13 - 31 March 2024


TICKETS are on sale TODAY

The 28th Sofia International Film Festival welcomes its audience from the 13th to the 31st of March 2024 - the official opening is on the 13th of March in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture. The preliminary program starts on the 11th of March at the Odeon cinema with a retrospective of Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens. The program of the SFF in Sofia continues until the 5th of April.

The festival is organised 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 programme of the European Union, in partnership with cultural institutes, sponsors, organisations and friends. 

The rich festival programme includes 143 features - fiction, documentary and animation films, as well as a special selection of nearly 20 short films from 53 countries on 6 continents! The screenings will be in cinemas where the audience can experience the stories together and meet many of the filmmakers. At the same time, we continue to present a special selection of films online - in 2024 we are partnering again with Neterra.tv/plus and audiences across the country will be able to watch selected titles from the festival programme. 

We will welcome in Sofia the authors of the selected works in the competition programs, who will present them in person to the Bulgarian audience in the cinemas, as well as many world-famous guests with their latest films. Sofia Film Fest in Plovdiv will be from the 15th to the 31st of March, the edition in Varna is from the 22nd to the 30th of March and Sofia Film Fest on the coast in Burgas will be from the 21st to the 29th of March. 

* * *
The festival officially opens with the European premiere of Nadejda Koseva's film "The Trap", a co-production between Bulgaria and Germany, based on a script by Boyan Papasov. The film puts special accents - on the importance of preserving our human dignity in today's deranged world, despite the pitfalls of the past, as well as on the symbiosis between humans and nature and the way in which our negligence leads to its doom. The emphasis on the environmental theme, which continues to be relevant in both cinema and our everyday lives, is complemented by the green tree planting initiative launched in 2023 by the festival's special guests. "The SIFF Forest" will be enriched by inviting significant artists in the world of cinema to get involved by planting new saplings. 

One of the most awaited guests in 2024 is the legendary German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. She will present her latest film "Ingeborg Bachmann - Journey into the Desert", hold a special masterclass at the Goethe Institute and receive the Sofia Municipality Award for her outstanding contribution to the art of cinema. The same recognition will be given to the respected and beloved by several generations of filmmakers artist and set designer Georgi-Todorov - Jozi, as well as the legend of Bulgarian cinema and theatre, the actress Tsvetana Maneva. The plaque was created by the sculptor Georgi Chapkanov - Chapa.

The world-famous Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska will receive the FIPRESCI Platinum Award, will present her new film "Woman of..." and will meet with film fans in a master class at the Polish Institute - Sofia.

The Sofia Film Festival's Special Award will be presented in 2024 to the creative tandem of writers, directors and producers Jessica Woodworth (USA-Belgium) and Peter Brosens (Belgium), as well as to Serbian director Radivoje Andric, whose films, including the latest "Dudes Again", can be seen in the cinema.

On March 23, the 28th Sofia International Film Festival will hand out the awards to the best films in competition, and after the ceremony, we will premiere Sofia Coppola's latest film "Priscilla" in the festival's special American Gala, in partnership with the US Embassy.

* * *
For the 22nd time, an international jury will determine the Grand Prize in the competition for the first or second feature film "Sofia - City of Cinema", containing a cash prize provided by the Sofia Municipality. The jury is chaired by Hungarian filmmaker Szabolcs Hajdu, and the jury also includes directors Tinatin Kajrishvili (Georgia, will present his film and festival hit "Citizen Saint") and Zornitsa Sophia (Bulgaria), actor Dimiter Marinov (USA-Bulgaria, will premiere the films "Karaganda" and "Pickled Herring" in Bulgaria) and the director of the European Film Market in Berlin, expert Dennis Ruh (Germany).

