote island in the Aegean sea. He discovers there a local functional economy, a small society with a unique culture of autonomy and cooperation, where people’s lives are not only better but also longer. It is one of the few "blue zones" of the world. The film aims to bring out the secret of the Ikarians, whose completely different life could become relevant for us in times of economic and social upheaval. ...

  • Losing Sonia

    „Losing Sonia“ shows how a seemingly rigid monastery can be a place full of life, beauty and artistic expression. Sonia, a young nun, paints icons at night and then sleeps until noon. She has a dog, cats, exotic birds, and a body that rebelled against the strict rigour of the monks. Trying to understand her and the meaning of her choices in life, we come to Sonia’s family, marked by the history of Russia. At the same time, the film is a journey inside the Orthodox church, showing that the deep spirituality of the nation is being reborn. „Losing Sonia“ tells the story of an unusual woman who tries to rebuild the values ussian society has lost under successive political regimes, and she does this within the walls of a monastery. ...

  • Man Made Place

    China passes through a period of very fast urban development. In this context, the documentary aims to analyse, under the form of an experiment, the situations of two towns with a special status: Yumen - a ghost town, and Kangbashi - a mythical town of the future. Both are deserted, but from two completely different reasons. ...

  • Maria

    The film tells the moving story of the final hours in an elderly woman's life, while her relatives and friends prepare for the funeral. ...

  • Matthew’s Laws

    Director Marc Schmidt films his childhood buddy, Matthew, who suffers from autism and desperately tries to create order in the chaos around him. Followed closely in his privacy, Matthew's explosive confrontations with the outside world are alternated with stylized observations and personal confessions. Little by little, the film unravels the complex way of Matthew's thinking and shows the catastrophic consequences his disorder may eventually have for him. ...

  • My family, briefly

    This short film is made by a 16 year old from the town Bârlad, Romania, and participated in the Cannes Film Festival, in the section Short Film Corner. The film is Elena’s attempt to discover the influence of The Factory (The Bârlad Bearing Factory) on the life of her family. The name of the Factory was constantly present in her home, which makes Elena realize that it was the main income source for the family. However, times change and the name of the Factory is rarely mentioned by the father, who has already found a different job, and by the mother who found work in Italy a while ago. Elena takes advantage of her mother's visit home for Christmas to find answers to questions that bother her. ...

  • My German Children

    Tom is born in Israel, in a mixed marriage - the father is a Jew, survivor of the Holocaust, and the mother is German, an ex-volunteer in a Kibbutz. At the age of 20, Tom moves to Germany and settles in Munich where she becomes a wife and the mother of two. After 17 years, she decides to take her children to Israel for one year, a time for Daniel (15) and Shira (16) to discover their Jewish roots and for Tom to rejoin her family. The film is a sentimental, painful and contradictory journey, a story about belonging and identity. ...

  • Nico - Home At Work

    Nico works as a char woman for a family living in a rich neighbourhood. Five hours a day, five days a week she takes care of a house which is not her own. This portrait documentary shows the way in which the domestic life of a woman is transferred from her personal space at home to somebody else’s place, where she applies the same familiar strategies and does things her own way. At the same time, by being constantly connected to other people’s privacy, Nico lives the experience of being someone else. ...

  • Nicolae,Son of Ion, Son of Iacob/ Nicolae Pițis from Lăpuș

    Nicolae,son of Ion son of Iacob, is an old man from Lăpuş village who guides us in an amazing journey through his own memories of a simple, country life. He tells us, full of emotion, about a world that has not offered him the chance for an education, but where he managed to learn on his own the skills of playing traditional music. The old man exposes his soul in front of the camera, while playing on various wind instruments songs composed by himself. ...

  • North Korea, Absolutely Unenviable

    In April 2012, the North Koreans celebrated the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth. Behind the pharaonic festivity, North Korea is an enormous camp for 25 million people who do not have the right to own property, who receive food based on ration books, who are not allowed to talk to strangers and do not know what the Internet is. For the pompous parades, the Koreans practice weeks in a row, and they build in Pyongyang 50-floor apartment buildings where nobody will live for the sole purpose to impress foreigners and hide the country’s poverty. If the regime crashed tomorrow, the Koreans would not know what to do. They live on what they are given by the government, and if asked whether they are happy with their lives, they do not know what to answer since they have no point of reference, nothing to compare to. Currently, North Korea is the most isolated country in the world. ...

