Serbian, Greek and Bosnian stories in the colorful palette of the Balkan Competition at the 25th Sofia Film Festival

The premiere of the co-production between Serbia, Germany and Bulgaria "The Living Man" by director Oleg Novkovic was on the Cottbus festival program two months ago, and in March it will compete for the prize in the Balkan competition at the 25th Sofia Film Festival. The story follows an aging rocker Jella, forced to deal with the annoying monotony of everyday life, in an effort to rush back on the road and revive the old glory. An additional impetus for this radical action is the combination of circumstances - his daughter turns out to be pregnant, his wife behaves as one might expect from a former drug addict, and his son's girlfriend innocently says that according to her own mother, Jela was once great dude. Aging turns out to be especially difficult for rockers at heart!

The main role is given to Nikola Djuricko, whom the audience remembers from "When I grow up, I'll a Kangaroo" by Radivoje Andric, as well as from the super-popular TV series "Stranger Things". Bulgarian co-producers of "The Living Man" are "Chuchkov Brothers".

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The Greek director Christos Nikou is up to an interesting challenge - to recreate a pandemic feel in the plot of his film "Apples", co-written with Stavros Raptis. The story is about a global pandemic that causes sudden amnesia; the protagonist Aris, a middle-aged man, is involved in a recovery program designed to help patients in buildin a new identity. He lives in a modestly furnished apartment, "armed" with Polaroid and receives daily tasks that should be filmed as they were performed. At one point Aris meets a woman with identical destiny and problems.

Christos Nikou's bold debut is a co-production between Greece, Poland and Slovenia, and it's no coincidence that it premiered last year on Venice's Horizons program. With awards from Thessaloniki, Seville, Ljubljana, Denver, Philadelphia, Chicago, "Apples" is this year's proposal from Greece for selection of the nominees for international Oscar. The film is also an attempt to rediscover the personality, a surreal journey into the depths of the crisis of our collective identity, and it also is an elegant critique of the digital age, which is increasingly absorbing our attention.

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A dramatic and entertaining story from Bosnia and Herzegovina takes viewers back to the pre-war Yugoslavia. "Focus, Grandma" by Pjer Zalicarecreates the relations in a family or rather the malfunctioning ties between its members, and in the meantime it becomes clear that a political storm is brewing. In the spring of 1992, members of a large family had to gather around the deathbed of their elderly mother and mother-in-law. And as the anticipation of her demise stretches for days, relatives begin to quarrel with each other, play nasty tricks and argue about the inheritance - especially about the big family house in Sarajevo. To everyone's surprise, the grandmother is actively involved in the quarrels - maybe they are the ones who keep her alive! Meanwhile, a real war begins in Sarajevo… Zalitsa relies on a serious cast - well-known and beloved names, including Mira Banyats, Branimir Popovic, Verdana Bozinovic, and Emir Hadjihafizbegovic, known to the Bulgarian audience from the films "State of Shock" and "Death of a Man from the Balkans". Among the producers of "Focus, Grandma" are the main organizers of the Sarajevo Film Festival - Mirsad Purivatra, Jovan Marjanovic and Amra Baksic Chamo, who worked on "Circus Colombia", "An Episode from the Life of the Iron Picker", Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”, “Bridges of Sarajevo” and many other films.

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