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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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Hugh Hudson: Sport is a form of pure art

 

Sport is a form of pure art, an individualistic form of art. Even collective sports like football are art in themselves. Yes, sport is definitely an art – water jumps are so beautiful, archery as well. There is something else as well – collective sports like football, volleyball, basketball create a feeling of togetherness, commitment, family. Individual sports such as running, on the other hand, inspire you to challenge yourself every day. The goal off course is not to win at any cost. You have to find a balance between winning and losing and this is an art as well.
 
Unfortunately nowadays people have forgotten this side of the sport.


Nowadays people have forgotten everything in their pursuit of acquiring finances, or competing with each other. Sport is becoming more and more means of becoming famous and winning a lot of money.
 
Chariots of Fire is set in mid 20s. What is your personal opinion of this historical period?
 

In England, because my film is about England, those are the years after the First World War and the first postwar generation of men, whose fathers and brothers died in this war. I can’t say that I was particularly interested in this historical period before we started shooting, but the work on the film provoked my interest. 
 
You are working now on a film based on Orwel’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’. It is set in a different time and place. Tell us more about this project which is based on one of the great although not very well known books by George Orwel. 
 

It is a very difficult film to make. ‘Homage to Catalonia’ is not a novel and that is why it is not as popular as ‘Animal Farm’ or ‘1984’. It follows his personal story of a war reporter, who becomes a fighter, risks his own life, risks the life of his wife, because she joins him in Spain. This puts their marriage on the rocks, and still their marriage survives the huge pressure. ‘Homage to Catalonia’ is a shocking political story of left-wingers and right-wingers but it is also his personal story. I have been working on this project for years. We had this idea Colin Firth to play the part of Orwel but now that he’s already 50, we’ll have to look for a younger actor, because Orwel was 29 when he went to Spain.
 
 

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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