26th International Film Festival SOFIA FILM FEST | March 10-31, 2022

CODE # CINEMA is everywhere in March!

The tradition of Sofia Film Festival continues what started 26 years ago - in a new environment, with new generations, with new energy for the future. Established as one of the most important film events in Central and Eastern Europe, Sofia Film Festival is the only Bulgarian film festival accredited by FIAPF, included in the list of the 50 most important festivals for the film industry in the world according to Variety magazine. and in the FIPRESCI calendar.

The 26th Sofia Film Festival will offer the Bulgarian audience a choice with the hybrid presentation of its program. From 10 to 31 March 2022, films will be screened in cinemas in Sofia in compliance with all anti-epidemic measures, and some of the titles - over 80 in number - will be available online until April 30 (in partnership with the world's leading platform for organizing online festivals Festival Scope / Shift 72). We expect to welcome the authors of the films from the competition programs to personally present their works to the Bulgarian audience, as well as famous guests - Lech Majevsky, Oleg Sentsov, Srdjan Dragojevic, Dusan Milic, Radivoje Andric, Valentin Vasyanovich, Alexei Fedorchenko and many others.

The festival is organized by Art Fest under the patronage of Sofia Municipality, with the support of the Ministry of Culture, The National Film Center"and the program "Creative Europe" MEDIA of the European Union, in partnership with the National Palace of Culture, cultural institutes, sponsors, partners and friends.

The official opening of the 26th Sofia Film Fest is on March the 10th in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture, with the Bulgarian premiere screening of Claire Denis's latest film - "Two Sides of the Blade", which was awarded the "Silver Bear" for directing at the Berlinale 2022. The film opens the festival during the French Presidency of the European Union and in partnership with the French Institute in Sofia. The screenings will continue until the end of March in Sofia. A special program at the House of Cinema, related to retrospectives and an introduction to the theme of the Women in Cinema Festival, will charge the audience with anticipation for the festival from the 1st of March. Sofia Film Festival in Plovdiv will be between the 17th and the 27th of March, the traditional edition in Varna is from March the 18th to the 25th, and the jubilee 20th edition of Sofia Film Festival on the Coast in Burgas will start on March the 31st.

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At the opening ceremony of the 26th Sofia Film Festival, in the year of his 100th anniversary, director, screenwriter, writer and public figure Angel Wagenstein will be preented with the Sofia Award of the Sofia Municipality for his contribution to the art of cinema. In partnership with the Goethe-Institut, the festival will present a digitally restored copy of the masterpiece "Stars" by director Conrad Wolf, written by Angel Wagenstein. The film won the Special Jury Prize in Cannes in 1959.
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For the 20th time, an international jury will determine the Grand Prize in the competition for the first or second feature film "Sofia - City of Film", containing a cash prize of 7,000 euros, provided by Sofia Municipality.

The chairman of the jury is Bulgarian director Iglika Trifonova, who will also receive the Sofia Award. Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov will also be part of the jury and will present to the Bulgarian audience his film "Rhino", which began its journey from the international co-production market Sofia Meetings in 2012. Another remarkable artist who will evaluate films from international and short competitions is Lech Majewski. He will personally present "Bridgitte Bardot Forever" and "The Mill and the Cross" and will give a special master class in Sofia.

The full program of films in the International Competition for First and Second Feature Films includes:

* "A Love Song" - USA, directed by Max Walker-Silverman;
* "Humble" - "Bulgaria-Romania", directed by Svetoslav Draganov;
* "January" - Bulgaria-Portugal-Luxembourg, directed by Andrey Paunov.
* "Miss Osaka" - Denmark-Norway-Japan, directed by Daniel Densik;
* "Sonata" - Poland, directed by Bartosz Blazke;
* "Stand by Me" - Russia, directed by Tamara Dondurey;
* "The Absent Director" - Iran, directed by Arvand Dashtarey;
* "The Den" - Italy, directed by Beatrice Baldacci;
* "Time of Impatience" - Turkey, directed by Ayden Orak;
* "Toubab" - Germany-Senegal, directed by Florian Dietrich;
* "Wild Roots" - Hungary-Slovakia, directed by Heine Kisch;
* "Wolf" - Ireland-UK-Poland, directed by Natalie Biankeri.

In the main program, but outside the competition, two more films will be presented - the Japanese "Make The Devil Laugh" by director Ruichi Mino and the Romanian-Bulgarian-Serbian co-production by director Mihai Sofronea "The Windseeker" produced by Tudor Giurgiu and Bulgarian co-producers "Chouchkov Brothers".

