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Astra Film Festival

Astra Film Festival 2014 - Films

  • ”Polyethylene terephthalate” Rafters

    Seven people set off on an adventure in the Danube Delta: they water travel for 14 days, on a raft made of wood and plastic bottles. On their way, they interact with the locals, who are worried about nature degradation and the lessening of the fish and birds. The experience of the people who live in the Delta and depend on its resources is different from that of the adventurous tourists, bewildered by the beauty of the scenery. ...

  • A Kitchen For The People

    In ‘the world’s happiest country’ – Denmark, food waste is one of the biggest paradoxes causing social, environmental and moral issues. Very often supermarkets, restaurants and even independent farmers throw out food that is still perfectly edible, transforming the dumpsters into treasure chests for many curious. Folkekøkken – A Kitchen for the People depicts a group of young people, mainly international students who have created and maintained a weekly free, volunteer-based restaurant by collaborating with two farmers and a bakery that chose to donate their waste instead of throwing it away. The film captures the ephemeral community that is formed each week due to an ever-changing flow of participants, and reflects on the underlying values these people share. ...

  • Aliyah DaDa (aka From Romania to Zion)

    The film presents a well documented history of Jews in Romania. 133 years ago, a small community in Moinești was leaving for the Holy Land, to establish one of the first kibbutzim in Palestine. Since then, the path of Jews towards Israel has been intertwined with the history of modern Romania through a love-hate bond, the influences of which cannot be quantified too soon. The historical tale is visually trimmed in the Dada style as a tribute to the pioneers of this movement, Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco, two Jews of Romanian descent. ...

  • Alphabet

    We’re living in times of sweeping changes, crises and disorientation. The financial system, energy, climate change: all the problems in these areas have one thing in common, they were created by humans. Many were created by humans educated at the world’s best universities and institutions. Is this mess a side effect of their education, or the underlying attitudes and approach? The documentary’s focus in on the global modern education system and on the way it represents obstacle for the developing of creativity and free thought in children. It also highlights the fact that, in the future, education should further embrace diversity and variety, thus enriching the students’ universe ...

  • American Commune

    Rena and Nadine were raised in a hippie commune from Tennessee and left in 1985. They are revisiting it now for the first time, to explore the commune’s and their own familiy’s history. After many years of hiding their past, they try to understand how did the biggest American utopian socialist experiment work, as they were part of it, too. ...

  • Șantier în lucru-The Cities, after

    The documentary offers a balanced perspective on the urban development of Romanian cities after the fall of communism in 1989. The authors selected three emblematic cities, Cluj Napoca, Constanța and Iași for this first-time project. They study the inner workings of the anarchist understanding of democracy and its impact on the ecological, social and urban equilibrium, as well as the post-communist generation’s new ways of city –making. ...

  • Apocalypse: World War I: DELIVERANCE

    October 1917: the Italians are defeated in a bloody battle against Austro-Hungary and Germany. At the same time, Lenin leads the Bolsheviks and initiates the October Revolution. In March 1918, the new communist Russian leaders sign a peace treaty with the Central Forces at Brest-Litovsk. The Germans would then send their troops towards France, on the Western front. The frightened Parisians leave the capital, but American reinforcements are on their way. In July 1918, 1.300.000 Americans are on European ground. Uncle Sam wins battle after battle and all French territories are liberated, while the British are winning in the East, recovering land from the surrendering Turks. On 11 November 1918, the fighting stops. The Treaty of Versailles sows the seeds for the Second World War. ...

  • Apocalypse: World War I: FEAR

    While the Russians are advancing on Prussian territory, in the West the German offensive is barely stopped by the French during the battle of the Marne. The Western front is established and it extends from Switzerland to the shore of the North Sea. In the South, the Italians and the Turks also join the conflict. Subsequently, the British and French allies appeal to their Empires: Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Senegalese, Moroccans, Algerians, Annamese enter the war. The fire has already extended to the whole world. The battlefields are a living hell. ...

  • Apocalypse: World War I: FURY

    The war that took place between 1914 and 1918 was an immense carnage, yielding almost 10 million dead soldiers, 9 million dead civilians and 21 million wounded. What is the source of this fury which would engulf the world for four years? A few weeks after the Sarajevo assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, complying with the alliances formed between the states. In August 1914, the Germans are drawing near to Paris. ...

  • Apocalypse: World War I: HELL

    September 1915. Millions of men are trapped in a tremendous war. From the trenches of France, to the mountains of Italy or the Balkans, up to the Oriental Gates, the whole of Europe is under flames. With new weapons and new defensive techniques, the war turns into an industrial and chemical conflict. The battles reach an unimaginable level of violence. The artillery besieges: attacks are conducted using gas, rocket launchers, shrapnel, a mixture of lead powder and lead balls which tear up faces and bodies. The assaults are terrifying, even suicidal. Steel storms pierce the eardrum and drive the soldiers mad. The wounds are terrible, living and hygiene conditions are disastrous, epidemics wreak havoc... It's hell on earth. ...

  • Apocalypse: World War I: RAGE

    Rage is brewing, starvation is crushing the population, leading to uprisings. In Germany, socialist movements challenge the future of the Reich. The Austro-Hungarian Empire is shaking. Franz-Joseph is dead and Charles, his successor, is attempting to bring peace. The battle at Chemin des Dames triggers riots, the Tsar abdicates, while the Russian soldiers join the revolution. However, the Germans make a strategic mistake which would change the course of events: they decide to attack all ships on the Atlantic, including the American ones. The USA joins the allies and, in June 1917, general Pershing lands in France with the first troops. A month after their arrival, the Passchendaele battle starts in Belgium. Another senseless carnage. Aren't the leaders longing for deliverance? ...

