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ASTRA 2017 Industry

Astra’s industry platform awards three projects


- A total of six documentary projects were presented at DocumentaryTank@AFF

Astra’s industry platform awards three projects
Director Eliza Zdru pitching her project Learning Teaching

An increasingly important element of Romania’s biggest documentary event, the Astra Film Festival (16-22 October, Sibiu), is its industry platform, DocumentaryTank. Six documentaries were pitched at the Romanian Docs in Progress event, three of them winning awards and financial support from the festival’s partners. Ten other projects were presented at a “networking session”. 

Eliza Zdru’s Learning Teaching received the Romanian Docs in Progress Award, offered by HBO Europe. The project is being produced by Saga Film. It will follow a teacher who embarks on a two-year mission to bring education and social awareness to the children of one of the most vulnerable and poor communities in Romania. The project is expected to wrap in 2020. 

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The Romanian Docs in Progress Post-Production Award, offered by Cinelab Romania, went to Alexandru Mavrodineanu’s Caisă, a Hai-Hui Entertainment and Alma Film. The project started production in 2013 and is expected to wrap next year. It follows a Romanian veteran boxing coach who, after being abandoned in 2001 by a boxer as soon as he became world champion, promised never to coach again. The trainer has a change of heart when he meets Caisă (“apricot” in Romanian), a promising teenage boxer. 

The gathering’s third and final award, which offers networking access at Doc Outlook at the next edition of the Visions du Réel Film Festival (13-21 April 2018), was won by The Chalice. The project is a first feature directed by Cătălin Muşat and Cătălina Tesăr, and is expected to end production next May. The observational documentary explores the Romani community of Cortorari, Transylvania, and its particular rituals governing courtship and marriage. 

Ruxandra Pîlşiu’s ViscriIulian Manuel Ghervas and Adina Popescu’s Eagles of Ţaga and Isabela von Tent’s LoveLines were also pitched at DocumentaryTank.

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