1. Sofia International Film Festival (Sofia IFF) is the biggest competitive film festival in Bulgaria, accredited by FIAPF. The festival is presenting the best of the world contemporary cinema, including works of masters, discoveries and retrospectives.
The 27th Sofia IFF will be held from 16th to 26th of March 2023 (main programme) with an additional programme until the beginning of April.
2. The programme of the 27th Sofia IFF includes the following sections:
- International Competition for First or Second Feature Films
- Balkan Competition
- International Documentary Competition
- Bulgarian Short Films Competition
- Cinema Today – Masters
- Special Screenings
- New Bulgarian Cinema
- Documentary Programme – out of competition
- VR Screenings (by invitations only)
- Tributes and Retrospectives
- Cinema Gourmet
- Cinema and Fashion
- SFF Nature
- SFF Teen
- SFF for Kids
- SFF for Blind People
- Special Events
3. Film Submissions are accepted for the following sections:
* Competitive programme:
- International Competition – first or second feature fiction films of the directors, produced after January 1st 2022, worldwide.
- Balkan Competition – regional feature fiction films from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey), produced after January 1st 2022.
- International Documentary Competition – feature documentaries over 60’, worldwide, produced after January 1st 2022.
- Bulgarian Short Films Competition – Bulgarian short films produced after January 1st 2022 with length no longer than 30 minutes.
* Non-competitive programme:
- Feature fiction films and documentaries from all over the world produced after January 1st 2022.
4. Deadline for submissions
Deadline for foreign entries:
Early Bird – October 15th, 2022
Regular – November 15th, 2022
Deadline for Bulgarian features: December 1st, 2022
Deadline for Bulgarian short films: December 1st, 2022
The films are selected by programme board, advisors and selection committees.
Selection committee will choose twelve shorts competing for Best Bulgarian Short Film Award. Selection committee will choose the films competing in the Documentary Competition.
The selection committees are chosen by the festival management.
The final programme will be announced at the end of January 2023.
5. Online submission form is available on the festival’s Eventival visitors page.
6. Links and passwords to online screeners to be sent with the Film Submission form. The submitters can also send the links and password via email to email@example.com
7. NB! The festival requests submission fee as follows:
Early bird – 25 EUR for submission of a foreign feature film until October 15th.
Regular – 35 EUR for submission of a foreign feature film from October 15th until November 15th.
The film will be considered for the festival selection only after the submission fee is duly paid. The submission fee is not refundable once it has been paid.
8. Film Formats
• For selection purposes: secured online screener (valid at least three months after the submission deadline).
• Accepted screening formats for the selected films: DCP; Blu-ray and HD file on exceptional occasions.
• Screeners of the selected films for translation should be sent to the festival until January 15th, 2023 The screening formats should reach the Festival before February 1st, 2023.
9. Sofia IFF will cover all costs connected with the transportation of prints of the films selected for the Competitive sections to Sofia and back to the address given by the producer in case the film does not have outbound destination. Sofia IFF will cover inbound shipment of the prints of films shared with other festivals. Sofia IFF will cover all the expenses connected with the storage and insurance of the films during the Festival.
10. Sofia IFF invites representative of the films in the International Competition and Balkan Competition. All conditions for the festival guests are included in their personal invitations. If conditions do not allow presence of guests in Sofia, SIFF will organize online introductions & Q&As with the talents.
11. The festival does not pay screening fees for the films in the competitive sections.
12. Festival Juries and Awards
International Jury of five members will decide upon 12 films in the International Competition and 12 films in the Bulgarian Short Film Award Competition and will award the following prizes:
- Sofia City of Film Grand Prix for Best Film in the International Competition (goes to the director and producer of the film);
- Special Jury Award for film in the International Competition (goes to the director of the film);
- Award for Best Director (goes to the director of the film);
- Best Bulgarian Short Film Award (goes to the director of the film);
Balkan Jury of three members will decide the Award for Best Balkan Film (goes to the director of the film);
International Documentary Jury of three members will decide the Award for Best Documentary Film;
Best Bulgarian Film Jury of three members of representatives of international film festivals will decide the Award for Best Bulgarian Feature Film;
FIPRESCI will appoint a jury of 3 members to decide the award for a film, selected from a special list of films published in the festival catalogue and on the festival website (goes to the director of the film);
The Audience will vote for its preferable film from the International and Balkan Competition;
Young Jury will present an award to a film from the International Competition.
13. Accreditation requests will be open from February 1st, 2023 until March 10th, 2023.
14. Participation in the Sofia IFF shall presume observation of all articles of the present Regulations. The festival director has the right to settle all cases and issues not covered by these Regulations.