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Ivo Arakov: Valeri and Ivan made me fall in love with my profession even more

Just a few day ago Ivo Arakov graduated NATFA in the class of prof. Atanas Atanassov. Now he acts in “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” and “King Lear” at the National Theatre “Ivan Vazov” and in Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” at Sfumato theatre. In Sneakers he makes his feature debut in a starring role. Ivo is hesitant in painting his future as a professional actor in bright colors, but we wish him the competition programmes of Moscow and Karlovy Vary change this into a positive conf...

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...

Ovanes Torosyan: I can feel a movement in Bulgarian cinema

Ovanes TorosyanOvanes Torosyan plays one of the two leads in Konstantin Bojanov’s Ave, which was selected in the competition programme of the Critics Week at Cannes. The film’s premiere within the framework of one of the world’s most renowned festivals is today. Ave started as a project at the 6th edition of Sofia Meetings.   Ovanes has not seen the film yet and he shares his experiences only from the production process. - What attracted you to the film? I was in m...

Boyka Velkova: "The Island" is an example of quality Bulgarian cinema

Boyka VelkovaKamen Kalev's The Island was screened for the first time last night at Cannes during the programme Directors Fortnight (Quinzaine des realizateurs). Let us wish that the film has a long a successful life on top world festivals and in full cinema halls. Below is our interview with Boyka Velkova, one of the main actresses in Kalev'a second feature, which started as project during Sofia Meetings. - What is your role in The Island and what exactly enticed you to take part...

Rousy Chanev: Kamen Kalev is a very open person and therefore all the actors invaded with their ideas

Rousy Chanev and Kamen KalevThe Island will be screened today at Theatre Croisette in Hotel Marriot at 14 and 22h as part of the "Directors Fortnight" programme. Rousy Chanev, one of the film's Bulgarian main actors, gave an online interview for the Sofia International Film Festival  website. - What is your role in The Island and what attracted you to the project in the first place? It was the summer of 2005, Kamen Kalev wanted to shoot his first film, he had a final s...

Thure Lindhardt: Bulgarian filmmakers are not quite aware yet of how good they really are

Thure LindhartKamen Kalev’s second feature The Island, which tells the story of a young couple heading to a remote island in the Black Sea where their relationship is questioned, was invited to the Directors Fortnight section of the 64 Cannes International Film Festival, where it will be screened on May 16.    The film was first pitched as a project during Sofia Meetings’04. The cast includes the French model and actress Laetitia Casta, the Danish actor Thure Lindhart and their Bulg...

Triupmh of the new Bulgarian cinema

Kamen Kalev’s second feature The Island, which tells the story of a young couple heading to a remote island in the Black Sea where their relationship is questioned, was invited to the Directors Fortnight section of the 64 Cannes International Film Festival.   The film was first pitched as a project during Sofia Meetings’04. The cast includes the French model and actress Leticia Kasta, the Danish actor Thure Lindhart and their Bulgarian fellow actors Boyka Velkova, Russi Chanev, Mihai...

Dragomir Sholev: “Bulgarian cinema is permanently in the condition of missed possibilities”

Dragomir Sholev– Have you already seen any of the competitive films and what can you say about them? Thank you for that question. I feel great. I’m very careful not to catch the flu. – It is not your first participation in the competition programme of the Sofia International Film Festival – you have previously won awards for your short films. What has changed in the Festival since you won the Jameson Short Film Award for Before Life, After Death? I am very proud that ...

Gabrielle Brunnenmeyer: There is a young generation of film-makers in Bulgaria who has a lot to tell

Gabrielle BrunnenmeyerHaving worked as a journalist and film critic, Gabriele Brunnenmeyer was in charge of the MEDIA Antenna Berlin-Brandenburg, acting as an artistic adviser for MEDIA training initiative Moonstone International in regard to Eastern and Central Europe and organising workshops for directors and screenwriters in Germany. Her main activity in the last 10 years was the development of the East-West-Coproduction Market Connecting Cottbus at the Cottbus Film Festival which she was r...

