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17th Sofia International Film Festival
1 March 2013
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We are only few days away from the biggest international cinema event in Bulgaria. For the 17th consecutive year SOFIA FILM FEST (Sofia International Film Festival), accredited by the International Federation of Film Producing organizations (FIAPF) as a racing festival will gather all films, guests, stars, journalists and lovers of great filmmaking. 

The 17th Sofia International Film Festival will take place from the 7th to the 17th of March in Sofia, with preliminary screenings in the House of Cinema from 1st till 6th of March, and the additional program from 18th of March till the 24 of March  in Sofia, Bourgas and Plovdiv. The festival projections will continue until 7 of April in the House of Cinema. 

The programme will contain over 200 feature, documentary films and shorts length films. The selected filmworks will be shown to the impatience festival audience in the traditional festival sections: International Competition for first or second feature films, The Big Awards, Cinema Today – the Masters, Cinema Tomorrow – Discoveries, New Bulgarian Cinema, The Balkan Competition, Documentary Competition, Short Films Competition, Cinema&Wine and others.

In the 17th SIFF audiences will experience for the first time in 3D exciting landscapes, wildlife adventures across and extreme fun by the TV universe of National Geographic. "Fight Club - Asia", "Polar bear", "Aliens from the bottom –the Fire of Creation" and "Surikati" will expect their inquisitive audience at the House of Cinema, which opened after refurbishment with new digital and 3D images. Special guest will be author of "White Bear" Adam Ravech – a filmmaker, a diver, a traveler and wilderness explorer, involved in many projects that took him to the farthest corners of the earth.

The world famous film director Costa Gavras, winner of numerous awards at prestigious festivals such as "Oscar," "Golden Palm" and "Golden Bear" will be the special guest at the 17th Sofia International Film Festival and will receive the Prize of Sofia, Sofia Municipality for his contribution to the art of cinema. Just days after turning 80 years old, he will present his most recent film Capital, nominated for "Golden Seashell" Festival of San Sebastian ΄12. The Prize of Sofia will be awarded to four artists: the Bulgarian Itzhak Finzi, favorite actor to generations of viewers, with over 70 film roles in his career (The Hare Census and the short feature Vera will be presented at a special screening at the House of Cinema), the Dutchman Jos Stelling, screenwriter, producer and director, Chairman of the Jury of the 12th Sofia International Film Festival, who will be presented to the festival audiences his latest film "The Girl and Death"; and the Italians Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, some of the living legends of world cinema, awarded  many Italian and international prizes. Paolo Taviani and his wife Lina Neri Taviani will present in Sofia the winner of the "Golden Bear" at Berlinale ΄12 "Caesar must die." With the support of the Italian Cultural Institute in the SFF 2013 is included also a retrospective of 13 titles by Taviani brothers.

The festival will officially open on 7 March with the world premiere of Vitosha  by Lyubomir Mladenov, a documentary about the oasis-mountain in the outskirts of Sofia, but also about civil society ready to close Eagle Bridge with their bodies. The official closing of the international program on 17 March in Hall 1 will offer to the viewers the film "Love" by Michael Haneke, an Oscar winner for Best foreign language film and nominated in four more categories, a winner of the "Golden Palm" at Cannes ΄12, "Golden Globe" for Best foreign language film, 5 Cezars, two BAFTA awards and four awards by the European Film Academy.

For the third year in a row two Bulgarian premiere films will participate at the International competition, where for eleventh time will be awarded the Grand Prize for Best Picture (the first or second feature film by directors from all over the world).

The rivalry will include:

Gimme the Loot! - U.S.A. by director Adam Leon
July - Bulgaria, by  director Kiril Stankov
A Month in Thailand – by Romanian director Paul Negoescu
Mona – Iceland-Latvia, by director Inara Coleman
Panihida - Moldova, Germany, directed by Anna Felicia Skutelniku
The Porcelain Horse - Ecuador-US, by director Javier Andrade
The Last Elvis – Argentine, by director Armando Bo
The Empty Home - Kyrgyzstan-Russia-France-UK, by director Nurbek Egen
Honour - Britain, by director Shan Khan
Sharkiya - Israel-France-Germany, by director Ami Livne
Oh Boy - Germany, directed by Jan Ole Gerster

An international jury will determine the main prizes at the 17th Sofia Film Fest. Its president is the Turkish director Yeshim Ustaoglu and in the evaluation of the 12 films in the competition program and the 12 candidates for the award for Bulgarian short film her colleagues will be the actress Ada Condeescu (Romania), the directors Miroslav Momčilović (Serbia) and Konstantin Bojanov (Bulgaria) and producer Mike Downey (UK).

