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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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Goran Paskaljevic with a special screening at the 15th Sofia International Film Festival

Goran PaskalevicPerhaps the most original Serbian director today is in Sofia for the meeting of the Bord of the European Film Academy. As a member of EFA Goran Paskaljevic took part in Sofia Meetings and he also found a time in his hectic schedule to talk with me about his last five films from Balkan Cabaret (1998) onwards. SIFF’s audiences are familiar with all of them.

When I end working on a certain film I immediately start working on a new one. Balkan Cabaret (1998) is a film about violence which surrounds us, but not the violence that we see in the American films, full of blood; it is about the hidden violence in a family, between friends, on the street – this is the violence that corrupts and our society. When I made How Harry Became a Tree (2001), the protagonist resembles Milosevic even though the action takes place in Ireland. This is the story of a man who likes to create enemies because the more enemies he has the more important he thinks he is…

After the assault against Zoran Djindjic, who was a good friend of mine and the first democratically elected Serbian prime minister, I felt that my country is in a strange state of autism. While studying the social autism I came up with the idea of А Midwinter Night’s Dream (2004).

Later on our politicians started proclaiming a fake optimism and that’s why I decided to make my film Optimists (2006).

 

You can read the whole interview on our festival's site www.siff.bg

13 March 2011

 

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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.

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