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ASTRA 2020 Awards

Sweden’s Josefin & Florin wins the top prize at Astra

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- Films from Sweden, Austria and Romania have scooped trophies at the outdoor edition of the Astra Film Festival

Sweden’s Josefin & Florin wins the top prize at Astra
One of the outdoor screenings at the 2020 edition of the Astra Film Festival

The god of festivals seemed to be smiling on the 27th edition of the Astra Film Festival (4-13 September), as not one single drop of rain – quite a remarkable feat in the quaint city of Sibiu, usually famous for its unpredictable and grey autumn weather – spoiled the outdoor half of the gathering’s hybrid 2020 edition. Partnering with the Astra Museum, an ethnographic museum occupying a picturesque spot in the vicinity of the city, the event offered eight outdoor locations in which to show approximately 50 films over ten days.

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Forced by circumstances to split its competitions between its two editions, the festival favoured its Romanian Competition for its outdoor half, as Romanian directors could easily travel to Sibiu in order to attend the screenings. Eleven films, either produced by a Romanian production company or exploring a Romanian topic, competed for the Best Film Award in the Romanian Competition, which in the end went to the Swedish documentary Josefin & Florin [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Ellen Fiske and Joanna Karlberg. The jury, consisting of Romanian producer-director Oana Giurgiu, Bucharest-based American film critic Steve Rickinson and Cineuropa’s own Ştefan Dobroiu, justified their choice by praising the directors’ depiction of an “unlikely couple that represents a universal coming-of-age story, as well as a glimpse into a thoroughly modern relationship”.

A Special Mention went to Pavel Cuzuioc’s Please Hold the Line [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Austria), while the Best Directing Award in the Romanian Competition went to Adrian Pîrvu and Helena Maksyom’s debut documentary Everything Will Not Be Fine [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Romania/Ukraine). Finally, the Audience Award went to Andrei Dăscălescu’s Holy Father [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(Romania).

The 27th Astra Film Festival will be back with a second edition programmed for 16-25 October, which will favour the other traditional competitive sections, the international competition now titled New Voices in Documentary, and the Central and Eastern European Competition.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Film in the Romanian Competition
Josefin & Florin [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Ellen Fiske, Joanna Karlberg (Sweden)
Special Mention
Please Hold the Line [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Pavel Cuzuioc (Austria)

Best Directing in the Romanian Competition
Everything Will Not Be Fine [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Adrian Pîrvu, Helena Maksyom (Romania/Ukraine)

Audience Award
Holy Father [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Andrei Dăscălescu (Romania)

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