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For 16th year Sofia International Film Festival will gather together in Sofia films, guests, stars, journalists and cinema fans from 9th until 18th March 2012. Featured in Variety’s Top 50 of cinema festivals, the event presents Bulgaria to the world as the host one of the important film festivals in Europe and takes place annually in March. What started as a thematic music film festival, went through 15 previous editions to become the cinema event of the year, bringing the current world cinema trends to the domestic viewers in Bulgaria and the latest in Bulgarian cinema to the rest of the world.
Since 1997 more than 1,600 feature films and documentaries have been screened within the festival’s framework. More than 1,000 distinguished guests have attended, including established professionals such as Wim Wenders, Volker Schlondorff, Katja Riemann and Karl Baumgartner (Germany), Alan Parker, Peter Greenaway, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Tony Palmer and David Mackenzie (United Kingdom), Nikita Mikhalkov, Andrei Konchalovsky, Karen Shakhnazarov and Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov (Russia), Jiri Menzel, Jan Sverak, Jan Hrebejk and Petr Zelenka (Czech Republic), Emir Kusturica (Yugoslavia), Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland), Otar Iosseliani (Georgia), Jean-Claude Carriere, Agnes Varda, Siegfried and Jacques Dorfmann (France), Assumpta Serna (Spain), Bent Hamer and Unni Straume (Norway), Jafar Panahi and Babak Payami (Iran), Jerry Schatzberg, Michael Wadleigh and Lech Kowalski (USA), Jos Stelling (the Netherlands), Mika Kaurismaki (Finland), Friðrik Þór Friðriksson (Iceland), Lone Scherfig (Denmark), Kornel Mundruczo (Hungary), Goran Markovic, Goran Paskaljević, Radivoje Andric, Dusan Milic, Srđan Karanović and Srđan Dragojević (Serbia) and many others.
The festival is organized by Art Fest under the auspices of the Municipality of Sofia and in partnership with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, the National Palace of Culture, the National Film Center and the Bulgarian National Television with the support of the MEDIA programme of the European Commission, national and foreign cultural institutes and sponsors.
For its 10th anniversary as an international cinema event in the year 2010 named Year of Bulgarian Cinema, Sofia International Film Festival received as present the recognition from FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) - it was accredited as competitive festival specialized in first and second films. Since its creation the director of the festival has been Stefan Kitanov.
Two awards - for Best Documentary and the Award of the Bulgarian National Cinematheque received The Boy Who Was A King at the 19th Festival of the Bulgarian Documentary and Animation Film "Golden Rhyton". Andrey Paounov's film was first screened during the 16th Sofia International Film Festival in March 2012.
"Golden Rhyton"'s Jury - Kostadin Bonev, a president and members Nikolay Mihaylov, Andrey Tzvetkov, Lyudmila Dyakova and Penka Kalinkova, awarded more...
Every year Europa Cinemas awards three Prizes to the Best Exhibitors of the Network and this year the Europa Cinemas Award for Entrepreneur of the Year has been awarded to Stefan Kitanov. In the official letter signed by the President of Europa Cinemas – Ian Christie and the Director General Claude-Eric Poiroux it is said that:
“The award has been awarded to Mr. Kitanov in recognition of his successful work as exhibitor of Dom na Kinoto, whose annual admissions have doubled ...
Sofia International Film Festival (Sofia IFF) is aimed to promote significant and innovative works in the contemporary world cinema for local audience and regional (Bulgarian and Balkan) cinema to international audience, as well as to encourage the cooperation between local and international filmmakers.
The 17th Sofia IFF will be held from 7 to 17 March 2013 (main programme) with an additional
week (18-24 March).
Sofia IFF is organized by Art Fest Ltd. in association with RFF International....
The European Film Academy (EFA) revealed the selection of 47 titles
from which in November the nominations for the annual awards will be
announced. Among them there are two Sofia Meetings’ projects.
The first is the directorial debut of Valery Yordanov and Ivan Vladimirov, Sneakers. The film was first shown for the first time at the Moscow IFF, where it received with the Jury’s Special Mention and award of the Federation of the Russian Cinema Clubs and was nominated for “Gol...
Romanian Everybody in Our Family
received Sarajevo's Grand Prize - the Heart of Sarajevo on Saturday.
Director Radu Jude's film was presented as project during Sofia Meetings in 2009 and is the latest successful title that started its way from Sofia.
