Sieranevada opens Astra Film Festival
by Vladan Petkovic
- Cristi Puiu's Cannes contender opens Romania's largest documentary event, taking place in Sibiu
The 23rd Astra Film Festival (AFF – 17-23 October) in Sibiu opened last night with a special screening of Cristi Puiu's Sieranevada [+see also:
Q&A: Cristi Puiu
film profile]. The film world-premiered in Cannes competition this year and is the Romanian candidate for the Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film.
Puiu has a rather particular relationship with the AFF, one that began exactly one decade ago this year. The encounter between the two was hardly a surprise, since Puiu’s interest in documentary film is no secret, and apparent in his work.
“Documentary film is the poor relative of cinema,” the filmmaker said in an interview. "It is as good as abandoned in the back yard. Personally, I don’t believe that there is documentary and there is fiction. For me, there’s only cinema.”
Puiu has been a constant jury member at the AFF for the last nine years, and this year he will be joined by film curator Claire Aguilar, film critic Claire Aguilar, the director of the Balkan Documentary Center, Martichka Bozhilova, Sight&Sound's web editor Nick Bradshaw, festival programmers Sara Garcia Villanueva (Play-Doc, Spain), Barbara Orlicz-Szczypula (Krakow Film Festival), Julia Tiechmann (dok.fest, Munich) and Veton Nurkollari (DokuFest Prizren), author and theorist Michael Stewart, filmmaker Vlad Petri, and producer Alexander Weiss.