The programme includes 12 films:

* "Afloat" - Turkey, directed by Aslihan Unaldi
* "All About Levkoviches" - Hungary, directed by Ádám Breier
* "Because I Love Bad Weather" - Bulgaria, directed by Yana Lekarska
* "Beyond the Fog" - Japan, directed by Daichi Murase
* "Brando with a Glass Eye" - Greece-Australia, directed by Antonis Tsonis
* "The Capture" - Romania-Bulgaria, directed by Adi Voicu
* "Girls Will Be Girls" - India-France-USA-Norway, directed by Shuchi Talati
* "Horia" - Romania-Bulgaria-Serbia, directed by Ana-Maria Comănescu
* "Jupiter" - Germany, directed by Benjamin Pfohl
* "The Quiet Maid" - Spain, directed by Miguel Faus
* "Sujo" - Mexico-France-USA, directed by Astrid Rondero and Fernanda Valadez 
* "The Trap" - Bulgaria-Germany, directed by Nadejda Koseva

* * *
12 films are also included in the Balkan Competition of the festival:

* "African Star" - Cyprus, directed by Adonis Florides
* "Animal" (Greece-Austria-Romania-Cyprus-Bulgaria), directed by Sofia Exarchou
* "Blaga's Lessons" - Bulgaria-Germany, directed by Stephan Komandarev
* "Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World" - Romania-Luxembourg-France-Croatia, directed by Radu Jude
* "Dormitory" - Turkey-Germany-France, director Nehir Tuna
* "Freedom" - Romania-Hungary, director Tudor Giurgiu
* "Guardians of the Formula" - Serbia-Slovenia-Montenegro-North Macedonia, directed by Dragan Bjelogrlić
* "Life" - Turkey-Bulgaria, director Zeki Demirkubuz
* "M" - North Macedonia-Croatia-France-Luxembourg-Kosovo, directed by Vardan Tozija
* "Medium" - Greece-Bulgaria, directed by Christina Ioakeimidi
* "Observing" - Slovenia-Italy-Croatia-North Macedonia, director Janez Burger
* "Working Class Goes to Hell" - Serbia-Bulgaria, director Mladen Đorđević

* * *
Landmark documentaries with prizes from Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Oscar nominations are in the Documentary Competition:

* "1489" - Armenia, director Shoghakat Vardanyan
* "Balkan Black Box" - Bulgaria, directed by Tzvetan Dragnev
* "Danger Zone" - Poland-UK, directed by Vita Maria Drygas
* "Feet in Water, Head on Fire" - USA-Canada, directed by Terra Long
* "Four Daughters" - France-Tunisia-Germany-Saudi Arabia, directed by Kaouther Ben Hania
* "Grasshopper Republic" - USA, director Daniel McCabe
* "Joan Baez: I Am a Noise" - USA, directed by Karen O'Connor, Miri Navasky, Meave O'Boyle
* "The Last Seagull" - Finland-Bulgaria-Norway, directed by Tonislav Hristov
* "Michel Gondry, Do It Yourself!" - France, director François Neméta
* "Our Body" - France, directed by Claire Simon
* "Planet B" - Belgium-Netherlands, directed by Pieter Van Eecke
* "Soundtrack to a Coup d'État" - Belgium-France-Netherlands, directed by Johan Grimonprez

* * 
Among the special guests of the festival are Romanian director Cristi Puiu, who will present his latest film "MMXX", German director Veit Helmer with his new film "Gondola", Finnish actress Alma Pöysti with Aki Kaurismäki's film "Fallen Leaves". The President of the Documentary Competition Jury Vitaly Mansky is coming to Sofia with his latest film "Eastern Front", and Szabolcs Hajdu and Jim Stark will present their film "Kalman's Day".

The festival centre of the 28th Sofia Film Fest will be the Photosynthesis Café and Gallery. In addition to the opportunity for informal meetings of the audience and festival guests, public talks with some of the festival's special guests will be organized there.