  • Picturesque

    The film intends to re-evaluate the social-cultural concept of "picturesque", through stories and visual imagery, following Mr. Nelu, 75, tourist guide and collaborator in the magazine "România pitorească". The filming crew follows Mr. Nelu in a journey through the villages, mines and deserted factories from the Apuseni mountains, while he comments on his personal relationship with the term "picturesque". At the same time, the director of the film is looking for the "perfect image" to represent the term. Therefore, the camera captures barren scenery and deserted fields, having nothing in common with the idyllic pastures, which places the term on the border of utopia. ...

  • Rio 2016

    Two young gymnasts, Teodora and Andreea, aged 13 and 11, enjoy a different childhood. They spend their time training thoroughly to enter the national gymnastics team, hoping to go to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. The film tells a story of ambition and dreams, and of overcoming personal limits. The results of their efforts will be seen, probably, for only one summer at the olympics, when they will have their moment of glory in a sport that made history for Romania. ...

  • Roma connection

    In the Opera Square in Paris, tourists are approached by young Roma girls who ask, gesticulating, for donations for organizations that take care of speech and hearing impaired persons. In reality, the girls are neither deaf nor dumb, and they make around 100 Euro a day from deceiving the tourists. This is only one example of a criminal network led by the Roma in Bărbuleşti, an apparently poor village of Romania. They have control over important streets in Paris and Genève, but the French police has decided to act, with the support of the Romanian police. ...

  • Songs For a Museum

    Papu Gherase, Papu Giogi, Papu Coli and Papu Miciu, four old men who sing polyphonic music following a centuries-old tradition in their community, go on the road to give concerts and promote their first and only record, meditating humorously on happier days of the past, the daunting present, and the approaching death. A road movie in space and time that, while going forward with the concerts, goes backwards in time through the stories in which the singers reminisce their past and compare it with a very different present, in the light of the final disappearance of their musical tradition along with their own fading-out memory. ...

  • The Act Of Killing

    After the Indonesian government was overthrown by the army in 1965, Anwar and his friends became petty gangsters, leaders of the death squads. They contributed to the killing of over one million alleged Communists, Chinese ethnics and intellectuals considered enemies of the new regime. Anwar and his friends are willing to tell the story of the crimes they had done, but their idea of appearing on the big screen is not one of simple confession for a documentary: they want to be the stars of films of their favourite genres: western, musicals, gangster films. Therefore, they write the scripts, they act themselves and they even enact their victims. ...

  • The Big Day

    A wedding is a special occasion in everybody's life, requiring long preparations, because every detail counts. The film presents the young people's perspective on this event, their expectations and how much they are willing to pay, especially when they don't want to make any compromise when it comes to their own wedding. As their wishes diversify, a market develops to fulfil those needs. Thus, for some couples the dream wedding can become a reality. ...

  • The Bridge Club

    In a small Turkish club, the clients gather round to play cards, watch football games and place bets. All are men. In this completely masculine universe, there is still a feminine presence: Nermin, an employee that works there from morning to evening. Coincidence or not, her daughter shares the habits of the clients: she is a football player. ...

  • The Curse Of The Hedgehog

    The film follows the life of an extended Roma family for a whrole year. They belong to the "Baiesi "group of Roma, who live in extreme poverty. The filmmaker accompanied them on the way from their dwelling place in the mountain to the lowland villages, where they try to trade handmade goods for food or money. These winter tours are survival trips for them, as they have no other income whatsoever. However, the film is more than the story of their struggle to survive. During the 100 minutes, we come to understand why they refuse to work the land, and how they relate to the Romania shepherds, and to the rich Baesi from their village they call "businessmen", who make large fortunes from selling fake rings abroad. We discover how mythological thinking is activated in their everyday life, along with their Christian Orthodox religiousness. By watching this film, we achieve a better understanding of the absurdities and the pain that fill the lives of these people living on the edge of society, and we come to admire the wit, and the humour, which help them to come through. ...