Claudia Cardinale: An actor lives many different lives

Claudia CardinaleIn the past couple of years you haven’t been appearing on the big screen that often, perhaps you don’t have offers for the more interesting roles that you want? Claudia Cardinale: That’s not true; I have been involved in various productions in recent years, mainly by younger directors. Last year I worked in Tunisia, which was the backdrop for Mehdi Ben Attia’s film Le fil, Istanbul (Signora Enrica) and then in New York for Joy de V. by a student of Werner Herzog. ...

Fridrik Thor Fridriksson: "“Long winters in Iceland predispose to creative work"

Fridrik Thor FridrikssonThe Chairman of the International Jury Fridrik Thor Fridriksson is a phenomenal storyteller – not only in his films but also in an informal chat. On the day of the first show of his film Mamma Gogo at Sofia International Film Festival, we managed to have a  ‘walk and talk’ at high speed through his works, which have enriched the history of the cinema with masterpieces like Devil’s Island,  Cold Fever and the  well-known in Bulgaria Angels of the Universe, Nic...

Andrzej Zulawski: Good cinema does not walk on the ground

Andrzej Zulawski- You shot your last film in 2000. What replaced cinema in your career? I have written 25 books and I have directed 13 films, so as you can see literature occupies most of my time. Ten years ago I went through a dramatic period in my personal life and Hemingway once said something I believe in too, “If it was a real love you’ll never fully recover from it.” A lot of things happened at once – personal problems which forced me to give up several projects in France an...

Goran Paskaljevic with a special screening at the 15th Sofia International Film Festival

Goran PaskalevicPerhaps the most original Serbian director today is in Sofia for the meeting of the Bord of the European Film Academy. As a member of EFA Goran Paskaljevic took part in Sofia Meetings and he also found a time in his hectic schedule to talk with me about his last five films from Balkan Cabaret (1998) onwards. SIFF’s audiences are familiar with all of them. When I end working on a certain film I immediately start working on a new one. Balkan Cabaret (1998) is a film about...


Dragomir SholevThe main programme of the 15th edition of Sofia International Film Festival ended on the 13th of March with a gala screening of Aleksei Uchitel’s film The Edge. The festival presented a total of 205 films from 53 countries from all over the world. Over 260 was the total number of international guests, amongst which were directors, producers, festival directors as well as media and film experts. The main Award Ceremony took place on the 12th of March in Hall 1 of the Nat...

Viktor Chouchkov: “It is not necessary for a production to have a huge viewer interest in order to say that it is good.”

Viktor Chouchkov- This is the first selection of TILT in an international competition of a film festival, what are your expectations? The first participation of TILT in a competition was at Golden Rose 2010 where it won three awards – the jury’s special award, best male lead performance and a special award for Ovanes Torosian’s performance. So far we have participated at the festivals in Santa Barbara, US and Gothenburg, Sweden and many more, I can’t even remember all of them. But...

Danis Tanovic: I immediately felt at home in Sofia

Danis TanovicProbably one of the most long-awaited guests and for sure one of the favorite directors of the audience especially of SIFF (since 2002, the year of No Man’s Land – the film, the Oscar, the wine, the whole story) Danis Tanovic finally came to Sofia to meet his devoted audience. After the screening of his new film Circus Columbia following the Ceremony of bestowing the awards of SIFF there is no need to talk. Circus Columbia is an original piece of artistic work, saying ev...

“Some Other Stories” about motherhood, presented in Sofia by the Slovenian producer Dunja Klemenc

Dunja Klemenc Some Other Stories is a co-production between Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Ireland. Each of the five segments in the film has been shot by a team from one of the ex Yugoslavia countries. The common theme is that of motherhood and all the five stories place their protagonist in extreme situations where they ask themselves what does it take to be a mother, to give life… especially in a world that is far from hospitable. The stories, the a...

