The festival presented a total of 189 films from 53 countries from all over the world. Over 300 international guests came to Sofia in 2019, amongst them were directors, producers, festival directors as well as media and film experts.

The Awards Ceremony took place on the 16th of March 2019 in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture. Sofia International Film Festival is a part of the Calendar of Cultural Events of the Sofia Municipality for 2019.


Nik Powell (UK) – Producer, Jury President
Stas Namin (Russia) – Producer, musician, composer, artist, photographer and director
Hazar Ergüçlü (Turkey) – Actress
Ewa Podgórska (Poland) – Director
Ilian Metev (Bulgaria) – Director


SOFIA CITY OF FILM GRAND PRIX AWARD for best film in the International Competition for first and second films, amounted to 7 000 Euro provided by the Sofia Municipality, went to ‘MONSTERS’ (Romania) by director Marius Olteanu and producers Claudiu Mitcu, Carla Fotea and Marius Olteanu.

SPECIAL JURY AWARD went to ‘THE PIG’ (Bulgaria) by director Dragomir Sholev, started as a Sofia Meetings project.

AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR went to Nora Fingscheidt for her film ‘System Crasher’ (Germany).

JAMESON AWARD FOR BEST BULGARIAN SHORT FILM, amounted to 6 000 Euro, went to ‘ROSES IN THE NIGHT’ (Bulgaria) by director Pencho Kunchev

JAMESON Special Mention AWARD was awarded to the short film ‘GOTCHA!’ (Bulgaria) by director Stefani Doytchinova.

The AUDIENCE AWARD was decided by the spectators’ vote for films from International and Balkan competitions and was presented by the legendary Polish director Agnieszka Holland to the film ‘A PICTURE WITH YUKI’ (Bulgaria), directed by Lachezar Avramov.

DOMAINE BOYAR AWARD FOR BEST BALKAN FILM handed by Balkan jury president Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun (director, Turkey) and members Renate Roginas (film expert and curator, Germany) and Victor Bojinov (director, Bulgaria), went to ‘HER JOB’ (Greece-France-Serbia) by director Nicos Labôt, started as a Sofia Meetings project.

The Balkan Jury handed SPECIAL MENTION to the film ‘THE LOAD’ (Serbia-France-Croatia-Iran-Qatar) by Ognjen Glavonic

AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY handed by the international jury president Liam Saint-Pierre (director, UK) and members Tsvetan Dragnev (director, Bulgaria) and Deyan Parouchev (director, France-Bulgaria), went to the film ‘THE MAGIC LIFE OF V’ (Finland-Denmark-Bulgaria) by Tonislav Hristov.

The Documentary Jury handed SPECIAL MENTION to the film ‘OF FATHERS AND SONS’ (Germany-USA-Syria-Lebanon-Netherlands-Qatar) by Talal Derki

The FIPRESCI Jury members Joseph Proimakis (Greece), Jose Luis Losa Garcia (Spain), Katerina Lambrinova (Bulgaria) handed out the FIPRESCI Award to the film ‘THE PIG’ (Bulgaria) by director Dragomir Sholev.

THE AWARD OF THE BULGARIAN GUILD OF FILM CRITICS for film from the Balkan Competition went to ‘BUTTERFLIES’ (Turkey) by Tolga Karaçelik, started as a Sofia Meetings project.

THE YOUNG JURY AWARD of the festival for a film in the International Competition went to ‘TEHRAN: CITY OF LOVE’ (Iran-UK-Netherlands) by director Ali Jaberansari.

THE AWARD FOR BEST BULGARIAN FEATURE FILM handed by jury consisted of Andrei Tanasescu (Toronto Film Festival’s programmer, Romania), Lenka Tyrpakova (Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic), Anke Donnerstag (Cottbus, Germany) and Barbara Lorey de Lacharrière (France) went to ‘THE PIG’ (Bulgaria) by director Dragomir Sholev.

Within the framework of the 23rd Sofia International Film Festival the SOFIA AWARD of Sofia Municipality for contribution to the art of film was presented to:

KRZYSZTOF ZANUSSI, director (Poland)
BILLE AUGUST, director (Denmark)
KIRIL MARICHKOV, musician and composer (Bulgaria)

On 17 March at 20.30, at Cinema Lumiere Lidl, the Award of the Sofia Film Festival (Honorary Diplome) will be presented to the Bulgarian film critic ISKRA DIMITROVA.

At the 16 edition of SOFIA MEETINGS the following awards were handed out: 

The award of Cinelab Romania was hanged out to the project NO LAND FOR ME (Israel), presented by Ram Nehari (director), Yifat Prestelnik (producer) and Yair Grinberg (scriptwriter). The Best Pitching Award will cover services in post-production lab services (equal of 25,000 Euro). 

The Focusfox Studio Award equal to 10,000 Euro in post-production services was eas hanged out to the project DECONSTRUCTION (Bulgaria), presented by Pavel G. Vesnakov (director) and Veselka Kiryakova (producer).

EastWest Filmdistribution Award – script consultancy with Steven Goldsmith, an Irish-American script doctor and writer (equal of 5,000 Euro), was hanged out to the project NAJVA (Turkey-Bulgaria-Canada), presented by Gozde Kural (director) and Uğur Can Gursozlu, Marcel Giroux, Dimitar Gotchev (producers).

Young Producer AwardYAPIMLAB will invite one producer for a week of project consultancy in Istanbul or Antalya, during International Antalya Film Festival, and offer network possibilities within Turkish industry (equal of 5,000 Euro). This award was hanged out to the project INKWASH (Romania), presented by Sarra Tsorakidis (director) and Anca Puiu (producer).

VILLA KULT Residency Award includes coverage of travel and accommodation costs for a 5-day visit in Berlin and was hanged out to Bulgarian director Petar Krumov for the project WINDY DAYS ARE GOOD FOR FLYING (Bulgaria), producer Rositsa Valkanova.  

Producers Network (Cannes Market) will award two accreditations for Producers Network at Cannes Market 2019.

Crossroads will select and present one of the projects from Sofia Meetings.

Mediterranean Film Institute awarded with a scholarship the project INKWASH (Romania) – it will participate in MFI Script 2 Film Workshops.