  • The Face Mania

    Lena Constante, an innocent victim of the struggle over over power within the Romanian Communist Party, was arrested in January 1948 and involved in the trial of Lucretiu Patrascanu. After long years of detention (she was relased only in 1961), sole survivor of the trial, she writes a shocking book, "Silent Escape", which is the basis of this film and which constitutes an amazing testimony about the will to survive, in prison, escaping through creation. ...

  • The Fourth One

    The documentary was filmed on a single Sunday of Emilia's life. She is an elderly but still quick-witted woman, mother of five. The day begins like any other day, but as the story progresses, every moment of the morning routine reveals its tragic meaning. It is a special and very difficult Sunday for Emilia. It is the day when she must part forever with one of her children, the fourth one out of the five. Therefore, questions about life and death arise, in a humane and emotional story about the intimacy of a family and contrasts between the old and the new. ...

  • The Internet is Closing Down

    Why does copyright exist? Who is actually affected by web piracy? Why do we sometimes feel like criminals when we are online? This short film looks into the issue of copyright in the context of today's digital life. Culture has become collaborative and creativity defines a new generation. We have something important which needs to be protected: the digital world, the place where innovation and knowledge (still) travel freely. ...

  • The Last Peasants: Part 3 - A Good Wife

    Angus Macqueen's three-part series follows the human stories of three Romanian families torn apart by the realities of migration. The remote village of Budesti in Northern Romania is a world of of the past, filled with horses and carts, and medieval beliefs. But the young villagers see no romance in their existence. Their eyes are turned to the modern world of the West. In Budesti, every family has an illegal immigrant abroad. After exploring in Journeys the realities facing the immigrants, Temptation observes the clash of cultures, and the expectations of different generations in rural Romania. Finally, A Good Wife focuses on the impact of migration on the local community. Observational, up-close, and touching, the film looks at the changes imposed on the local community by the collapse of Communism and the new relationship with Western Europe. At the same time, The Last Peasants depicts the agony of the peasant culture that has survived two World Wars and half a century of communism, but is threatened with extinction after just a decade of democracy. ...

  • The Showroom

    On the 4th of March 2012, the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Bucharest City Hall of Sector 2 organized an event in the park Grădina Icoanei as part of the Days of Orthodoxy. The participants brought icons from home for a public blessing. The camera flows over faces and icons while religious speeches of officials are heard in the background, and captures discretely the intersection between religiousness and cabotinage. ...

  • The Tanase Dossier

    The film is the reconstruction of the famous espionage case called by the French newspapers "The Tănase affair" (Paris, 1982). The main characters - dissidents Virgil Tănase and Paul Goma, and the spy Matei Haiducu - take part in the reconstruction through recent or past confessions, supported by the accounts of a former vice director of the French counter-intelligence service. The political plot behind the affair is represented by the conflict between the presidents Francois Mitterrand and Nicolae Ceauşescu. The documentary shows the hidden face of Romania during the Ceauşescu regime with regard to foreign affairs and the criminal means employed by the Securitate to bring opponents to silence. ...

  • The Unit

    The fall of the Communist regime was followed by a financial downturn, and the lives of the workers in the synthetic wire factory Modosin from Vaslui city has changed forever. They found themselves plummeting in a new, free world, where they did not fit anymore. Even if they made efforts to adapt to transition and find new jobs, the workers still remained trapped in the past. The factory disappeared, and the very foundation of their lives vanished with it. Nowadays, the former employees still meet in various reunions, anniversaries or funerals only to relive the memories of the "most beautiful years" of their lives. The documentary casts an insider's look on this community of people who are bound together not necessarily by a nostalgic feeling, but by the desire to belong to a structure - a large family, a social order. ...

  • The Venice Syndrome

    Venice is constantly visited by tourists from all over the world. Twenty million foreigners visited the city last year, which totals to an average of 60.000 people a day. However, at nightfall, Venice turns into a ghost town. Entire neighbourhoods are long since abandoned by their inhabitants, the streets and buildings are empty, offering just a touristic myth to serve business interests. The town has stopped working like an urban structure and is under constant deterioration. This documentary is the portrait of one of the most beautiful towns of the world captured in a process of self destruction. ...