Hossein Keshavarz: "I made 'Dog Sweat' to celebrate the irrepressible energy of Iranian youth"

Hossein Keshavarz- We live in a globalization nowadays, but if you have to compare the problems of the young people in Iran and the problems of the young people in the Western world, where are the main differences? If you asked me this a year or two ago, I would have said that there are not many differences.  Iranians are preoccupied by the same things that people in the rest of the world are preoccupied with – love, money, family. So most of the stories of the film are mundane – like ...

Bence Miklauzic: "The interest towards the others, co-habitation and solidarity are the main issues for the world today"

Bence MiklauzicThe director of one of the films from the International Competition, Children of the Green Dragon, Bence Miklauzic, replied with a smile to the question that is asked to every guest of the festival, whether he has been to Bulgaria before, “It is my first time in Sofia, but my second time in Bulgaria. As a child, 20 years ago, I was also one of the tourists that came for their vacation to the Black Sea.” - Is the story of the unusual friendship between a Hungarian and a ...

Selim Gunes: I have been influenced by the new trends in cinema

Selim GunesThe director's debut film White as Snow confirms the strong presence of recent Turkish films in SIFF international competition’s selection. Influenced by his own childhood, the snow and the story "Ayran" on Sabahattin Ali, Selim Gunes takes very high risks.  He stands behind the camera as a director after a long and successful career as a photographer, working in difficult weather conditions, and even  taking more risk with a child actor with no experience. Succee...

Ognjen Sviličić about the Balkans, the festivals and everything

Ognjen Sviličić, Sylvia ChristelThe famous Croatian film director Ognjen Sviličić, internationally renown with his movies Sorry for Kung Fu (2004) and Armin (2007), is coming to Sofia Fil Festival with his new film Two Sunny Days (feat. Silvia Kristel – an experiment, but also a natural decision, as the director says). Sviličić, who is also a musician from a new wave punk band, which he considers, joking, the Croatian version of the Festival Band of Stefan Kitanov, is a member o...

Joao Nuno Pinto: The sea remains a symbol of hope

Joao Nuno Pinto As in Antonio Lobo Antunes’ novel South Of Nowhere (Os Cus de Judas, 1979), a novel, telling the story about the war in Angola, but being actually a story about Portugal, in the first feature film of the young Portuguese director Joao Nuno Pinto the story is about immigrants, but the subject is again Portugal. Joao Nuno Pinto was born in 1969 in Mozambique and his family, being Portuguese, immigrated to Portugal as refugees during another post-colonial war in Afric...

Alvaro Brechner: I like films that surprise me

Alvaro Brechner: Alvaro BrechnerAlvaro Brechner was born in Montevideo in 1976. 12 years ago he leaves Uruguay and moves to Madrid where he starts working as a director. He has directed a number of short and documentary films and in 2009 he makes his feature debit with Bad Day to go Fishing (selected in the competition programme of the 14th Sofia International Film Festival). In 2011 he is back in Bulgaria as a member of the international jury of the Sofia International Film Festiva...

The producer Jozko Rutar: "Silent Sonata" is a war film without soldiers

Jozko RutarBulgarian cinephiles know well the name of Jozko Rutar, the producer of Silent Sonata (A.K.A. Circus Fantasticus) from another cult Slovenian film, Jan Cvitkovic’ Gravehopping (2005). Director Janez Burger’s Silent Sonata is unique piece of cinema art, a kaleidoscope of reminiscent images, reminding of Fellini’s aesthetic, of Tarkovski to a certain degree and even to Hodorovski. It is a film essay on war and survival; a film with no dialogue, but not a silent movi...

Dimitar Kotsev – Shosho: The debates over Bulgarian cinema are heading in a strange direction

Dimitar Kotsev – Shosho: Dimitar Kotsev – ShoshoWhy did you choose to adapt your own novel to the screen, rather than someone else’s? My novel is tied to my own life. As a debutant I thought that it would be better to work with something that I know well because it was obvious that I was going to have every possible obstacle come in my way. It was important to have my own story, one which I am comfortable and familiar with. And 20 years later I can spend the taxpayer’s mone...


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