The Parafin Prince
by Pavel G. Vesnakov was selected for the Competition programme of
short films and received a Special Jury Mention. Vesnakov is the Jameson
Short Film Award winner with Vlakove at 2011 Sofia International Film Fes...
Sofia's Last Ambulance is on a winning spree! Last night Iliyan Metev's film was awarded with Best Documentary Award for a title over 30 min. long at Karlovy Vary IFF.
After receiving Canal 4's special Visionary award from the Critics' Week at Cannes, Sofia's Last Ambulance
triumphed in the Documentary Competition at the Czech festival. Iliyan
Metev's film is another successful Sofia Meetings' project and is
selected next for the Sarajevo IFF.
Another film that was presented duri...
Yavor Gardev presented his project Contra during the Moscow Co-Production Forum at Moscow Business Square. Contra was first presented during Sofia Meetings,
and in Moscow it competed with 23 more projects, selected from more
than 100 applications. The selection committee featured Mira Staleva,
director of the co-production market at the Sofia Film Festival; Riina
Sildos, director of the Baltic Event, Marie-Pierre Valle, creative director of Wild Bunch Distribution; Simone Baumann, G...
Sport is a form of pure art, an individualistic form of art. Even collective sports like football are art in themselves. Yes, sport is definitely an art – water jumps are so beautiful, archery as well. There is something else as well – collective sports like football, volleyball, basketball create a feeling of togetherness, commitment, family. Individual sports such as running, on the other hand, inspire you to challenge yourself every day. The goal off course is not to w...
Writer Dimitre Dinev has been living in Austria for years now. As a co-writer of Anja Salomonowitz’ debut feature Spain, he was a special guest at the 16th Sofia IFF. The following are excerpts from the press conference that turned into a cosy conversation between Dinev and the film critic Antonia Kovacheva, and the P.S. for four eyes and two swings in front of the festival center Matti’D.
How did you meet Anja Salomonwitz and how did you work together on the script of Spain?
Day before the end of the 65th edition of the International Film Festival in Cannes, the Critic's Week gave away their awards. The jury was presided by director Bertrand Bonello, whose latest feature House of Tolerance was screened during the 16th edition of Sofia International Film Festival. During SIFF's industry event Sofia Meetings Iliyan Metev's film Sofia's Last Ambulance was presented. Sofia's Last Ambulance was in competition at Critics' Week and now received Canal 4's special Visionar...
Sebastian Leutner creates animated worlds, which combine reality and fiction. 34 y.o. VFX producer from German Pixomondo received an Oscar for his work on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo in 2012.
In 2008 Sebastian Leutner co-produced Boris Despodov and Andrey Paounov’s German-Bulgarian co-production Three Sisters and Andrey.
The animation won many awards, including Jameson Award for Best
Bulgarian Short at Sofia International Film Festival in 2009. Leutner is
also among the co-producers o...
These are not Elias Demetriou’s words. They were said by one of the female characters in the film Fish N’Chips,
with which the director participates in the International Competiion of
the SIFF. But they are essential for the understanding of the entire
film. The subject is very suitable for
a comedy, but Demetriou
chooses a completely different approach, creting a serious film, which
in today’s multicultural situation in Europe poses a very important
question: Who we are – t...
This year at the Sofia International Film Festival Agitprop has two documentary premieres for Bulgaria – The Boy, Who Was a King by Andrey Paоunov and Dad Made Dirty Movies by Jordan Todorov. Both films were shot by the tandem Misirkov/Bogdanov. Jordan Todorov’s film is intended for distribution along with the Hollywood classics of the 60s – Orgy of the Dead. As a distinctive style of his production house, we can expect he perfect juggling between genres.
Do always the Bulgaria...
During the meeting with the audience after the screening of his film Baggage
in the Cinema House, Danis Tanovic said that he’s actually quite a
joyful person and loves to laugh. But in our conversation he was quite
serious and said that certain things make him quite pessimistic. Going
back through his films, it is easy to spot the humor in all of them, but
it usually serves to lighten up a very dark situation, and to help you
through it. Perhaps, the more seriously you look towards...
