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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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"Three Sisters and Andrey" paved the way for my career

Sebastian Leutner creates animated worlds, which combine reality and fiction. 34 y.o. VFX producer from German Pixomondo received an Oscar for his work on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo in 2012.

In 2008 Sebastian Leutner co-produced Boris Despodov and Andrey Paounov’s German-Bulgarian co-production Three Sisters and Andrey.
The animation won many awards, including Jameson Award for Best
Bulgarian Short at Sofia International Film Festival in 2009. Leutner is
also among the co-producers of Paounov and Despodov’s latest feature
project, Mexican Express, presented during Sofia Meetings in 2009.

Mr.
Leutner, winning an Oscar is a paramount achievement in the film
industry. Since the beginning of 2012 you and your colleagues are also
part of the club of the privileged filmmakers. What has changed after
the Oscar?

For our company, winning the Oscar means
above all more work. We receive many more offers for films and
advertisements. We are being approached by production companies that
haven’t heard of us before the Oscar but now want to work with
Pixomondo. Everybody expects that the quality of our work on their
projects should be as high as it was on Hugo. With regards to
this I try to always explain that there is a connection between the
budget and the time we spend of a certain project. Not everybody has
Martin Scorsese’s budget. Personally, I receive now more inquiries and
offers for participating in seminars. But I must assure you that my
colleagues and I are grounded and nothing in the way we work had
changed, because so far we were also successful.

Pixomondo
is a German company with five offices in Germany and international
offices in Europe, North America and China. What is Germany’s place on
the international market of digital images editing and special effects?

I
should point out that Germany made a huge step ahead and now is among
the international A-list in this market. Our main competitor, Scanline,
was nominated for an Oscar for their work on Hereafter. In 2010, Pixomondo worked on Iron Man 2,
which was also nominated for special visual effects. This proves that
we are moving ahead and now Pixomondo is among the world’s 20 best FX
companies.

 

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.

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