Twelve first or second films will compete for the Grand Prix "Sofia - City of Film" provided by Sofia Municipality. Ten days ago we presented six of the films, which include - for the first time in the competition program of Sofia Film Fest! - three Bulgarian titles, and now come the other six.
„My Happy Family” (Germany-Georgia-France) is the second film directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß after their impressive debut feature "In Bloom".
It's a story filmed entirely by handheld camera, which happens in patriarchal society - three generations of one regular Georgian family were living for many years under one roof. But all members of the family were shocked when 52-year-old Manana decided to leave his parents' house to live alone. Without family and husband, her journey into the unknown begins despite the prejudices of others ...
"It's a simple, somewhat mundane scenario that, in the hands of a terrific cast and two talented filmmakers, is transformed into a minor Greek comic-tragedy." ("The Hollywood Reporter").
According to the director Bojan Vuletic „Requiem for Mrs. J.” (Serbia-Bulgaria-Macedonia) is "It’s a dark comedy about a woman who wants to commit suicide but because of corruption and bureaucracy in Serbia, she cannot even do that. It’s also a family drama with a lot of emotion and love. In a way, until we reach death in one moment we cannot start living again."
This project won the "Works in Progress" Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival project. Bulgarian co-producer of the film is Pavlina Jeleva ("Geopoly").
„Quit Staring at My Plate” (Croatia-Denmark) is the feature debut of a young Croatian director Hana Jusic.
„This somewhat belated coming-of-age tale of a young woman who’s lived — together with her careless mother and mentally disabled older brother — under the tyranny of the man of the house for her entire life stars compelling newcomer Mia Petricevic as the young woman who needs to adjust to her new role as the family’s sole breadwinner, – пише The Hollywood Reporter. - Though the story setup has a lot of potential, Jusic struggles to find the right tone for her material, mixing well-observed and realistic scenes with more cartoonish depictions of family relations.”
„Bad Influence” (Chile) directed by Claudia Huaiquimilla sheds light on the problems of the Mapuche Indians, member of which tribe is the director herself, trying to present the story from the outside. Her debut feature film explores the life and incredible friendship of two teenagers - one rebellious youth and the other Mapuche boy, which can not find his place among others and has not been accepted by the people.
„When you start judging the teens of “Mala Junta,” you close many doors and opportunities that could help them reverse their circumstances. In turn, the Mapuche in Chile are often treated, even in the mass media, as terrorists, making local society fear and reject their own heritage. Personally, as a young Mapuche, I have had to deal with this many times. I firmly believe that exclusion and pent up frustration have consequences, and it’s precisely that aggravation that is evident in the actions of these teens and the Mapuche people who see their parents, or the government of Chile, throwing disgruntled youth into reform centers; or taking repressive measures against the indigenous people. In this film, I wanted to place myself in the shoes of both this troubled young man and a Mapuche, and see how they sought their place in the world despite being at the margins of society." - shares Huaiquimilla in an interview for „Variety” .
„The Last Family” (Poland) directed by Jan P. Matuszynski traces the history of the famous art-family Beksiński. The film tells the story of their life for more than 30 years of successes and failures, suicide attempts and a series of deaths while they are trying to do the best for each family member, despite some really adverse circumstances.
"The Last Family" is an honest attempt for documentary portrait with a great deal of artistic elements. According to the critics and media „Jan P. Matuszynski has made undoubtedly sad film, but it's not depressing because there's such love in this family and the dark humor as well.” and „The Last Family” is a remarkable story.
„Beneath the Silence” (Israel) by the directors Erez Mizrahi and Sahar Shavit tells a story about one soldier who fought during the Six Day War in Israel in 1973. Unfortunately he has to live with post-traumatic stress. His young wife and 10-years old son are suffering because of his aloof silence and are trying to do everything just to make him embrace to normal life again.
According to Erez Mizrahi and Sahar Shavit, „this film is not an autobiography, but it's a personal story. It's a story about the marks from the past, from everything that we lived through in our childhood”,
The lineup for the International competition of 21st Sofia International Film Festival are:
* „Godless” – Bulgaria-Denmark-France, director Ralitza Petrova
* „Light Thereafter” – Bulgaria-Belgium, director Konstantin Bojanov
* „House without Roof” („Haus Ohne Dach”) – Germany-Iraq-Qatar, director Soleen Yusef
* „Bad Influence” – Chile, director Claudia Huaiquimilla
* „My Happy Family” – Germany-Georgia-France, directors Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß
* „Beneath the Silence” – Israel, directors Erez Mizrahi and Sahar Shavit
* „The Last Family” – Poland, director Jan P. Matuszynski
* „Requiem for Mrs. J.” – Serbia-Bulgaria-Macedonia, director Bojan Vuletic
* „Snow” – Turkey, director Emre Erdogdu
* „Quit Staring at My Plate” – Croatia-Denmark, director Hana Jusic
* „Hristo” – Bulgaria-Italia, directors Grigor Lefterov and Teodor Matsanov
* „Moon Dogs” – United Kingdom, director Philip John
Please find additional information for previously listed films HERE
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WAITING for more hot news from 21-st SOFIA FILM FEST's programme!