Ena Dozo from Sarajevo Film Festival, Mira Staleva from Sofia International Film Festival, Andrei Agudaru from Romanian Film Promotion, Cristian Hordila from the International Film Festival in Cluj and Tillman Scheel from Reelport presented
the project "Operation Kino" (OK). OK is an initiative of the
international film festivals in Sofia (Sofia Film Festival), Sarajevo
(Sarajevo Film Festival), Cluj (Transilvania International Film
Festival) and Istanbul (International Ista...
In 2006 a group of friends who call themselves The League of Noble Peers, shot the documentary Steal This Film. The subject of the film is the fight between world’s biggest torrent Piratebay and
several smaller, also based in Sweden websites, offering free but
according to a lot of countries’ laws, illegal downloading of films on
one hand, and Hollywood majors on the other. The film is notable for its
critical analysis of an alleged regulatory capture attempt performed by
The theme of the second round table is: New urban spaces and
creativity.Cities play a vital role in harnessing creativity for
economic and social development. Policy makers and government agencies
are increasingly taking account of cultural creativity when planning
economic policy and of the role culture can play in urban renewal. This
session will explore the issues of how to preserve the ecological
balance and social identity of urban communities, embedded in natural,
Roaring Fire Film Production (http://roaringfirefilm.com/)
is an international feature film, television and documentary production
and development company. Their films have been distributed globally
including Germany, China, USA, UK, Spain, Benelux, Portugal, Russia,
Thailand, Canada, Indonesia, Greece, Africa and the Middle East. The
owner of the production company is film maker Steven Lewis Simpson. He
is a from Scotland – a free thinker, intelligent, constantly traveling
Karin SchyleThis year the Robert Bosch Stiftung carried out a training for short and documentary projects with a focus on Black Sea and Caucasus during Sofia Meetings.
Three teams (director and producer) from the Caucasian countries
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, three teams from the Black Sea countries
Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and further four teams from Bulgaria were
invited to participate in it. The event was organized in cooperation
with the partners of Тhe Co-Production Prize
The international Forum Balkan Visions: Creativity For The Future In
South – East Europe was inagurated yesterday at the presence of Yordanka
Fandakova, the Mayor of Sofia, Georgi Stoev, the deputy minister of
Culture, Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for
Culture, and Stefan Kitanov, the director of Sofia International Film
Festival as part of the 16th edition of the festival. The Forum,
organized with the support of Sofia Municipality, will include three
If I ask your friends to describe you, what would they say?
would say that I am someone that can`t stop moving. Combined with my
cinema profession in Madrid I play also on a latin music band in Paris.
The result: last week in Guadalajara, now in Sofia (laughing), and next
week going to Paris for a concert there. So my friends also usually say
that they can never see me.
What qualities do you feel a successful artist should have?
think, and I hope there is not a...
The official programme of the 16th Sofia International Film Festival
will end tonight with the gala screening of Borislav Kolev's
documentary debut Stoichkov.
festival presented a total of 260 films from 52 countries from all
over the world. Over 300 international guests came to Sofia, amongst
them were directors, producers, festival directors as well as media and
The Award Ceremony took place on the 17th of March in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Cu...
How did “Sofia Meetings” exactly help in the production of movies of young Bulgarian filmmakers and in finding partners?
It helped in establishing contacts with extremely helpful and
experienced people, with sharing of the experiences of these people by
raising the level of writing the screenplays, screenwriting development,
the basics of the regulation mechanisms for doing co-productions. It
turned into a know-how on how to do the things and how they happen.
Mr. Davidson, how did the story of "The Odds" appear actually?
started from an article I read several years ago – about 17-year high
school students in Singapore, infatuated with illegal betting (in their
case: for the games of NBA) and about the problems one of the boys
encountered thanks to his addicition... But the story is also connected
with my own teenage years, when I was 17 or maybe even 16. I myself come
from a small town in Western part of Canad...
Let’s start with that – what do actually Stephen Aposolof’s “dirty movies” mean?
this type of movies that Apostolof has made, were called “dirty movies”
– that is to be distinguished from pornography, which precisely in
those years (early ‘70s) invaded the American cinema. Somehow all these
films enliven the atmosphere – such were the times: the 60s, experiments
with various drugs, rock music... This was a free time and this type of
erotic films, called s...
About Sofia International Film Festival
International film festival for feature films, documentaries and shorts (mainly Bulgarian).
Main themes: International competition for first and second films, Balkan & Bulgarian cinema, Cinema Europe, World screen, retrospectives.
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