SFF News


25-th SOFIA International Film Festival

The 25th Sofia Film Festival will take place in two parts. The main festival is in its traditional period in March, when the films from the programme will be presented both online (in partnership with the world's leading platforms Festival Scope / Shift 72) and in cinemas in compliance with all anti-epidemic measures, and international guests will be exceptions. The focus of the first part of the festival will be the competition programs, the presentation of the new Bulgarian feature and documentary films, current films of established directors and young talents, festival favorites in the last year, and films from special anniversary sections.



On Friday, Day 16, we present to you the special video message by the legend of Polish and world cinema, the director Krzysztof Zanussi. From this day's program we present another film from the “New Bulgarian Features” section – “Wildlings” by Martin Makariev, with video message by the actor and producer Aleksander Sano. We have selected two short films by Drago Sholev – “Before Life, After Death”, Jameson Award winner in 2005 and then selected at the “Semainde de la Critique” in Cannes, and also the film “I Have Something to Tell You”. You'll see also an interview by the Italian director Alice Rohrwacher.



On Day 15 we present the feature debut of Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova “Cat in the Wall”, which premiered in Locarno 2019 and had a successful festival run around the world. “Reunion” by Niki Iliev is one of the 8 independent Bulgarian films in the program of the 24th SIFF, created without any government support, a box-office hit last year. In this day's programme is also the premiere of Lubomir Halatchev’s documentary “Stories of Birds, Men and Other Wonders” about the genius Bulgarian writer Yordan Radichkov. The short film of today’s Day 15 of our virtual Diary is “Life with Sofia” by Svetla Tsotsorkova. The film won the Jameson Short Film Award in 2004 and was selected from Sofia for the “Semaine de la critique” in Cannes.



In Day 14 of this imaginary diary we present two Bulgarian films with the special video greetings by their authors – “Could You Kill” by Ivan Nichev and Nikola Bozadzhiev’s debut “Shibil”, based on the short story by Yordan Yovkov. There is also information for two of the most anticipated films at the festival - “The Dead Don’t Die” by Jim Jarmisch and “Family Romance LLC” by Werner Herzog. We present to you also the first part of the special masterclass at Cinema House given by the cult independent American director Abel Ferrara.



In this 13th day's daily we present with some special video messages the films “A Dose of Happiness” by Yana Titova and “Twisted World” by Marius Kurkinsky, “Irina” by Nadejda Koseva, that was the reason for Martina Apostolova to become a “Shooting Star” in Berlin, as well as “Passengers” by Zdravko Dragnev and Tzvetan Dragnev. On a Tuesday we were visited by the divine voice of Lisa Gerrard and we presented the cosmic video clip by Ivan Moskov and friends for the song “Pora Sotunda”, part of the album of “The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices” with main composer Petar Dundakov (who also wrote the music for the film “Irina”) – “BooCheeMish”.



In Day 12 of our imaginary diary, we present to you the Bulgarian films “Letters from Antarctica” by Stanislav Dontchev and “Rounds” by Stephan Komandarev. We would like to give a special mention also to “Synonyms”, “Golden Bear” winner at Berlinale 2019 and also to one of the absolute festival hits for the last year - “The Lighthouse” by Robert Eggers. In partnership with the Wim Wenders Foundation, we have the pleasure to present the world online premiere of the special masterclass Wim Wenders gave at Cinema House on the 11th of March 2018 about the digital restoration of his masterpiece “Wings of Desire”.



On Day 11 we announce the film “Mr Kohl’s Last Hour” by Doron Eran with personal messages from the director, the screenwriter and auteur of the play by the same name Joshua Sobol and the actor Ohad Shahar. Ellie Yonova, director of the documentary feature “Luben and Elena: The Love of Art and the Art of Love”, sends us a message from Canada. Another screening scheduled for this day is “Willow” by Milcho Manchevski. We will also present one of the most significant films of 2019 – “The Painted Bird” by Václav Marhoul. We have a special video-message from the Georgian director Levan Koguashvili, winner of three awards from our festival for his film “Blind Dates”.



