Astra Film Junior
“For me, the essential moments are those when the screening room gets dark and you can feel in the air that vibration caused by the intensity of the communication between the film and the public, especially when there are kids in the audience. Also, seeing all those children walking in rows towards the ASTRA FILM JUNIOR screening venues are indeed moments of bliss.” (Dumitru Budrala)
Undoubtedly, the most cherished cinematic event dedicated to the school community is ASTRA FILM JUNIOR, the film literacy programme based in Sibiu, Romania. Initiated in 2009 by Dumitru Budrala, founding director of the Astra Film Festival, the Junior has reached a level of participation that make it unique in Europe. It all started from the fact that, by its very nature, documentary films present realities of our world so that viewers can establish their own ideas and visions on the themes tackled by their authors. These features recommend them as a preferred instrument in an educative undertaking through and for cinema. Film literacy continues to gain ground. The European Union’s directives recommend the larger use of films and audiovisual products in schools and even support the introducation of film education as a self-contained subject matter in the undergraduate school programmes. ASTRA FILM JUNIOR has taken on the role of promoting these forms of education as early as 2009, offering to a record number of students the opportunity to experience watching films in cinemas and making the necessary knowhow available to educators in order to play out activities before and after watching a film. Last but not least, the Workshop dedicated to the initiation of students into film production has offered its participants the chance to find out how a film is seen from behind the camera. An impressive number of almost 200.000 children and young people have participated in the Astra Film Junior programmes until 2019.