There are many hit works in the programme, made by world masters or talents who have won prestigious international awards, among them Wim Wenders' "Perfect Days" (with the Best Actor Award from Cannes '23), Berlinale '23 Golden Bear winner Nicolas Philibert's "On the Adamant", Agnieszka Holland's "Green Border" (with the Special Jury Prize from Venice '23), Kore-eda Hirokazu's "Monster" (with the Best Screenplay prize at Cannes '23 and the Queer Palm), Christian Petzold's "Afire" (with the Silver Bear Grand Prix at Berlinale '23), Philippe Garrel's "The Plough" (with the Silver Bear for direction at Berlinale '23), Marco Bellocchio's latest film "Kidnapped", Ken Loach's "The Old Oak", Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "About Dry Grasses", Alice Rohrwacher's "La Chimera", Alexander Payne's Oscar favourites "The Holdovers" and Mstyslav Chernov's "20 Days in Mariupol" (in partnership with the French Institute). It will be a treat for cinephiles to meet on the big screen such audience hits as Emerald Fennell's "Saltburn", Andrew Haigh's "All of Us Strangers", Ethan Coen's "Drive-Away Dolls".

The 28th Sofia International Film Festival presents 43 Bulgarian features - fiction and documentary films, international co-productions with Bulgarian participation and short films.

Nearly 20 films will have their world premiere in March in Sofia. Among them are Yana Lekarska's debut film "Because I Love Bad Weather", Adonis Florides' "Africa Star" in the Balkan Competition, Tzvetan Dragnev's "Balkan Black Box" in the Documentary Competition, Giorgi Mukhadze's "When You Are 17" in the Teen Competition, Dimitar Ilchev and Aleksandra Chakarova's "Monolith Band", Todor Bashiyanov and Todor Karagyaurov's "Pulsating Hills" and four works with serious Bulgarian participation - "Megdan: Between Water and Fire" directed by Todor Chapkanov, with cinematographer Ivo Peychev and editor Bohos Topakbashian, "Karaganda" by Max Weissberg starring Dimiter Marinov, "Wild Urge" by Sharon Bar Ziv starring Samuel Finzi, "Retrospect" by British director Steven Lewis Simpson, filmed and produced entirely in Bulgaria, starring Bulgarian actors. 

The premiere for the capital is the feature film of the director Peter Rusev "Apostle: A Gentle Knight in Brutalia", which is part of the New Bulgarian Cinema section. Among the other films in this program and not participating in the international competitions are also "Plague" by Ivan Vladimirov, "The Pulse of the Dance" by Georgi Kostov, "La belle dame sans merci" by Nikolai Bogomilov and "The Picasso Affair" by Ian Ianev. Among the Bulgarian documentary premieres are Vladimir Borisov's "Chiselling Worlds", Mario Krastev's "DJ Scores", Radoslav Iliev's "Direct Target Bulgaria", "Soul Beyond Measure" by Sofia Stoycheva, "On the Other Side" by Nikolay Rusakiev, "Beyond the Curtain" by Slavi Georgiev, "Roads and Shadows by the White Nymph Springs" by Mikhail Meltev, "Appassionata" by Kaloyana Klimentova.

* * *
The 22nd Bulgarian Short Film Competition will present 12 films selected by a jury composed of Kasiel Noa Asher, actress, Ivan Vladimirov, director and Asparuh Petrov, director, winner of the prize in 2023. For the fifth consecutive year, 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:

* "The Artist's Daughter" - directed by Dimitar Dimitrov, 12 min, animation
* "Chocolate" - directed by Orlin Milchev, 15 min
* "Dogumentary" - director Ilina Perianova, 27 min
* "Echo II" - director Yordan Mihailovsky, 27 min
* "The Fracture" - directed by Dimana Pustrakova, 30 min
* "harmonia:" - Bulgaria-USA, directed by Bogdan Darev, 27 min
* "Mother Died Today" - director Philip Andreev, 29 min
* "The Pool" - directed by Pavlina Bozhkova, 18 min
* "The Premiere" - director Toma Waszarow, 25 min
* "Shinings" - Bulgaria-Switzerland, directed by Lazar Ivanov, 28 min
* "Silviya Wants to Play" - director Vanya Boycheva, 24 min, documentary 
* "The Visit" - directed by Veselin Boydev, 17 min 

