27th International Film Festival #RECONNECT 16-31 March 2023

Let's reconnect through CINEMA!

A special magic comes to life through film images, irrepressibly drawing viewers into unique journeys through different stories and worlds. The power of art brings us closer together, energizes our daily lives, we continuously discover new perspectives, and together enrich the multi-colored mosaic of Cinema. 27 festive, festival years - for the Sofia Film Festival team it is an honor and a privilege to be together, dear audience, participants, and professionals! 

The 27th Sofia International Film Festival will await its viewers from the 16th to the 31st of March 2023 - the official opening of the 27th Sofia International Film Festival is on the 16th of March in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture. A preliminary program will start on the 10th of March at the Cinema House and the Czech Centre with retrospectives and the special competition "SIFF Teen", and festival screenings will continue in Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas, and Varna until the 6th of April 2023. The screenings will be traditional - in cinemas, where viewers can experience the film stories together and meet many of their creators. We are looking forward to welcoming the authors of the selected works in the competition programs to present them in person to the Bulgarian audience, as well as many world-famous guests with their latest films.

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

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In 2023 Sofia International Film Festival embraces the "green idea" and opens its 27th edition with the new film by the famous director Volker Schlöndorff "The Forest Maker". The Oscar and Palme d'Or winner will plant the first tree in the Sofia Film Fest forest - an initiative supported by Sofia Municipality and the telecommunications company Yettel. The launch will take place immediately after the official opening of the festival on 16 March 2023. Together with the German director, trees will be planted by the Mayor of Sofia Municipality, Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova, and a representative of Yettel. A special Schlöndorff retrospective will be presented in the hall of the Goethe-Institut and will be realized in partnership with the German cultural institution. 

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Legendary actress Geraldine Chaplin will be one of the special guests of the 27th Sofia Film Fest and will receive the Sofia Award of the Sofia Municipality. Together with director Jessica Woodworth and her team, they will present their latest collaboration "Luka", inspired by the novel "The Tatar Desert" by Dino Buzzati, which premiered a few days ago in the competition program of the Rotterdam Film Festival. The gala screening of "Luka" is scheduled for 25 March - the evening of the Sofia International Film Festival awards!

One of the iconic names in Bulgarian cinema - the cinematographer, director, and screenwriter Radoslav Spassov will celebrate his 80th anniversary in 2023. This March he will receive the Sofia Municipality Award for his contribution to the seventh art. The plaque was created by the famous artist Georgi Chapkanov - Chapa, who is also celebrating his 80th anniversary this year!

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For the 21st time, an international jury will determine the Grand Prize in the Competition for the first or second feature film "Sofia - City of Cinema", provided by Sofia Municipality. The jury is chaired by the world-famous director Milcho Manchevski, winner of the Golden Lion and nominated for a foreign-language Oscar. 

The program traditionally includes 12 films, two of which are Bulgarian! 
Here are some of the confirmed films: 

* "No End" - Germany-Iran-Turkey, directed by Nader Saeivar;
* "The Good Driver" - Finland-Bulgaria, directed by Tomislav Hristov;
* "The Other Widow" - Israel-France, directed by Maayan Rypp;
* "The Art of Falling" - Bulgaria, directed by Orlin Milchev;
* "Nightwatch" - Germany, directed by Joachim Neef;
* "Roving Woman" - Poland-USA, directed by Michal Chmielewski;
* "Red Shoes" - Mexico-Italy, directed by Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser;
* "Clove and Carnations" - Turkey-Belgium, directed by Bekir Bulbul.

The Balkan competition includes 12 top titles from the region. Among the selected films in the program are:

* "May Labor Day" - Bosnia and Herzegovina-Serbia-Macedonia, directed by Pierre Jalica;
* Burning Days - Turkey-Germany, directed by Emin Alper;
* "Mother" - Bulgaria-Germany-Croatia, directed by Zornitsa Sofia;
* "Men of Deeds" - Romania-Bulgaria, directed by Paul Negoescu;
* "The Happiest Man in the World" - North Macedonia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Belgium-Croatia-Denmark-Slovenia, directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska;
* "Safe Place" - Croatia, directed by Juraj Lerotic;
* "Black Night" - Turkey, directed by Özkan Alper.

