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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.


Ina Nikolova: Valeri and Ivan are magicians

Today Sneakers, the feature debut of the directing duo Valeri Yordanov and Ivan Vladimirov, will be screened at the Moscow Film Festival where it was selected in the competition programme. As we mentioned before, the film was presented as a project in development at Sofia Meetings, it then traveled to the renowned Moscow and Karlovy Vary festivals, before making its premiere in front of Bulgarian audiences.

In Sneakers, six young people are running far away from their failures in life and from the city aggression to the seaside. They are running from their letdowns with family, love, money, ambitions and their encounters with those who are different from them. A hidden shore will bring them together and make them re-discover their hopes. 
The main roles in Sneakers are played by Filip Avramov, Ivan Burnev, Valeri Yordanov, Vasil Draganov, Ivo Arukov and Ina Nikolova, whom we are about to introduce you to.
Ina Nikolova is currently working on her dissertation in animation at New Bulgarian Univesity, but apart from that she is also involved in “3 million other things, every other painter is involved with”. Although her first performance as an actress is in Sneakers, her experiences in cinema include design and animation work on various films. She says that this is completely normal as “most young people go through many different things before deciding what they want to do in life. And things change a lot with time.“
In March together with Rayna Atanasova as a team BUSTAN she won the Film Challenge Sofia Short Challenge within the 15-th Sofia Film Festival in the category animation with the short film Chromones.
- How did the work with Sneakers start?

I’ve known Valeri  for years. We met in the restaurant “Oh! Shipka” when we were in 10 or 11 grade. He shared with me the idea of Ketsove, he even told me that I was the girl from the story but I laughed at him saying that I was not an actress and that I wanted to study art. 6-7 years passed and one day he called me with the words: “Little, we are approved, we will make a film. Come for the casting”. He wanted me to make an attempt and there was really a very serious casting. We argued a lot before I came because I didn’t think I was up to it. But on the other hand I realized that it would be pity if I didn’t try. And then the things happened so rapidly that I didn’t notice how we finished the film.
They had given me a small part of the screenplay for the casting. But both the casting and the film put special emphasis on the natural attitude to the things. The question was not to be blameless but by your nature to be part of the role.
My character Emili is the sixth boy in the group. Rebel. A specific character.  We have some common features but I’m not as extreme as she is.
Read the whole interview on our festival's site

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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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