  • Art War

    Art becomes an important weapon for young Egyptians who are continuing the revolution on the streets of Cairo. They bring art into the streets to create commemorative images of the victims of the violent clashes between the police and the protesters, they stage bold performances or compose music that goes against the coercive values of Islamic extremists. More than one thousand artists have died since the beginning of the revolution in Egypt and others are threatened to be killed by Islamic leaders. Nevertheless, for many of them cultural resistance through art is a way of life and an alternative to the political and religious system in Egypt. A bold documentary that will keep you on the edge of your seat. ...

  • At Berkeley

    The University of California at Berkeley, the oldest and most prestigious member of a ten campus public education system, is also one of the finest research and teaching facilities in the world. The film, AT BERKELEY, shows the major aspects of university life, its intellectual and social mission, its obligation to the state and to larger ideas of higher education, as well as illustrates how decisions are made and implemented by the administration in collaboration with its various constituencies. ...

  • Behind the Wheel

    Tajikistan is a country known for workers who emigrate to support their families. Most of them are men who leave their wives behind. The film presents the story of Nigora, a Tajik woman working in a garage to support her family, after she finds out that her husband, who left the country to find work, is cheating on her. Combining observational and expository techniques of film making, the documentary portrays an independent and strong character, who defies the rules and shows fortitude in an exceptional situation. ...

  • Blokada

    It is a film about blockade of Leningrad within the second World War. There are no words; there is no music, only sounds and pictures of dying city. ...

  • Blood

    A mobile blood collection unit is accompanied in its journey through various Russian towns. It is revealed that Russia has plenty of donors: old people, young people, unemployed or retired, all stand in line to sell their blood. The state pays 850 rubles (20 euros) for half a liter of blood and for many people this money represents their only source of income. In most Western countries, donating blood is regarded as an ethical act; however, in Russia, it becomes a means of survival. ...

  • Breadtime

    More than fourty years ago, an old village in the Transylvanian mountain region called Țara Moților was swallowed by a lake that originated from mine tailings from the Roșia Poieni copper mine. Nowadays, only the village church steeple is visible. There are only a handful of people left in the isolated village Geamăna. They try to lead a simple life with their daily bread, on the brink of an ecological disaster. The images of mountain landscapes, complemented with nostalgic sounds, become the visual background for the story of the warm bond between the filmmaker and the last Moţi from Geamăna village. ...

  • Brick in the Wall

    Brick in the Wall is a story about a family who’ve been trying to finish building their house for the past 30 years. The woman struggles to lead a normal life in the shadow of an uncompleted dream, while her husband very slowly continues a never ending construction. Why does it need to take a lifetime to build a home? ...

  • Bugarach

    Bugarach had been a small, quiet and isolated village in the South of France, until the international media spread the word that Bugarach was the only place on Earth that would survive the apocalypse. The film captures the way in which five characters are experiencing “the end of the world” in Bugarach. Slide, a boy-magician who believes that the arrival of foreigners will bring him fame; Uranie, a strange millennial who believes in his salvation; Pouce, who claims that Jesus himself will become embodied in the mountain near the village; Mirko, a boy obsessed with karma who wants to protect his village and a journalist. The film is a fable in the shape of an existential comedy about the crisis of spiritual values in the Western world. ...

  • But, I Remember Seeing Sorceresses Fly Away

    In a crowded neighborhood on the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela, strange things are happening. La Rosa Negra, Flor and Alzubey are taking a tour of the best sorcerers in town, experimenting exorcism rituals, spirit invocations, animal sacrifices, or unnatural trances. In the end, the three friends decide that they will try to become sorceresses themselves. Offering direct and unmediated visual access, this documentary suggest a new, highly spiritual world, one that challenges reality as most of us know it. ...

  • CDPL Story

    CDPL – “The Literary Bookmaker” is an unusual publishing house. Three literary enthusiasts want to promote literature in this way: alongside Nora Iuga and other collaborators, the three of them are releasing bold titles and contemporary literature, in spite of a rigid and elitist system of book distribution. This documentary is a self-reflective “bet” meant to promote the publishing house, but also to stir a unique literary cultural form of activism. ...

  • Dear Pyongyang

    In a documentary about her own family, director Yong Hi yang tries to understand her father’s political loyalty to Noth Korea and his radical choices he made due to the Marxist ideology he believes in. In the 70’s, he sent his three sons to live in North Korea, as part of a communist repatriation campaign. Even though the father actually left South Korea for Japan when he was young, he declares himself North Korean because of his political views. Now, the director explores the impact of his past choices and her brother’s life, having access to a secretive country. ...

  • Dissonance

    Two lovers – a man who overcame a brain tumor and a women suffering from leukemia, reunite to sign together. Søren and Malene have not played together since they got sick and the film is an opportunity for them to move around in three rooms and rediscover themselves through music, confessing all the things that they did not dare to say to one another until this moment. This film represents a unique combination of observational and expository documentary with a surrealist twist, in which sound plays an important part. ...

  • Domino Effect

    In Abkhazia, an autonomous republic in the North-West of Georgia, Rafael – the Minister of Sports – is placing all his effort in the organization of an international domino competition. The prospect of a championship boosts the pride and the patriotic spirit of his co-nationals and he is hoping that this event will raise global awareness about his country. The film is both a satire and a social-political commentary, successfully capturing the relationship between Rafael and his wife, a Russian woman who left her past behind and her native country to start a new life in a forgotten place on the shore of the Black Sea. ...

  • Easy Street

    When Charlie the Tramp wanders into a mission he is smitten by Edna and puts back the collection box which he has taken. Reformed, he becomes a policeman and is assigned to rough-and-tumble Easy Street. Unable to trick or beat Eric the Tough, he puts Eric's head in a gas pipe and anesthetizes him. A hero, he now helps many poor people living on Easy Street. Eric escapes jail, Edna is kidnapped, but Charlie (recharged after sitting on a doper's needle) conquers all. Easy Street is transformed as is Eric. ...