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The Balkan Competition includes some of the most significant films made in the last year in the region, most of which have won extremely prestigious international awards:

* "Anatolian Leopard" - Turkey-Germany-Poland-Denmark, directed by Emre Kaish;
* "As Far As I Can Walk" - Serbia-France-Luxembourg-Bulgaria-Lithuania, directed by Stefan Arsenievich;
* "Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn" - Romania-Luxembourg-Croatia-Czech Republic, directed by Radu Jude;
* "Blue Moon" - Romania, directed by Alina Grigore;
* "Fishbone" - "Bulgaria-Romania", directed by Dragomir Sholev;
* "Heavens Above" - Serbia-Germany-Northern Macedonia-Slovenia-Croatia-Montenegro-Bosnia and Herzegovina, directed by Srdjan Dragojevic;
* "Hive" - Kosovo-Switzerland-Albania-Northern Macedonia, directed by Blerta Basholi;
* "Holy Emy" - Greece-France-USA, directed by Araceli Lemos;
* "Intregalde" - Romania, directed by Radu Muntean;
* "Murina" - Croatia-Brazil-USA-Slovenia, directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusjanovic;
* "Sisterhood" - Northern Macedonia-Kosovo-Montenegro, directed by Dina Duma;
* "The Hill where Lionesses Roar" - France-Kosovo-USA, directed by Luana Bayrami.

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2021 was extremely interesting from the point of view of the serious number of provocative and valuable for the world of documentary cinema works - a special selection of them is included in the Documentary Competition of the 26th SFF. Here are the films that will compete for the award:

* "Brotherhood" - Italy-Czech Republic, directed by Francesco Montagnier;
* "Flee" - "Denmark-France-Sweden-Norway", directed by Jonas Pocher Rasmussen;
* "Flickering Ghosts of Loves Gone By" - France, directed by Andre Bonzel;
* "For a Fistful of Fries" - France-Belgium, directed by Jean Libon, Yves Inan;
* "Jane By Charlotte" - France-UK-Japan, directed by Charlotte Gainsbourg;
* "Les enfants terribles" - France-Germany-Turkey, directed by Ahmet Necdet Kupur;
* "Life of Ivanna" - Russia-Norway-Estonia-Finland, directed by Renato Borao Serrano;
* "Mayor, Shepherd, Widow, Dragon" ("Mayor, Shepherd, Widow, Dragon") - Bulgaria, directed by Elitsa Petkova;
* "Ostrov - Lost Island" - Switzerland, directed by Svetlana Rodina, Laurent Stup;
* "Our Quiet Place" - France-Bulgaria, directed by Elitsa Georgieva;
* "Where Are We Headed?" - Belarus-Russia, directed by Ruslan Fedotov;
* "ZO REKEN (Shark Bone)" - Canada, directed by Emmanuel Lisha.

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In 2022, the festival will present a special focus on women's creativity in cinema, part of which is a program of films by Bulgarian women directors. We will emphasize their role in building the image of contemporary Bulgarian cinema with a special program of 11 films by Adela Peeva, Iglika Trifonova, Zornitsa Sofia, Svetla Tsotsorkova, Nadezhda Koseva, Kristina Grozeva, Maya Vitkova, Ralitsa Petrova, Elitsa Petkova, Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova, Yana Titova. The films will be presented by their authors at the Cinema House from March 1-10, 2022.

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Among the already announced premieres of the festival are the co-productions with Bulgaria "Darkling" by Dusan Milic and "How I Learned to Fly?" By Radivoje Andric. Among the Bulgarian titles with premiere or special screenings are the feature films "In the Heart of the Machine" by Martin Makariev, "I Don't Like You" by Borislav Kostov, "Jury" by Petya Yosifova-Hankins, as well as intriguing documentaries - Anna Petkova's latest film "The Adventurer", who won the Golden Rhyton in the documentary section, Bilyana Kirilova's debut feature film “Voev”, dedicated to the legendary musician, poet and artist Dimitar Voev; Kostadin Bonev's latest film "Geo Milev in the Labyrinth of Time", a film about the band Factor "Against Time" by Rosen Elezov and a documentary about the famous Bulgarian wrestler, Olympic and World champion, and art collector Boyan Radev - "Gladiator" by Nikolay Vassilev.

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The program also features films by world famous filmmakers or young talents, winners of prestigious international awards, including the winner of the Palme d'Or at Julia Ducourne's Cannes "Titan", Ryusuke Hamaguchi's "Drive My Car", "Home Arrest" by Alexei German Jr.," The Card Counter" by Paul Schrader, "Leonora adio" by Paolo Taviani,"Rabiye Kurnaz v. George W. Bush" by Andreas Dresen, "Evolution" by Cornel Mundruczo, "Coupe Number 6" by Juho Kuosmanen, "Petrov’s Flu" by Kiril Serebrennikov, "Knights of Justice" by Anders Thomas Jensen, "Spencer" by Pablo Larein, "Leave No Trace" by Jan Matuszynski and many others.

