Astra Film Junior, around the World in 23 films The most complex documentary film education program returns to the Astra Film Festival calendar (October 9th -16th)

    Astra Film Junior, around the World in 23 films The most complex documentary film education program returns to the Astra Film Festival calendar (October 9th -16th) AFF

    Children and teenagers have their own festival again. Astra Film Junior, the first and most complex cinema education program in Romania, returns to Sibiu between October 9th -16th. Designed for three age categories (6+, 11+ and 15+), the AF Junior educational program includes film screenings in cinema halls and in the full-dome 360 cinema (Astra Film New Media Full Dome), followed by didactic activities in  class, comic strips contest and a film workshop. Details about the Astra Film Festival program on the website https://www.astrafilm.ro/program-2022.

    Astra Film Junior presents a selection of the best productions on the market of narrative documentary films for children and teenagers.  "Everything will be great because you will expand your horizons.  And, through the Astra Film New Media Full Dome program, you will see immersive projections, come into contact with new technologies and get acquainted with an unusual type of cinema, in 360 ̊ format, where the film surrounds the viewer", Dumitru Budrala, director-founder of Astra Film Festival conveys to the young viewers  

    The organizers have prepared for the viewers in the 6+ category life stories of children close to their own age, children who came out of anonymity by thinking outside the box, through a constant desire for knowledge and insight. Yang, an 11-year-old boy from China, makes many sacrifices to learn all about traditional Chinese theater (The Monkey King, 2019). Aatos, Amine and Flo, three inseparable friends from a neighborhood in Brussels, are looking for answers to big people's questions (Aatos and the World, 2019). Azat and his colleagues, from Tartastan, are 12 years old and as little journalists they take care of an important mission each week (Azat and Youtubers from Tartastan, 2018). In turn, Clara, Matei and their friends embark on a journey full of adventures in the Danube Delta (Sentries of the Delta, 2022). And the film #On the Web answers some questions such as What is and how does the internet work?, Who are the trolls?, What about the influencers?.

    Viewers in the 11+ category will learn about the dreams of children from different corners of the world: Asho, from Iran, wants to become a famous actor (Asho, 2019); Ayana, a girl from Kyrgyzstan, would like to be first in an exclusively male sport (Ayana, 2019); Rehad, from Denmark, wants to become a pigeon breeder (Bird Boy, 2019), and Julieta, a young woman from the Netherlands, initiates an action to clean the ocean which she considers her second home (Julieta & the turtles in the plastic soup, 2020).

    High school students will discover, in the program dedicated to the 15+ category, the life of one of the most followed 14-year-old girls on Instagram (Girl Gang, 2022), the artistic maturation of a Norwegian singer who drops out of school to become a pop star (Aurora, 2019 ) or the way in which the image of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu is perceived by today's teenagers (You Are Ceaușescu to Me, 2021). Through the documentary films selected for them, young people learn how to react to sexual predators in the online environment (Caught in the Net, 2020) and what are the effects of the rapid spread of artificial intelligence - saving humanity or, on the contrary, its total control (iHuman, 2019).

    Young and very young viewers are also invited to the immersive full-dome cinema 360 screenings in the Dome installed in Piața Mare (Astra Film New Media Full Dome special program). Through spectacular filming, they will learn that there are other sources of light besides the Sun (Travelling with Light, 2019), mysteries of the Universe will be revealed to them with the help of the largest radio telescope (Star Dreaming, 2021), and they will get to follow the story of interstellar messages carried to extraterrestrial civilizations by space probes launched 45 years ago (VOYAGER: the Never-Ending Journey, 2019). At the same time, young viewers will retrace Captain Cook's journey through the Pacific Ocean (The Navigators, 2021), see how an electronic music composer finds inspiration in the sound of the Arctic Ocean (-22.7C, 2021) and follow with their hearts the adventures of Shorty, Indigo and Jake in Legend of the Enchanted Reef (2021), a film for the whole family, full of humor and imagination.

    "We have a generation that consumes a lot of audiovisual content from an early age but is given too few opportunities to reflect on it. The role of the Astra Film Junior program is precisely this: to provide them with the necessary tools for the formation of critical thinking and for exercising the agility to understand the audiovisual content to which they are exposed", said Dumitru Budrala.

    Astra Film Junior also contains a Film Workshop for high school students, which aims to practice both the ability of teenagers to understand a documentary film and the process by which it is made, as well as the ability to speak in public. The long-awaited meeting with comic strips will not be missed - a creative educational tool through which children and teenagers are called to analyze and interpret the films they watch and tell their own story through comic strips - an exercise to strengthen the skill of creating a work on a given theme.

    The teaching staff and educational counselors who will accompany the children to the screenings will benefit from the "Profession of Educator" training, in which they learn how documentary cinema can be used in the educational process. There will be a special screening for them: the disturbing documentary film "Why didn't you stay for me?" (directed by Milou Gevers, 2020), which will be accompanied by a presentation and followed by a free discussion about the help we can offer to children who are going through difficult times after the loss of a parent.


    About Astra Film Festival

    Astra Film Festival Sibiu, launched in 1993 as an innovative project, is one of the most important non-fiction film festivals in Europe, and was included by the European Film Academy on the list of festivals that have the right to make direct nominations for European Film Awards.

    Astra Film Festival is placed under the High Patronage of the President of Romania and is organized by Astra Film, CNM Astra and the Astra Film Foundation, with the support of the Sibiu County Council, The Ministry of Culture, The National Center of Cinematography, The Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sibiu and The Filmmakers Union. The event is co-financed by the Sibiu Local Council through the Sibiu City Hall and by the European Union through the Creative Europe Program.