  • Ecopolis China

    A Finnish professor and a Chinese business magnate plan different forms of ecological cities to prevent the chaos caused by migration of two billion Chinese rurals to the cities, in the next 15 years. The teacher’s ideal is a laboratoy city in a flourishng valley, while the businessman plans to build a self-suficient skyscraper, the tallest in the world. Which of them will be the urbanistic future of China? ...

  • Emanuel

    Emanuel is a convict in Rahova penitentiary in Bucharest. His engineer diploma did not provide a decent living. Trying to make quick money, he became a drug dealer and he was caught. Now he tells the story of how he ended up behind bars, how money has changed his life and what to expect when he will get out. ...

  • Engelthal - The Valley of The Angel

    The film documents the present status of a small village hidden in a valey of the Sibiu region. Historical documents mention it as early as the 14th century as Engenthal, meaning narrow valley in German. By the middle of the 19th century, the place is refered to as Engelthal, valley of angels. The settlement has always been the smallest and least populated in the area, but today it has become a ghost-village. The buildings, including the Saxon church, are in ruin. There is some hope, though, for the future, in the form of a restoration project conceived and conducted with much enthusiasm and determination by visual artist Tara von Neudorf. ...

  • Flowers in the shadows

    Miss Kyra Kyralina is a beauty pageant held every year in Brăila. However, it is no ordinary competition: the participants are either blind, or visually impaired, which makes inner beauty the main stake. Following the preparations for the competition, the film portrays the contestants as they are: beautiful, sensitive, strong and full of life. An emotional documentary, offering a complex sensory experience, in addition to a poignantly told story. ...

  • Freak Out

    The first hippie community was born long before the 60’s. A group o radical thinkers set up a commune on top of a Swiss mountain. The women burnt their corsets and men let their beards grow long. However, there were other many obstacles to overcome to make their little world work out . ...

  • Gheorghe Banciulescu: I Will Fly Again!

    On September 12, 1926, pilot Gheorghe Banciulescu and flight mechanic Ioan Stoica suffered a terrible accident while flying from from Paris to Bucharest. Banciulescu was amputated both his legs, while Stoica died. In less than two years after the crash, the survivor was able to drive the car and then to fly again. He became an air hero who succeeded a record of thousands of hours of flight and air acrobatics. ...

  • Hill 789: The Last Stronghold

    Presented as one man’s story, the documentary follows the World War One experiences of Dimitri D. Dimancescu on the Eastern Front as he volunteers to defend his homeland. The story takes place between August 1916 and December 1918. Central to this film is an understanding of the Romanian spirit which drove 350,000 young men to give their lives and 150,000 more to have been wounded or lost in combat. ...

  • I and Lucia

    A young couple expecting a baby is adapting to their new situation. The two of them try to become responsible adults and to prepare for the arrival of their newborn, always displaying an optimistic tone and observing the changes that this event brings forth. This observational documentary captures the importance of small moments, such as assembling a cradle, choosing the clothes, picking a name and the decisions that are made while waiting for the main event. ...

  • I Love My Music! Egipt, Korea, France, Hong Kong, Cuba, Liban, Japan, Austria

    Ten-year-old Esraa lives in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Her passion in life is singing. After school, she takes extra lessons at the Royal Society of Arts. She and the rest of her class are rehearsing for their Mothers’ Day concert. ...

  • Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment

    More than 100 years ago, men and women from the south-east of Europe migrated to Palestine to form kibutzes in order to form an independent socialist Jewish state. Suffering recent decline, this social structure has enough young adepts, but continuity might not be realistic in the actual economical context. ...

  • Invisible Lives: Romanian Night Workers In London

    This documentary explores the experiences of several Romanian immigrants who work during the night in London, while the inhabitants of the city are resting or having fun. A construction worker, a man working in the hotel industry, a prostitute and a salesman share their stories about what they do, from the more difficult moments, to the peaceful ones when the dawn breaks. All these portrait sketches intertwine with the visual portrayal of a large cosmopolitan city that never sleeps. ...

  • Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?

    An interview with the acclaimed linguist and activist, Noam Chomsky, is seized as an opportunity by director Michel Gondry to use complex and unique methods to accompany their talk. The director employs freehand drawing, digital animation and a 16mm camera to translate Chomsky's vision into bold cinematic imagery. Trees that grow out of a stylized form of the human brain, to be turned into complex geometric shapes, turn back into groups of people in a continuous cinematic review, which explains the way in which we perceive the world using language. ...

  • Iulian. A True Story

    Iulian, an orphan boy living on the streets and looking for his family, finds a new one in his adulthood. Iulian talks about how hard life is in an orphanage, about his getaway and the struggles he had to overcome to create a new existence. He made new friends in Bucharest who are trying to help him. This expository documentary portrays a charismatic character with an emotional life experience. ...

  • Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

    On Nov. 18, 1978, more than 900 members of Peoples Temple died in the largest mass suicide/murder in history. What drew so many people across racial and class lines to the Peoples Temple? How could a diverse group of 900 people be convinced to commit suicide? What was a California congregation doing in the jungles of Guyana? And who was Jim Jones to command such loyalty that parents would murder their own children? Using never before seen archival footage and survivor interviews, "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple" tells the story of the people who followed Jim Jones from Indiana, to California, and finally to the remote jungles of Guyana, South America, in a misbegotten quest to build an ideal society. ...

  • Judgement in Hungary

    In 2008 and 2009, the members of a far-right Hungarian group committed several attacks against the Roma community. In these attacks, six people were killed and among them was a five-year old child. The film follows the trial that began in March 2011 and ended in August 2013, in which four members of the group were found guilty of racially motivated serial killings. ...

