Spartacus & Cassandra wins the top award at Astra
by Stefan Dobroiu
- 48 documentaries from all over the world were screened in the festival’s four competitions
Selected in the Romanian competition at the 22nd edition of the Astra Film Festival (5-11 October, Sibiu), Ioannis Nuguet’s documentary Spartacus & Cassandra [+see also:
film profile] received the Grand Prize at the event. The jury praised the fresh perspective of the documentary, which follows Spartacus and Cassandra, two Roma children living on the outskirts of Paris.
Anne Roussillon’s I Am the People received the Best Documentary Award in the international competition. The documentary shows ordinary Egyptian people and their position on the Arab Spring. The film was praised by the jury for the way in which it challenges viewers to rethink their own concept of democracy and their position as political individuals. The jury also offered a Special Mention to Hyuck-jee Park’s With or Without You for its “delicate approach”, as it shows “the minor epiphanies of day-to-day life as two old women approach death while living together in a Korean village”.
The Best Documentary Award in the Central and Eastern European competition went to Jiri Stejskal’s My Home, “for its plea to respect individuality and all that is different in a globalised society”. The film has also been praised for its “character depth, subtle humour and impressive cinematography”.
The Romanian competition was won by Andrei Schwartz’s Outside, “a universal story about guilt and punishment, in the context of communist and post-communist Romania”. John Albert Jansen received the Best Director Award for The Alphabet of Fear, a documentary about the life and work of Romanian-German author Herta Müller, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009.
Finally, the Best Documentary in the Student competition was Swamp Dialogues by Ildiko Zonga Plajas, while Teresa Czepiec's Super Unit received the Best Cinematography Award.