For the first time in the history of the most prestigious international festival in Bulgaria three films created by Bulgarian authors and with majority domestic funding will be presented before the international jury, which traditionally awarded the Grand Prize of the festival "Sofia - City of Film", provided by Sofia Municipality.
Receiving Locarno Film Festival's "Golden Leopard" and two awards in Sarajevo, as well as the prize "Golden Rose" in Varna, Ralitza Petrova's "Godless" (2016) is "groundbreaking study of the human spirit in his longing for purity and redemption." The story follows a nurse involved in traffic of the ID cards of demented patients. Driven by easy cash, and an addiction to morphine, she struggles to keep tabs on her emotional void, and a growing fear of punishment.
"The world — at least the Bulgarian world — is mired in depression, corruption, and misanthropy. Love doesn’t exist, even if sought on occasion. That’s the message of Ralitza Petrova’s debut feature “Godless,” a film that goes to great lengths to rub the viewer’s face in the joylessness of life in a post-Communist world where nothing has changed." - writes "Variety".
"I'm a mountaineer person and at the time I was writing the script I went to Bezbog again. The backstory and myth, connected with that peak, somehow reflect the same emotions and the same topic,"said Ralitsa Petrova. She graduated visual art at London University and then specialized in film directing at the British National School of Film and Television.
The second feature film from writer-director Konstantin Bojanov is poetically titled "Light Thereafter" (2017), and its world premiere is literally after few days in the main competition program of the prestigious International Film Festival Rotterdam (January 25 - February 5 2017). The film tells the story of 16-year-old Paul, emotional and sensitive young man who dreams of becoming a disciple of his idol - the enigmatic French artist Arno. Like the "Ave" and this Bojanov's film is a story of journey: the path leads Paul to meetings with interesting people, to self-knowledge and maturity...
"Light Thereafter" is a co-production between Bulgaria, Belgium and Great Britain. In the title role is a rising star from Ireland Barry Keoghan (known for "Mammal", the independent British drama "71"); also participating are European actors Kim Bodnia, Thure Lindhardt, Solène Rigot, Lubna Azabal, Slimane Dazi and Bulgarian actresses Margita Gosheva, Elitsa Mateva, Stanislava Nikolova.
The third Bulgarian title in the main competition program is the feature debut of Grigor Lefterov and Todor Matsanov - "Hristo", started as a project at Sofia Meetings 2013. The film's premiere was at the 34th festival "Golden Rose", where it received awards for a feature debut and best actor - Dimitar Nikolov (tied). In the film Hristo is a homeless boy who is doing everything possible to lead a normal life. But of course, there are things you would not do. And the price of "normal" life can be too high for him. "Hristo" was also selected for the competition of the Warsaw Film Festival 2016.
One debut film from Turkey - Emre Erdogdu's "Snow" will have its world premiere on 21st Sofia Film Fest. This is the enthralling story of young woman who lives using narcotic substances and also outside the accepted norms of society. After learning of her existence, her brother Ali leaves his own well-settled life and went to Antalya to be with her. There each of them will become a strange challenge in the world to the other ...
Whimsical and fun, "Moon Dogs" by British director Philip John is a journey in the footsteps of two teenagers across Scotland, during which they encounter mysterious girl standing between them. "Moon Dogs" is the feature debut of Philip John, famous punk bassist and ping-pong fan, with a successful career in television. His filmography includes the series "Being Human" - with two BAFTA nominations for best director and also "Downton Abbey" (2013-15), "Outlander" (2016) and the comedy "Wedding Belles" (2007) by Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh.
Writer-director's Soleen Yusef's "House without a Roof" ("Haus Ohne Dach"), co-production between Germany, Iraq and Qatar, will also participate in the international competition of 21 Sofia IFF - the film's premiere was a success at the festival in Montreal 2016. The story follows two brothers - Alan and Jan, and their sister Liya, born in the Kurdish region of Iraq and raised in Germany. The three are facing the difficult task to fulfill the dying wish of their mother - to bury her next to their father, in their home village. During the trip the three rediscovered homeland and their own identity, and in an attempt to find out the truth for themselves suddenly their mother's coffin was lost...
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