  • Kismet

    Turkish soap operas have taken over the world, conquering the hearts of millions of viewers from the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans and Asia. This documentary leads us in the backstage of this film industry and reveals the secrets of its tremendous success, which transcends religion and culture. From the midst of the sets where the most popular shows are being filmed, the camera moves to the real spaces, the streets and houses of Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul or Mostar, to uncover the way in which the creators of such shows have brought into discussion the taboo subjects of the oriental world, thus trying to help women in the fight for their rights and liberties. ...

  • Landscape

    A provincial Russian town. A cold winter day. People waiting for the bus. The camera slowly pans over faces, while we hear scraps of conversations. Under the appearance of a candid-camera documentation, we discover a keen eye for relevant details which make up the picture of the miseries and worries of Russian every-day life. Landscape experiments with cinema language, using almost exclusively left-to-right long tracking shots cut to give the impression of a continuous camera movement. ...

  • Last Call

    The human exponential development is out of proportion to the limited resources of the Earth and this can lead to disaster. This was the message sent out by the authors of the book “The Limits Of Growth”, which analyses the results of the first programme to simulate the interactions between the Earth and human systems. Then, there was still a way to slow things down, but is there any solution to the present situation? ...

  • Leaving Greece

    In 2008, three Afghan youngsters take refuge in Greece, searching for peace, freedom and prosperity. However, Greece is affected by economicam crisis and the three of them have to find a way to get to another European country. The borders of Greece are some of the best monitored in the continent, so they have to try to be legit and ask for asylum, but that takes risks which endanger their friendship and lives. ...

  • Let's Dance! Kazakhstan, Mexico, Greece, Israel, Finland

    In Kazakh, Jouldouz means "star". It is a fated name for a girl who dreams of becoming a principal dancer one day. She is a student at Kazakhstan’s school for artists. Jouldouz starts with some finger-loosening exercises. The fingers play an important part in traditional Kazakh dances because they follow the body movements, completing them, and making them more graceful. Jouldouz’ grandmother is finishing off her embroidered vest. This traditional Kazakh dance costume leaves the arms bare for maximum grace. She has thirty musicians and a costume worthy of a Kazakh princess. The pace quickens and she starts to whirl: that’s it - she has earned her role in the tour! ...

  • Life may be

    A film structured as a letter is transformed into a cinematic discourse and a personal story between two well-known directors. Mark Cousins, the British director and film critic, and Mania Akbari, Iranian actress and director, are composing a cinematographic essay debating complex cultural issues such as gender, politics, corporeality and artistic sensibilities. This documentary offers an intimate foray in the minds of the two authors, which blossoms into a beautiful love affair. ...

  • Liquid Journeys

    For the young Polish immigrants living in London, identity is a constantly changing process. Young Polish people, as well as old-aged ones, discuss national identity, UK communities and the places where they belong. This expository documentary is based on testimonials and it presents an exploration of people who are trying to discover and reinvent themselves in a reality full of uncertainty and thirsty for globalization. ...

  • Maidan

    A chronicle of the events from the time of the civil uprising against Viktor Ianukovici's regime, which took place in Kiev during the winter between 2013 and 2014. The director, Sergei Loznitsa, brings his camera in the midst of the protesters, as he passively and systematically observes the course of the revolution: from peaceful meetings, to bloody street fights between civilians and police officers, he ultimately succeeds in creating an emotional portrayal of a nation that is waking up and is rediscovering its identity. ...

  • Marmato

    Columbia is the center of a new global fever for gold and Marmato, an ancient mining village, is the new border. Filmed during almost six years, Marmato tells the story of the confrontation between the village and the Canadian enterprise which wants the 20 billion dollars in gold, which lay under the villangers' homes. ...

  • Master Of The Universe

    The masters of the Universe are not politicians, nor armies, nor nations, but bankers. The film proposes an internal perspective on the world of the German banking system. A top banker reveals a parallel universe, in which employees are under extreme pressure, but they also go through financial ecstasies. The main character talks about his feelings, motivations and predictions regarding the fragile balance of the markets and his personal life. Created in a simple manner, the documentary rather focuses on the unsettling story of the banker, which affects us all. ...

  • Men's Lust

    Five men over 60 talk about their lives when they were younger. They reflect on how a man’s life changes after his hormones settle down, on failed relationships and the search for love. We meet an artist, a fulfilled and happy father, who still worships the vagina, a doctor who believes in monogamy, a spiritual man seeking enlightenment by loving a woman, a philosopher who had a troubled childhood and a homosexual whose direct view of himself and love makes the rest of society seem anything but straight. This is about the ambivalence of enjoying old age but not wanting to die and about a willingness to put everything into a relationship. The desire for young bodies is replaced by one for a mature partner who’s an equal in every way. According to one of them: the word love, it smells good. ...

  • Mohamed Tomescu

    The events surrounding Syria are the reason for a meeting between an estranged father and son. This is a chance to talk to each other as adults, ask a question that has been bothering Mohamed for a while – finally he has enough courage to tell about his intention of changing the name. His father doesn't come to a meeting. A new wave of misunderstanding, resentment, hesitation and fear arises. With a cinema-verite aproach, we feel the camera and the music plays a vital role in the hip-hop impro scenes. ...

  • My Fathers, My Mother And Me

    Director Paul-Julien Robert was raised in the biggest European commune, the “Friedrichshof”, a community based on communal property, free sexuality and dissolution of the nuclear family. Inevstigating videos of communal life and also the motivations of the ex-memebers, he tries to discover what traditional family is and why these people denied it. ...