Prizes will be awarded for the traditional festivals Best Picture, Best Director, Special Jury Prize, the FIPRESCI prize, the audience prize, the "KCB Cinelabs Bulgaria" Prize for Best Bulgarian Feature Film. The award for Best Balkan Film will be determined by the three-member jury composed of  Dury Durst (Hungary, producer, winner of two Palme d΄Or at the Cannes Short Film), Deni Cote (Canada director, has just won the Special Jury Prize "Alfred Bauer "in Berlin) and Rositsa Valkanova (Bulgaria, producer). A separate jury will determine the Best Documentary Award: Kaarle Yaho (Finland, producer), Ines Vasilievich (Croatia, producer) and Iliyan Metev (Bulgaria, director).

For the first time prize will be awarded for Best Bulgarian short film, which is provided by "Robert Bosch"Foundation , "Chouchkov Brothers", "Camera" and LVT. The selection Committee is consisting of: Svetoslav Draganov – director, Petya Alexandrova - film critic, and Neda Morfova - director, winner of the 2012 Jameson, who will assess the 12 finalists in the competition. Which films will receive the award in 2013 – this will be determined by the international jury.

Everybody In Our Family ("The Heart of Sarajevo" - Sarajevo ΄12) by Radu Jude, started as a project of Sofia Meetings, is a serious competitor in the Balkan competition. His rivals are another Romanian film - Of Snails And Men by Tudor Giurgiu, 3 Turkish titles, three Serbian, Krivina by Bosnian Igor Drljaca, the Greek L and The Color of the Chameleon . For the first time, two of the participants in the International Competition Jury for the SFF have movies in the Balkan competition. Yeshim Ustaoglu will present Somewhere In Between (Turkey-France-Germany) and Miroslav Momčilović the film Death Of A Man In The Balkans.

At the program Cinema Today - Great Masters viewers will be able to see again the latest films by some of the most established directors of contemporary cinema including  An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker by Danis Tanovic (two Silver Bears from Berlinale 2013)  and at the program Cinema tomorrow – the great expectations are included movies by some of the promising names in contemporary cinema over the past year.

Bulgarian Feature Films will present films completed after March 2012. Among the titles, except for the two films from the competition - July and The Color Of The Chameleon the festival audience will be able to see for the first time the film Alienation by director Milko Lazarov, featuring Christos Stergioglu, Mariana Zhikich and Ovanes Torossian. Also the films One More Dream by Nikolay Mutafchiev, Jigsaw Puzzle by Ivo Stajkov and Pistol, Briefcase And Three Stinking Barrels by Georgi Kostov. The number of Bulgarian documentary premieres is high. Some of them are Sofia`s Orchestra by Rossen Elezov,  He Who Travels Alone by Ralitza Dimitrova, What Happened To Us by Atanas Kiriakov, The spirit of Seuthes III by Vasil Ganev, The Monument And His Brother by Tamara Peshterska, Tzvetanka by Youlian Tabakov (the Bulgarian contender in the documentary competition), Lord Bundy From Sofia by Ivan Traykov, In Search Of A Great Genesis by Nikolay Ivanov and Forced To Silence: Georgi Markov The Murder By Umbrella which will be presented by director by Claus Dexel himself.

For more information about the festival and its activities, visit the official site

  Death Of A Man In Balkans
  Of Snails and Men
  Everybody in Our Family
  A Month in Thailand
  Somewhere in Between
  The Color of the Chameleon
  An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
  Jigsaw Puzzle
  Pistol, Briefcase And Three Stinking Barrels
  One More Dream
  He Who Travels Alone
  In Search Of A Great Genesis (The Land Of The Dogons)
  The Monument And His Brother
  The Sofia`s Orchestra
  What Happened To Us
  Costas Gavras
  Christos Stergioglou
  Emil Christov
  Tudor Giurgiu
  Ovanes Torosian
  Radu Jude
  Babis Makridis
  Ada Condeescu
  Rossitsa Valkanova
  Konstantin Bojanov
  Danis Tanovic
  Miroslav Momcilovic
  Ilian Metev
  Paul Negoescu
  Yesim Ustaoglu
  Kiril Stankov
  Ivo Stajkov
  Milko Lazarov
  Mariana Zhikich
  Igor Drljaca
  Georgi Kostov
  Nikolay Mutafchiev
  Ralitza Dimitrova
  Nikolai Ivanov
  Tamara Peshterska
  Rossen Elezov
  Atanas Kiryakov
  Youlian Tabakov
  Lyubomir Mladenov
  Awards of 16th Sofia International Film Festival
  17th Sofia International Film Festival 2013: Balkan Competition
  Sofia IFF Oficial Site
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