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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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Jordan Todorov: “The most successful Bulgarian in Hollywood, we’ve never heard of”

Let’s start with that – what do actually Stephen Aposolof’s “dirty movies” mean?

Once
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 sexploitation, contributed to such a liberation of
the American society at that time.

Stephen Apostolof, like Ed Wood, with whom he worked, was also a very controversial figure...

After
so many years of work on the project, maybe I myself am more inclined
to accept the oddities in Stephen Apostolof’s personality. I mean, I do
not find them so conflicting. Stephen Apostolof has made his erotic
films and at the same time was a convinced Christian. He is the man who
built the first Orthodox Church in Los Angeles in 1961. His children,
and this can be seen in my film, on the other hand, knew well what their
father did, they were proud of him and have stated quite freely when
they were asked at school, that their father was making “dirty movies”.
After shooting his first film, Apostolof started shooting under a
pseudonym – partly because these were still conservative years in
America, just after the 50s, and partly, because directors who have
dealt with that kind of films in those times often had problems with the
authorities, and he wanted to avoid that. And perhaps for this reason
he is not well-known in Bulgaria.

Read the whole interview 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

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