  • Nenette

    Born in 1969 in the forests of Borneo, Nénette has just turned 40. The unrivalled star of the menagerie at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, she sees hundreds of visitors file past her cage each day. The film is based on the divergence between image and sound, meaning that we see the animals without ever hearing them and hear the humans without ever seeing them. There is no reverse angle. No cutaway shot. The soundtrack blends the reactions and the spontaneous comments of the visitors. Behind the glass, Nénette is a mirror. A screen for our projections. We attribute all kinds of feelings, intentions and even thoughts to her. In talking about her, we talk about ourselves. In looking at her, we include ourselves in the picture. This is a film on the gaze, on representation. A metaphor for the cinema, in particular for the documentary, as capturing and as capture; after all, filming others is always a way of imprisoning them, of enclosing them in a frame, of freezing them in space and time. ...

  • Of People, Chickens and Mirabelle Plums

    In a Romanian village, the social life is diverse and rich. From gossiping in front of the gate or taking care of the chicken, to picking mirabelle plums for tuica, this observational documentary explores the interactions between the villagers and their take on life and death. ...

  • On the way to school

    They live in different corners of the world and they all share a thirst of learning. They instinctively understand that their survival and happiness depends on knowledge, hence schooling. These are the heroes of ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL. An adventure documentary that relates the lives of four little pupils and the 1,001 hardships they must face to reach school. As they set out this amazing road to school, they put their childhood behind them and start off on paths that are lined with pitfalls and surprises. This is the story of an initiatory journey that will reshape their lives. ...

  • Our Currency is Information

    While traditional media have less time and money to put into investigative journalism, its new forms are thriving. Touching on issues around shady offshore economies and the complexity of company ownership schemes, the film highlights the importance of cross-border work between journalists, activists and hackers to uncover organised crime. The film follows the work of Paul Radu, a reporter who established the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. He shares some of the stories that this organization has exposed. Their investigations often span numerous countries and require certain skills and networks. They track organised crime across borders by 'following the money' and although they may be chasing criminals' cash, information is what they are really trading in. ...

  • Our Curse

    The film director and his wife are trying to adjust to the fact that their baby is suffering from an incurable disease of the respiratory system. The ones who are afflicted by the disease stop breathing while they are asleep and they need special equipment to survive. The parents go through alternating states of fear and acceptance, as they learn how to manage and to adapt to the baby's condition during the first months of diagnosis. ...

  • PMR

    The Transnistrian Moldovan Republic is not acknowledged as an independent state by the international community and its self-proclaimed president, Igor Smirnov, has run the country for 21 years relying solely on humanitarian aid and favors from Russia. Meanwhile, the dream of Transnistrians to create a sovereign state on the ruins of the former Soviet Union has failed miserably. Amid a new presidential election campaign, the documentary presents the recent political situation in Transnistria in an objective, realistic and slightly ironic manner, with a bitter conclusion: it is possible to start over but nothing changes. ...

  • Red Dust

    Red Dust is a creative, yet hard-hitting, journalistic style, environmental rights, documentary film. It tells the story of Ravenscraig Steelworks, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, in terms of pollution related illnesses, suffered and still being suffered by former workers, residents, and their children. The film aims to help these people to find a voice. By means of testimonials from local residents, the film shows a very real awareness amongst people, that there is much more illness being experienced, than there should be. The film reveals the former Ravenscraig Steelworks site is still possibly contaminated. Paradoxically, it is Europe’s biggest post-industrial, regeneration project. ...

  • Resolutions 2014

    The film presents slices of Alex's life, a young entrepreneur from Bucharest: a monologue on the awkward issue of dismissing several employees from his own company; a visit payed to his colleague Mariana and the discussion they have on clients who are unlikely to renew their contracts; a conversation between Alex and Ingrid, who talk about their relationship and the things they share; New Year's Eve and the fun they are having with friends; a car ride to teach Ingrid drive. After this realistic and fragmented depiction of Alex's life, he lays out his general views on life and problems in Romanian society in a frantic monologue. ...

  • Revision

    On 29 June 1992, on the border between Germany and Poland, two farmers working in a corn field stumbled upon the dead bodies of two Roma ethnics from Romania. Much like a puzzle, the film lays down the string of events that led to their death , piece by piece. The director creates this investigative documentary as a reconstruction of a tragic event, apparently a hunting accident, cropping landscape fragments but also memory bits, by placing together statements of eye-witnesses, documents and testimonials of the relatives of the victims. ...

  • Romanian Autumn

    In 2011, TIME magazine proclaimed the protester as human of the year. It all began with the Arab Spring, then spread to Istanbul, Syria, Madrid and many other places around the world. Last year, the protests reached Romania: Romanians everywhere took to the streets. Not (just) because of low salaries, the meager life conditions they have to suffer, the injustice that they have to endure daily from a system that is stronger than them, but also for Rosia Montana. The bill regarding mining in Rosia Montana has become a symbol for Romanians who, at long last, have decided to make their voices heard. The short film, “Romanian Autumn”, documents the protest movement that united tens of thousands of people in an unprecedented peaceful manifestation on the streets of Bucharest. ...

  • Ruina

    3000 people take over the building of a failed bank, a 200 meters skyscraper, to make it their home. The 750 families formed a socialist micro-society in a vertical town. The administration of the city ignores the project and people from the neighbourhood despise them, considering their place a slum which invaded the city center. Against all odds, the inhabitansts continue to adapt the space to their needs and even establish an internal regulations system. ...

  • Sense

    Nowadays, we buy what we need from the supermarket but there are still people who stubbornly refuse to adhere to the consumerist society and who produce what they need using their own hands. These crafted objects are important to them, as well as the craft itself. It is the only way in which these people keep their spirit alive. The film includes several elements that describe the sense of the Romanian space, from tastes to colors, from faces to customs – the pig sacrifice, wood carving or peasant sandals manufacturing. ...