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The 21st Bulgarian Short Film Competition will present 12 films, selected by a jury composed of Elitza Petkova, director, Rossen Spassov, film expert, and Orlin Menkadzhiev, director, winner of the award in 2022. For the fourth year in a row, the prize worth 9,500 euros (1,500 euros in prize money and 8,000 euros in post-production services) is provided by Dolly Media Studio. Here are the selected films:

1. "Woodworm", directed by Christian Bozov, 23 min.
2. "The Exhibition", directed by Ivelina Alexieva, 17 min.
3. "Depersonalization", directed by Spartak Yordanov, 7 min.
4. "August 13th", directed by Ventsislav Sariev, 30 min. 
5. "Good Intentions", directed by Danail Yanchev, 22 min. 
6. "Vox Populi", directed by Tianita Gancheva, 26 min.
7. "Seven Deadly Sins", directed by Dimitar Dimitrov, 26 min.
8. "SURRENDER", directed by Kosta Karakashian, 15 min.
9. "It May Have Nothing in Common", directed by Svetoslav Draganov, 23 min. 
10. "Trace", directed by Asparuh Petrov, 7 min.
11. "Horn of Plenty / Cornucopia, directed by Ani Antonova, 8 min.
12. "Four Credible Stories for an Absurd Evening", directed by Georgi Dimitrov, 27 min.

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Among the already announced premieres at the festival are Jessica Woodworth's co-production with Bulgaria “Luca”, Oscar favorites Todd Fields' "Tar", Sam Mendes' "Empire of Light", Lucas Dont's "Close", Santiago Mitre's "Argentina, 1985", Laura Poitras' "All Beauty and Bloodshed", Fatih Akin's latest "Rhinegold", the Bulgarian documentaries in competition "A Provincial Hospital" by Ilian Metev, Ivan Chertov and Zlatina Teneva and "My Uncle Luben" by Nikola Boshnakov and Georgi Stoev - Jackie, as well as the special retrospectives of Volker Schlöndorff, Milcho Manchevski, Vera Hitilova, and Jan Sverak, who will be a guest at the festival in Sofia in March to present his latest film "Bethlehem Light".

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For the first time, the festival program will include a TEEN Competition with films on youth themes, selected by director Nadezhda Koseva, and a Children's Programme, selected by director Andrei Hadzivasylev.

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Stay tuned for many more details on the films, guests, and programs that we will share with you in February!

What will be the other films in the competition and other programs? 
Who will be the international guests of the festival? 
Which Bulgarian films will premiere? 
Who will be the other winners of the Sofia Award and the Sofia Film Festival Special Award?

#Reconnect - let's reconnect through #CINEMA! 
We look forward to seeing you at the 27th Sofia International Film Festival to immerse ourselves together in the art of recreating film stories that re-energize our lives! 
Discover new worlds in the magical reality of the silver screen! #27SofiaIFF #Reconnect
The vision of the festival in 2023 is the work of Nanda. 

Started in 1997 as a thematic festival with the emblematic name Music Film Fest, Sofia Film Fest has undergone an upward development over the years, becoming one of the most important film events in Central and Eastern Europe, the only Bulgarian film festival with FIAPF accreditation, included in the list of the 50 most important film festivals in the world and the FIPRESCI Calendar. The SFF has hosted a host of international filmmakers, including Wim Wenders, Alan Parker, Nikita Mikhalkov, Volker Schlöndorff, Agnes Varda, Jiří Menzel, Costa-Gavras, Terry Gilliam, Emir Kusturica, Otar Joseliani, Bille August, Goran Pascalević, Béla Tarr, Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieszka Holland, Hugh Hudson, Claudia Cardinale, Rupert Everett, Franco Nero, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Jerry Schatzberg, Danis Tanovic, Mika Kaurismaki, Pavel Pawlikowski, Miki Manojlovic, Ildiko Enedi, Abel Ferrara and many, many more. Most of them are winners of the Sofia Municipality Award. 

We look forward to seeing you at #CINEMA!