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Sofia International Film Festival


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.

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Artists and creators in search of a solution to common problems at the UNESCO Forum

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
round tables with themes on cinema, the artistic creativity in the city
and visual art innovations. The event is part of the new global
initiative entitled “Culture: a Bridge to Development”, launched by the
Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova.

This Forum seeks
to sketch a portrait of the South-East European region through the lens
of creativity, and engage civil society, including artists and
creators, in a dialogue to learn about new developments and challenges
they foresee for the future that can inform the introduction of policies
and strategies to foster sustainable human and economic development.

The
film director Kamen Kalev, the producer Amra Bakšić Čamo, head of
CinéLink, Sarajevo IFF, director and producer Tudor Giurgiu, director of
Cluj TIFF, Romanian director Catalin Mitulescu, Ahmet Boyacıoğlu, head
of Ankara Cinema Association, producer and director of SIFF Stefan
Kitanov participated in the first round table Putting a Country on the
International Film Map: Experiences from South-East Europe. Participants
shared briefly the history of their respective festivals and discussed
their common problem – the public institutions acknowledge the presence
of the festivals as a significant cultural activity, but their financial
support is meager and not enough. SIFF receives up to 85 000 lv. from
the Ministry of culture and NFC per year. The other main problem is
attracting more viewers to watching independent and art titles,
including for local cinema productions. There are multiple reasons for
that, and one of the main is a well developed network of distributors – a
thing to improve.

You can watch the whole discussion on SIFF's website.

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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.

Sofia

Bulgaria



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