  • Sibiu County - The Southern Gate of Transylvania

    Sibiu County, The Southern Gate of Transylvania explores the main tourist attractions and objectives, local traditions and cultural hallmarks that have given Sibiu its own identity and have made it one of the top most appealing destinations in Europe. Sibiu’s impressive Medieval history, great acceptance of diversity and friendly reception for all its visitors make it the destination of many thousands of tourists from all around the globe. ...

  • State Of Play

    A feature documentary about the world of South-Korean professional gamers. Every year thousands of South-Koreans flock to the game stadiums in Seoul to watch the Pro League, a live sports event where professional gamers compete to be the best at one single video game: Starcraft. It’s a title many young South Koreans dream of. The game itself is more than a decade old, almost ancient in the fast developing world of video games, but in South Korea it has become a national past-time. Like most spectator sports, this world of eSports rapidly evolved in a multi-million dollar business. In this story, we follow three boys in different stages of their career as a Pro-Gamer in South Korea. For some it will be a struggle to stay on top of their game, for others it might be the turning point of their lives. ...

  • Stitch by Stitch

    The film creates a portrait of Victor Ion, an artisan making rounders balls based on a model invented by himself. He uses eight pieces of leather for each ball, he sews them together and then stuffs the outer layer with cotton-wool. The camera follows the entire diligent process. This bat-and-ball game is symbolic for Romanian traditional culture. ...

  • Stream Of Love

    Even in old age, Eros is still inciting the spirits of Hungarian ethnic villagers from a Transylvanian town. Although most of the town inhabitants have reached a venerable age, they do not hesitate to share their most intimate erotic thoughts in front of the camera, with sincerity and without false modesty. An entertaining and surprising documentary, whose bittersweet stories bring forth sexuality in everyday life, in its natural, unaltered form. ...

  • Sunday Lunch

    Norbi, a 15 year old boy, wants to live with his mother. The two were separated four years ago when the boy was taken to an orphanage. Although his mother is living in a homeless shelter, the boy spends as much time with her as he can. This observational documentary stirs emotional reactions by portraying the close relationship between the two and their drama while they are trying to escape their predicament. ...

  • Terms And Conditions May Apply

    The concept of privacy seems to belong to the past, as experts on technology and social sciences try to convince us in this documentary. Whenever we set up an email account or update software, we click on an "I agree" button. But how many of us have ever actually read the terms and conditions? We provide confirmation to large corporations like Facebook and Google and by extension to national governments, which can then monitor us in real time. But can we accept potentially being expelled from a country for making a joke on Twitter about terrorism? The film chronologically charts the transformation of US legislation, which goes hand-in-hand with ever-evolving technologies for storing large amounts of data, bringing our lives closer to an Orwellian dystopia. ...

  • The Auction House: A Tale of Two Brothers

    In Calcutta, Anwer and Arshad are struggling to keep their family business afloat. Russel Exchange is the oldest auction house in India. However, the age of the internet and rapid modernization brings in a new challenge for the business of the two brothers. Anwer returns to London with progressive ideas, determined to make the enterprise work. On the other hand, Arshad has his own way of doing business and is reluctant to accept his brother's ideas. In the end, the film tells the story of their adjustment to the new demands on the market, but also of the brothers' adaptation to each other. ...

  • The Boot Cake

    Film-maker Kathryn Millard stumbled across the Charlie Circle during research for another film project. She was invited to join their 116th birthday celebrations, which included a parade of Charlie Chaplin look-alikes. She was asked to create the birthday cake, one in the shape of a boot, homage to the famous scene in The Gold Rush, where the Tramp eats his own boot. The film explores how one community, after the Gujarat earthquake that killed 200,000 people, finds hope in the genius of Chaplin. Through their eyes, we see the pathos of this physical comedy and the bitter-sweetness of his philosophy. And in moments of pure Chaplinesque absurdity we find ourselves sharing Kathryn’s concern that the chocolate truffle sponge with the cashew marzipan icing will melt in the 50 degree heat. ...

  • The Bridge

    A project of the museum of contemporary art, Marseilles, Le Pont evokes the sense of adventure and the link in today’s postcolonial world. Most invited artists to the exhibition experienced migration or they were interested in it. One hundred and forty-five artists coming from all over the world showed their works in the galleries and the cinema of [mac], as well as in the twenty-seven others sites in the city. For Romanian artists Ion Grigorescu and Dan Perjovschi it was a good oportunity to look into the relationship between the East and the West. ...

  • The Bucuresti Experiment

    The premise of the film is that in 1989, in Romania, a coup took place instead of a revolution. Being in the know, the Securitate is preparing the “new man” - this time, a capitalist – conducting a psychological-scientific experiment. The film follows the story of the first man who took part in the Bucharest experiment, Andrei Juvina, and the way in which this destroyed his relationship with Carmen Anton, a former musical star of the 80s. However, towards the end of the documentary we discover that the Bucharest experiment did not take place, but the Pitești experiment will remain one of the great horrors in human history. ...

  • The Carbon Crooks

    The signer countries of the Kyoto Protocol engaged in carbon emission and greenhouse gases reduction, but left a loophole: if the a certain country exceeds the carbon limit, it can buy carbon credits in third world countries, where they can develop ecological projects. However, many of these projects failed to meet the promissed standards. Moreover, Europol estimates a 10 billion fraud of European funds on the carbon market. Carbon emissions have never been higher and it has never been cheaper to pollute. ...

  • The Fireman

    Charlie is a fireman who always does everything wrong. A man talks the Fire Chief into ignoring his burning home (he wants the insurance money) unaware that his daughter (the love of the Chief) is upstairs in the house. When the house next door catches fire its owner rouses Charlie who rouses the force. ...

