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ASTRA 2018 Industry / Awards

Astra’s Documentary Tank hands out its awards

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- The industry platform showcased 13 Romanian documentaries in different phases of production and presented awards to two of them

Astra’s Documentary Tank hands out its awards
Ruxandra Gubernat receives the HBO Award for her project The Illiberal Society and its Enemies (© Alex Damian)

Celebrating its third edition this year, DocumentaryTank@AFF (17-19 October), the industry platform of the leading Romanian documentary event, the 25th Astra Film Festival (15-21 October), handed out its awards on Friday 19 October. Aiming to support and encourage the development and growth of national documentaries, the Romanian Docs in Progress section hosted a total of 13 projects, which were presented to an international audience of documentary experts.

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The Romanian Docs in Progress Award, offered by HBO, was bestowed upon The Illiberal Society and its Enemies by Ruxandra Gubernat, who also competed in Astra’s Romanian Competition with her feature debut, Megaphone. Written by the director together with Irina Dobriță and based on Henry Rammelt’s research, the film is characterised as a “coming of political age” documentary, and focuses on three teenagers from Hungary, Poland and Romania. The story follows the challenges they face in either fleeing their countries or fighting against the new, restrictive societies that are slowly coming to the fore. The documentary is being produced by Ioana Țurcan of Bucharest-based Studioset Production.

The other prize, the Romanian Docs in Progress Post-Production Award, offered by Cinelab Romania, covering digital post-production services, went to Home (Acasă) by Radu Ciorniciuc. In his debut documentary feature, the independent Casa Jurnalistului research journalist is investigating the unusual case of the Enache family. For the past 20 years, they have been living in an abandoned communist reservoir that has been transformed into one of the most spectacular urban natural ecosystems, known as the Bucharest Delta. However, the family and its nine children will be forced to abandon this paradise and adapt to city life. The film closely follows this adaptation process and their adherence to their new society’s rules. Looking to premiere in 2019, Home is being produced by Monica Lazurean-Gorgan of Romania’s Manifest Film, with John Berger, of Tromsø-based Polarfox.

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