Day 10 - among the films of the day is “Charlatan” by Agnieszka Holland, presented by it’s co-producer Mike Downey. She will receive the special FIPRESCI 95 Platinum Award for her glorious and uncompromising contribution to cinema. We present by videos the films “Inna de Yard”, directed by Peter Webber and “The Whistlers”, produced by Jim Stark. We will also present the film by another member of the jury – Lluís Miñarro - “Love Me Not”, where one of the main parts is performed by the actress Lola Dueñas. On Day 10 we tell also something very interesting - the story of The FESTIVAL BAND!



In today’s 9th edition of our imaginary online festival diary we present to you the film that received 4 Academy Awards this year and the “Golden Palm” at Cannes in 2019 – “Parasite” by Bong Joon Ho. One Oscar less, but with 11 nominations is “Roma” by Alfonso Cuarón, introduced by it’s producer Nicolás Celis, member of the International Jury of SIFF. “Women’s day” by Dolya Gavanski will be presented with videos by Dolya and co-producer Martichka Bozhilova. Together with Institut Français de Bulgarie, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and certain embassies, we have curated a rich programme Francophonie 50 that opens officially this Friday with “A Son” by Mehdi M. Barsaoui. We present the film that will follow this year’s ceremony – “The Barefoot Emperor” by Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens, a co-production between Belgium, The Netherlands, Croatia and Bulgaria. On Friday begins the 17th Sofia Meetings co-production market, one of the leading professional film platforms in Europe.



In today’s online diary of the festival we present to you Stefan Laudyn, director of the Warsaw International Film Festival, member of the International Jury for Bulgarian feature films. On Thursday we scheduled the premiere of one of the most successful Bulgarian films of 2019 – “Sister” by Svetla Tsotsorkova. Special video messages come from Svetla, co-writer and produces Svetoslav Ovtcharov and the actors Assen Blatechky and Elena Zamyarkova. On that day is also the world premiere of the new documentary by Adela Peeva “Silence with Dignity” about Irina Aktasheva and Hristo Piskov. Adela Peeva, holder of the Sofia Award, has a special message for the audience. We will also present the film from the Balkan Competition “The Flying Circus” by Kosovar director-scriptwriter Fatos Berisha. In this edition we present to you Chinese film director and singer Zuxin Hou and her film about her father, one of the first rock musicians in China – “My Dad Is a Rocker”.



On this day, the esteemed Canadian director of Armenian origin Atom Egoyan is our Guest of Honour. The festival will present not only his latest feature “Guest of Honour”, part of the competition at the Venice Film Festival, but also two of his classics – “Exotica” and “The Sweet Hereafter”. In today’s festival program is a work by Slovenian director and very good friend friend, Damjan Kozole’s film “Half-Sister”. Damjan sent a special video message. And the main theme of the day is LETTER TO AMERICA - just read!



One of the greatest friends of the Sofia Film Festival, the esteemed British director Tony Palmer addressed personally the festival, Sofia and Bulgaria. In this virtual edition you will learn more about two members of the International Jury: American producer Jim Stark and Mexican producer Nicolás Celis. Among the films of the day is the International Competition contestant “18% Gray” by Viktor Chouchkov Jr., the director’s debut of acclaimed actor Ivan Yurukov “Till the Final Caprice”, the German-Bulgarian co-production “Pelican Blood”, directed by Katrin Gebbe. We'll hear also an important message from Stephan Komandarev and remember the visit of Tony Palmer in Sofia in 2017.



World famous director Wim Wenders sent a special video message yesterday, entitled: “Message to Kita and SOFIA!”. In today’s edition we will present two of the five members of our International Jury from the International Competition for First and Second Feature Films at the 24th SofiaIFF: British director Peter Webber and the Bulgarian actress Irmena Chichikova. The third festival day has a special person to celebrate - Anri Koulev. Among the films we present today are “How to Fake a War” by Rudolph Herzog, from the International competition, LUX-prize winner and participating in the Balkan Competition of the festival “God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunia” by Teona Mitevska and “Travelling Cinema” by Iliya Kostov, premiering in Sofia.



On Friday, March 20th of 2020 - according to our programme of the 24th Sofia International Film Festival a big event was planned – The Awards Ceremony. It will happen someday. But instead in today’s issue of the special online edition of SIFF you will learn more about two feature films on the second day of the festival: the digitally restored version of the 3rd part of one of the greatest Bulgarian films – Georgi Dyulgerov’s “Measure for Measure”. The other “film of the day” is “Willow” by Oscar-nominated Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski.

showing more