Ted Kotcheff to receive Sofia municipality honorary Sofia Award for his contribution to the art of cinema. "Rambo: First Blood" director to present a retrospective of his films at the 20th anniversary Sofia International Film Festival.
Ted Kotcheff’s visit is Jameson’s special present for the festival’s 20th anniversary
Director of Bulgarian origin Ted Kotcheff is one of Hollywood’s big names. He’s been awarded a Golden Bear in Berlin, he has two Palme d’Or nominations at Cannes and an Oscar nomination. He was born on 7 April 1931 in Toronto, Canada in a family of Bulgarian migrants. When he was a child everyone at home spoke Bulgarian and at holidays they listened to traditional Bulgarian music and played traditional dances. “These rhythms are still in my blood, I love them. Outside of the house we lived as Englishmen, at home – as Bulgarians”, Ted Kotcheff remembers.
He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto and at 24 he began his professional career directing TV drama at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, at the time becoming the youngest director in the CBC. Two years later he went on to live and work in the UK.
"Two gentelmen sharing" (1969) by Ted Kotcheff is a British film presented at the Venice Film Festival. "Wake in Fright (Outback)" from 1971 competed at Cannes and is considered one of the best Australian films to this day. The film will be presented to the Sofia audience. The Ted Kotcheff retrospective at the 20th SIFF will also include "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" (1974) which brought him the Golden Bear in Berlin and an Oscar nomination for best script. "Billy Two Hats" (1974) is a western from the same period Gregory Peck, Desi Arnaz Jr., Jack Warden and David Huddleston.
In "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?" (1978) Ted Kotcheff brings together a swarm of stars playing great chefs. Jean-Pierre Cassel plays a mushroom pie lover, Jacqueline Bisset is a renowned confectioner, Stefano Satta Flores – a lobster expert, George Segal is a tycoon, owner of a fast-food chain and Philippe Noiret is a famous Paris chef. Each of them is killed in the same way they prepare their specialty. Is the killer perhaps Grandvilliers (Jean Rochefort) – a master chef not included among Europe’s best kitchen virtuosos? The main character in the story, which somewhat resembles Agatha Christie novels, is Max – a restaurant critic played by Robert Morley.
But Ted Kotcheff’s big success is yet to come. His biggest blockbusters include "First Blood" from 1982 (better known as "Rambo") starring Sylvester Stallone and the comedy "Weekend at Bernie's" (1989). In "Uncommon Valor" (1983) he worked with Gene Hackman whose character - Colonel Jason Rhodes tries to find his son more than 10 years after he went MIA in Vietnam. After unsuccessful attempts to get information from the government, Rhodes decides to take matters into his own hands… This impressive military action also stars Patrick Swayze, Robert Stack, Reb Brown, Randall 'Tex' Cobb.
The newest project Ted Kotcheff has been working on is the short film "Fearless". It is written and directed by his daughter Alexandra Kotcheff.
Regardless of his impressive filmography there is still one dream the 84-year-old director has not managed to accomplish. “I would very much like to make a film in Bulgaria about the story of my family because it is typical of so many other migrants in the early XX century. For thirty years I’ve had this idea of making a film about the Bulgarian Tsar who during World War II saved Bulgaria’s Jews although the country was an ally of Nazi Germany”, the director shared upon meeting Stefan Komandarev and Asen Blatechki in Los Angeles a few months ago. He’s been following developments in the country and his appearance at the 20th SIFF will be Ted Kotcheff’s second visit to Bulgaria.
Ted Kotcheff’s visit and his retrospective were made possible thanks to the generous support of Sofia International Film Festival’s longstanding partner – Jameson Irish Whiskey. This is a unique present for cinema goers – indisputable proof of longstanding partnership bringing joy to thousands of film-lovers in Bulgaria.