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Special events within the festival are the screenings of "England, my England", presented by one of the greatest friends of Sofia Film Festival - British film master Tony Palmer, with whom we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of our partnership with British Counciliva, and "Moon Strike", dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary actor Nino Manfredi and presented by actress and producer Roberta Manfredi and director Alberto Simone, in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute.

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For another year, Sofia Film Festival is a partner of the LUX Audience Award of the European Parliament and EFA, and the program in March includes screenings with discussions of the three nominated films for 2022 - "Escape" by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, “Quo Vadis, Aida?” by Jasmila Zbanic and “The Great Freedom” by Sebastian Meise.

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The 20th Bulgarian Short Film Competition will present 13 films selected by a jury consisting of: Martina Apostolova, actress and directors Viktor Bozhinov and the winner of the 2021 award - Andrey Kulev. For the third year in a row, the award is provided by Doli Media Studio. Here is the selection:

* “Amidst the Concrete”, directed by Yordan Mihajlovski;
* “Beaujolais”, directed by Irena Daskalova;
* “Breakoff”, directed by Silvia Cherneva;
* “Cancer, Capricorn and Pisces”, directed by Marie Rosen.
* “Donkey”, directed by Martin Negrev;
* “Drought”, directed by Toto Mitovski;
* “Game”, directed by Orlin Menkadzhiev;
* “Interview in the Womb of the Whale”, directed by Rashko Rakov;
* “Mona Lisa”, directed by Veselka Kuncheva;
* “Shell in Love”, directed by Svilen Dimitrov;
* “Snowdrops at the end of the Train”, directed by Galina Georgieva;
* “The Ticket”, directed by Kevork Aslanyan;
* “Vi”, director Deyan Tsvyatkov.

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Traditional partners of the festival are the Institut Francais, Goethe-Institut, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Italian Cultural Institute, British Council, the Czech Cultural Center (retrospective of the first lady of the Czechoslovak New Wave Vera Hitilova will be presented later in the year), Romanian Cultural Institute, Liszt Institute - Hungarian Cultural Center, the embassies of the USA, Austria, Romania, Ireland, Finland, Slovakia and others.

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And in 2022 most of the films will be available through one of the most famous cans in the world of cinema - TICKET IN A CAN at Sofia Film Festival. It has a NEW body that is easily degradable after opening, but more important is what you get with it. Sofia Film Festival presents you as a gift! With one TICKET * VOUCHER you can watch OPTION 1 - one screening of a movie in the cinema and one movie of your choice online, from the section "FILM GIFT ONLINE" OR OPTION 2 - one movie online And another movie of your choice online, from the section "MOVIE GIFT ONLINE".
Save the unique number of your ticket / voucher, through which you can take advantage of a promo code for online movie watching until April 30, 2022!
More information can be found at siff.bg/bilet and can be obtained on the toll-free number 080018110.

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The 19th edition of Sofia Meetings will be held between June 6 and 12, 2022, and the dates for presenting projects and works in progress will be June 8-12. The format of the market has already been enriched by presenting projects for feature films and TV series. Professional events within the market partner with the most important forums in the world such as Producers Network Cannes Marche, Midpoint, EAVE, Crossroads, Europa Distribution, CICAE and many others. In the program of the festival you will be able to see some of the projects presented at Sofia Meetings in recent years: "Murena" by Antoaneta Alamat Kusijanovic - "Golden Camera" 2021, "Wolf" by Nathalie Biancheri, launched at the Toronto Festival, "January" by Andrey Paounov, "Women Do Cry" by Mina Mileva and Vessela Kazakova, presented at the Cannes Film Festival, Un certain regard 2021, "Fishbone" by Dragomir Sholev, "Humble" by Svetoslav Draganov.

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Follow the details for highlights on our website www.siff.bg, as well as on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) of the festival.

We thank the LUX Audience Award - the European Parliament, Brussels and the EP Bureau - Bulgaria, Grand Hotel Sofia, the companies Doli Media Studio, EPAY GO / EASY PAY, Bulsatcom, Videnov Furniture, Domaine Boyar, Moto Pfohe Rent a Car, Maison Mitko Damov, Bodimed, Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Green Book, NikSen, Match Point Productions.

The creative partner of Sofia Film Fest is DDB!

Sofia Film Fest is supported by the Sofia Municipality and the Ministry of Culture.