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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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Martichka Bozhilova: Televisions are our main partners

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 Bulgarian producers and directors have to think about the market?

Martichka Bozhilova: I
try to think about the market and o find the story I personally like
and I can not help myself not to do it. I also hink of whether will it
be watched and whether it can be funded.

What is the object of reflection in these movies?

The Boy Who Was a King
is a reflection, meditation, on what happened in Bulgaria and why
ultimately the Bulgarian people chose their former King for
Prime-minister. The film has many levels. It tells about the king and
his kingdom. There is a gallery of characters who are very cinematic and
expressive, and sometimes ridiculously funny.

The other film, Dad Made Dirty Movies,
is dedicated to a director and producer in Hollywood. We can find a lot
of the stylistics of Hollywood of the ‘60s – there are great records,
which are animated in a very sentimental retro way. The film is very
enjoyable for watching by a wide audience.

Is there an independent Bulgarian cinema and how does it work in the conditions of the
current filmmaking policy?

An
independent Bulgarian cinema exists, it existed and always will exist.
Despite the difficulties of state funding, good movies will always find a
way to be realized. In the past three years, very few movies that I
produced were financed by the state. The market of the  documentary
filmmaking is very obvious. It is primarily and only intended for
television. Televisions are our main partners. I wish Bulgarian national
televisions to have a special slot for documentaries. In Bulgaria it is
still a dream, unlike other European countries.

 

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

Bulgaria



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