  • The Forest

    “Leafless forest” is a picture painted by Romanian artist, Ion Andreescu, which was a present from Ceaușescu to Tito during the latter's first visit to Romania. The film describes the rise and fall of socialism in Romania and Yugoslavia from the point of view of Radu Bogdan, the art critic, and his obsession for Andreescu's painting, one which triggers unexpected political intrigue. The richness of archival images is enhanced by a story well told, offering a profound account of recent history. ...

  • The Forest Is Like the Mountains

    After becoming the godparents of a Roma girl in a mountain village community, the German filmmakers created a portrait of its members. The film captures the life of Roma people far from the problems that impede their community and it is filled with hope and complex family relationships. Life in the countryside, the faith of 7th day Adventist, the lush nature surrounding them and notions of politics and work are explored. ...

  • The Massacre at the Border

    The documentary tells the story of the day when the province Bucovina was ceded to the Soviet empire. On April 1st 1941, over 3000 people coming from villages on the Siret Valley set out on a peaceful march to the newly established Soviet-Romanian border, to a place called Fântâna Albă. As they were getting near, the Soviet border guards called them to halt. The procession ignored the orders, and the Soviets opened fire. Those who escaped the machine guns were chased by the cavalry and put to the sword. After the massacre, over 13,000 Romanians were deported in retaliation to Siberia and Kazakhstan. After 73 years, the documentary reveals for the first time details about these tragic events. ...

  • The Path Of The Witch

    A film director returns to his native village in the Italian region called Umbria. Trying to discover the secret of a childhood adventure, he explores the surroundings and the community. He takes part in performances that simulate medieval life in the citadel and discovers the legends of the place, asking questions about his relationship with the village in this performative documentary with a mysterious beginning, which continues off the beaten track. ...

  • The Second Game

    The director, Corneliu Porumboiu, is replaying a 1988 soccer match between Dinamo and Steaua Bucharest alongside his father, Adrian Porumboiu, former international referee. All we see are images from the soccer match commented by the two protagonists. The comments range from political matters to film topics, or direct remarks regarding the game. The long match in which nothing is happening between Dinamo, the Securitate team, and Steaua, the Army team, ends with a draw, 0-0. Corneliu Porumboiu is testing the limits of realism again in this unique cinematic experience. ...

  • The Task

    On the green bank of a river, an old Cuban watchman talks to the filmmaker about the future and how he was meant to advise young people. The man starts to direct the conversation, entering into a constant dialogue with the camera. A cinema vérité documentary with fixed frames, fairy tale colors and verbal dynamics illustrating the differences between generations. ...

  • The Train Stop

    Trains travel through the night without stopping. The clatter of the carriages quickly disappears, along with the wail of the locomotive. The people at the station are all asleep. But why are they so exhausted ? And what are they waiting for? ...

  • The Undertaker

    Bata is a young Serbian guy working as an undertaker in his father-in-law's funeral company. The business is thriving and its main activity is to bring home Serbian citizens who died abroad or to repatriate the bodies of foreign tourists whose Serbian holiday ended in a tragic way. In the course of the portrayed events, we follow Bata on his journeys between Eastern and Western Europe, as he carries different bodies and witnesses countless family dramas. ...

  • These Songs and These Silent Nights

    Synopsis: The passengers of a train ferry spend time together and create temporary friendships. A child is telling a woman a reinterpreted version of “Hansel and Gretel”, a group of people are chatting about the rain, another group is discussing foreigners, communication and respect. The film portrays the curiosity we have for the stories of the people we meet. ...

  • Time for Fun! Turkey, Morocco, Germany, Mali, Brazil, Belgium

    Deniz’s favorite art form is traditional shadow puppets. They call Turkish puppetry Karagoz, the name of a famous puppet character. Between games of backgammon and bicycles rides with his father, social games with his neighbor and games of soccer with his cousin; Deniz doesn’t have a lot of time for his puppets but he wants to put all of his heart into his art. To give him ideas, his parents have taken him to a puppet show. To the rhythm of tambourines and Oriental songs, Karagoz, the mocking and shameless puppet makes his entry. Deniz learns the ropes of a good puppet show. Thanks to his mother, he masters all the stages of making a puppet. The big day has arrived. All of Deniz's family is gathered at his grandmother’s house to see the show. Now it’s his turn to move the puppets! ...

  • TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard

    The three rebellious founders of the world’s largest file sharing site, the Pirate Bay, find themselves entangled in a bitter copyright battle with Hollywood and the media industry. Under political pressure from the White House, the court room drama of the Swedish hackers Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Fredrik Neij is the real life thriller of the disruptive innovators behind the world’s most controversial file sharing site. Simon Klose’s TPB AFK is a cinema vérité style documentary thriller that explores the issues a new generation of media consumers are fighting for: an open Internet, free speech and the future of creativity in the digital age. ...

  • Trading Germans

    Not many people know that during the Cold War Romania sold over 250.000 ethnic Germans to West Germany. Hein Günther Hüsch, the secret German negotiator, used to come to Bucharest with a suitcase full of money to recover the freedom of his people. This was also the case of Erika Lazăr, who had to adapt to the new rules of capitalism after she was bought with 47.000 German marks. The film tells the story of the hidden arrangement between the Secret Services of the two states and reveals the events that the characters involved had to go through in this process. ...

  • Treasures

    Every morning after following his usual routine, a lone old man goes on the beach with a metal detector looking for possible treasures buried in the sand, while an elderly woman watches him from her lounge chair. The film is a hybrid between a documentary about a couple whose marriage has lasted for 60 years and a short feature in which the “actors” are precisely the two of them. Thus, two romance stories are created that symbolically intertwine with each other. ...