  • The Verdict

    16 years after the Yugoslav war, thousands of people gathered in the main square of Zagreb to watch a live broadcast of the verdict pronounced against Croatian generals accused of war crimes against the Serbs. Their trial began on March 11th 2008 and ended in September 2010. Through a series of close-ups, the movie captures, describes and documents, the emotions of the moment when the decision of the court is made public. ...

  • The Way to Nowhere Island

    Tamsin Omond, is a rising star of the British environmental movement. She is an energetic, charismatic activist, making the headlines with her participation to demonstrations which frequently end up in her getting arrested. Because her radical actions fail to convert more people to the environmental cause, she decides to adopt a different strategy: taking advantage of her constant presence in the news as a means of getting her message across to a wider audience. However, Tamsin's decision to become and "eco-celebrity" is not to everyone's liking. The documentary tells the story of a fascinating character who is able of anything in her power to change the world, even with the risk of losing the loved ones. ...

  • Three Sisters

    Ying(10), Zhen(6) and Fen(4) are three sisters who live by themselves in a small village in the Yunnan region. Their father works in a town hundreds of kilometres away and is only able to come home on rare occasions, and their mother has left them a long time ago. Patient and peaceful Ying has taken over the care of the household and of her two younger sisters. The girls do not go to school, and they spend most of their time working in the field or wandering about on the roads of the village. One day, however, their father returns and decides to take the two younger sisters with him and to leave Ying in the care of her grandfather. For Ying a new solitary life begins, to which she needs to gradually adapt. ...

  • TIME FOR FUN Indonesia, Japan, France, Rwanda, Netherlands

    Japan Kotone, eleven years old, gets out of school every day at four o’clock and goes home with her friends. Before doing their homework, the three girls like to go to a theme park but their merry-go-rounds are a bit shaky and Kotone prefers more calm activities. The parents of Kotone suggest she make a traditional wooden toy, a kite. But it is not easy for a young girl and she will need help. Kotone loves calligraphy. She learns to draw a kanji, a symbol or letter to write on the kite her parents have given her. Like many Japanese children, Kotone is also learning martial arts and after her class, she goes to a café to read mangas. Kotone is a very active little Japanese girl and one of her favorite pastimes is the piano. She plays very well even though she is worried about her exam at the end of the year. But her biggest worry at the moment is the kite. Kotone loves artistic activities. She wants to learn origami. A little paper-folding lesson will allow Kotone to offer her cousin a gift for the Shin shi gosan festival. This festival is also the time to try out her new kite. She hopes it will fly! ...

  • Tokyo Waka

    Tokyo is an ultra-modern and spectacular city, with a thrilling life during the day as well as at night time. Above the city, however, on the roofs of the buildings, on poles and power lines live 20,000 crows. Since their number are rising alarmingly, the administration of the metropolis finds itself forced to take measures, like hunting them or trying to trap them, destroying their nests and preventing them from feeding from the garbage. However, the crows have adapted constantly, forcing the 13 million inhabitants of the city share the living space with them. Apart from following the behaviour of the crows, the film proves to be an episodic and discursive poem about life and culture in Tokyo, one of the largest cities of the world. ...

  • Tonel And Vieru Or TheMeaning Of The Ballad

    The memory of a tragic accident - a crime that happened fifty years ago at a peasant wedding - was transformed into a ballad. The victim’s father - the one who ordered the ballad – organizes the revenge and another crime. ...

  • Valley of Sighs

    Between 1943 and 1945, 25.000 Romani people were deported to Transnistria by the Antonescu regime. Half of them soon died of hunger, cold or other causes. 70 years later, a few survivors, who were of a very young age at that time, recall and give a sad account of those terrible events. The film aims to reconstruct the journey, places and tragic experiences of the past. Interviews with the members of the Ukrainian community from Transnistria expand the stories of the Roma survivors and transform an area nowadays apparently trivial in a place of anthropological value, memories and tears. ...

  • Wasted

    For the inhabitants of Old India, the word "waste" did not exist, since the object itself was non existent. Waste appeared in the agricultural Colonial history, becoming a concept with the beginning of the industrial revolution. Nowadays waste represents a mark of development, and India produces it in huge quantities. The documentary is a personal perspective on the waste in India and the idea of recycling, as the author attempts to identify "waste" that he has produced in time as a film director and "recycle" old footage, transforming it into archive material. ...