  • Twin Sisters

    In 2003, a pair of twin girls were found abandoned in a Chinese village and put separately for adoption. Soon, one was adopted by a Norwegian family and the other by an American one. Through series of coincidences, the parents meet each other during the adoption procedure in China and discover the girls are sisters. They grow up with the knowledge that they each has a twin sister living on the other side of the world and at the age of eight, they finnaly meet each other in Norway. ...

  • Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service

    The film reiterates the story of Antony Trayanov, who gave life to one of the most well-known cartoon characters in Bulgaria – Suncho (Sleepy, the main character in the famous TV program, “Good night, children”) and who lived most of his live in anonymity. Although the film was initially considered a biographic project, in the end it became a political documentary presenting the particular case of a man who fought against the system. ...

  • Under Surveillance

    The film traces the way in which a key-institution of communist Romania – the Securitate – has acted during the 70s and 80s to control, survey and, in some cases, to repress the citizens with the purpose of domesticating them, ideologically speaking. It sketches a portrait of the Securitate at that time through the direct experience of certain people who agreed to share their stories upon consulting their files. By presenting these testimonials, the film wishes to entice the curiosity of viewers who do not know much about the recent past of Romania. Twenty years since the fall of the communist block, this film is best regarded as a test of our capacity to face the past with lucidity and as an argument for the future. ...

  • Under the Palace Wall

    In the 16th century, the Indian village of Delwara in southern Rajasthan was ruled as a principality of the kingdom of Mewar. Its palace, which overlooks the village, is now a luxury hotel—a world remote from the daily life of the villagers. Following on from his film SchoolScapes, which was inspired by the early cinema of Lumière, David MacDougall here employs a series of precisely observed scenes to explore Delwara's local primary school as a part of contemporary village life—a life that continues "under the palace wall". ...

  • Vulva 3.0 between Taboo and Fine-Tuning

    Nowadays, the world around us is supercharged with sexuality and we are used to seeing explicit images of naked women and their sexual organs all around us. Nevertheless, most women are extremely prude when it comes to their own bodies. The image of the “ideal” vulva in the porn industry no longer represents the actual appearance of most female sexual organs today. Thus, female neuroses turn into a goldmine for the field of cosmetic surgery, which promises the perfect vagina. The film takes a critical look at sexual education and censorship, at pornography and surgical interventions, but also at activist campaigns against genital mutilation. ...

  • Waiting for August

    Seven children are living alone in a social house in Bacău. Their mother, who left to work in Italy, is only digitally present by phone or Skype, while the children are looking forward for her return in August. Until then, Georgiana, the older sister, has to be the head of the household at only 15 years old. Torn between adolescent life and teenage issues and caring for her siblings, the film depicts Georgiana's struggles and the fragility of the family balance. The author patiently observes the day-to-day life of the Halmac family, with sympathy and discretion, creating a cinematic epic that will prove hard to forget. ...

  • Web Junkie

    China is the first country in the world to classify internet addiction as a clinical disorder. This feature documentary spotlights the revolutionary treatment used in a Beijing Rehab Centre, and explores the cases of three young Chinese teenagers from the day they arrive at the clinic through their three month period of rehabilitation. The program admits children between the ages of 13 and 18; and part of the treatment is a military-inspired physical training programme with regimented meal times and recreation, along side gruelling group therapy sessions. Despite the harsh regime and the high costs, parents voluntarily send their children to the center - desperate for a cure. WEB JUNKIE provides a microcosm of modern Chinese life, examines inter-generational pressures, and takes a hard look at one of the symptoms of the so called Internet age. ...

  • Where are you Bucharest?

    A former police officer, a dog trainer, the founder of a political party and the anti-government protesters: what do they all have in common? They all met on the streets of Bucharest, 23 years since the Revolution, determined to regain the public space. Renouncing the telephoto, talking heads and the background music, the director of this documentary observes, participates, listens and talks to his characters, following their stories from the first days of the protest up until the referendum against the Romanian president, Traian Basescu. Thus, a film arises about a confused world, in a continuous transition between a communist past and an uncertain future. ...

  • Who is Thomas Mueller?

    Thomas Mueller is the most frequent name in Germany and statisticians gave him some general features: he is 45 years old, he lives in a rented apartment with his wife and his son and he works in the fields of economy, advertising and politics. In a journey across germany, we get to know some of these Thomas Muellers- meet a musician, soldier, prisoner, football player, teenager and even a dead man. ...

  • Women's Lust

    Women's Lust is about the sexual desires of women of a certain age and their daily struggle to preserve these new-won freedoms. The protagonists are five women from various walks of life who have a variety of needs. This film deals with ways of viewing one’s own ageing body, issues related to various couplings, differences of culture or age, impotence and how to work around it creatively. Of particular significance is the aspect of overcoming barriers thrown up by society and crass moral concepts, whether the protagonists have to face the judgement of strangers or even of their own children. The film has something to say about courageous self-actualization and self-determination with regard to one’s own ageing body, a theme we will all be confronted with some day. ...

  • You Don't Become What You Already Are

    Emilie decided one day to accept herself. Now an LGBT leader and a volunteer worker at Emmaüs, she is living, with her husband, a very happy life, like a victory on fate. She traces back her story, back to that time when she still was a little boy, whose name was Emile. She claims she has always been a woman and she claims she shouldn't have to prove it to anyone through a sex change operation, since sex and gender are two different things... ...

  • Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body

    A montage documentary that includes archival footage shot in Yugoslavia between 1945 and 2000, which brings to light the way in which an ideology permeates the public space and is manifested through tribute shows and mass movements. At the same time, the author also provides his own personal view on the socialist history of Yugoslavia until the moment of its official dissolution and follows the way in which the communist ideology has gradually modified the relationships between people. ...