* * *
For the second year in a row, the festival will feature a TEEN competition, which includes the following films: 

* "Dyad" - Bulgaria, directed by Yana Titova
* "Excursion" - Bosnia and Herzegovina-Croatia-Serbia-France-Norway-Qatar, directed by Una Gunjak
* "Forever-Forever"- Ukraine-Netherlands, director Ana Buryachkova
* "Not a Word" - Germany-Slovenia-France, directed by Hanna Slak
* "She-Hero" - Slovakia, directed by Mira Fornay
* "When You Are 17" - Georgia-Germany, directed by Giorgi Mukhadze
* "Without Air" - Hungary, director Katalin Moldovai

* * *
Traditionally, Sofia Film Fest presents the finalists for the LUX Audience Award in partnership with the European Parliament, Brussels and the EP Bureau in Bulgaria. This year they are "On the Adamant" by master documentary filmmaker Nicolas Philibert, "Fallen Leaves" by Aki Kaurismäki, "The Teachers' Lounge" by İlker Çatak, "20,000 Species of Bees" by Estibaliz Urresola and "Smoke Sauna Sisterhood" by Anna Hints. Each of these films will have a special screening in Sofia with discussion.

The main selector of the Kids' Programme of the SFF for the second year in a row is the director Andrey Hadjivasilev.

* * *
Traditional partners of the festival are the Embassy of the USA, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Goethe-Institut, the French Institute, the Embassy of Romania and the Romanian Cultural Institute - Bucharest, the Polish Institute, the Liszt Institute - Hungarian Cultural Centre, the Embassies of Austria, Finland, German Films and others. 

* * *
The 21st edition of Sofia Meetings will take place between the 20th and 24th of March 2024. Sofia Meetings is the only professional event in Bulgaria, recognized by the global film industry and partnering with the most important forums in the world such as Producers Network Cannes Marche, Film Independence, EAVE, ACE, Crossroads, Europa Distribution, CICAE, MIDPOINT, MFI and many others. Sofia Meetings presents projects by emerging filmmakers to a professional audience of active producers, investors, sales agencies and distributors on the one hand, and films in the process of completion on the other - to selectors from the world's leading forums. Sofia Meetings has launched projects by global names such as Cristi Puiu, Álvaro Brechner, Jasmila Žbanić, Cristian Mungiu, Kornél Mundruczó, Stefan Arsenijevic, Levan Koguashvili, Tolga Karaçelik and Lili Horvát, Nathalie Biancheri, Iglika Triffonova, Stephan Komandarev, Kamen Kalev, Konstantin Bojanov, Svetla Tsotsorkova, Nadejda Koseva, Drago Sholev, Andrey Paounov, Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova and many others. Alongside the main programme there are professional and educational modules which in recent years have contributed to the development of Bulgarian and regional producers. In the festival programme you will be able to see some of the projects presented at Sofia Meetings in recent years: "Because I Love Bad Weather" by Yana Lekarska, "The Trap" by Nadejda Koseva, "Blaga's Lessons" by Stephan Komandarev, "The Last Seagull" by Tonislav Hristov, "Dyad" by Yana Titova, "Wild Urge" by Sharon Bar Ziv, "Luka" by Jessica Woodworth, "How I Learned to Fly" by Radivoje Andrić.

* * *
We are opening the doors to the world #CINEMA!
We are waiting for you at the 28th Sofia International Film Festival!

The vision of the festival in 2024 was created by the teams of proof. and Push Pull, the video was realized with the cooperation of Animento, Magic Shop, Cineshed OOD and COSTUMIER LTD and Hotel Rila.

Keep an eye out for details of highlights on our website www.siff.bg, and on the festival's social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tik-Tok).

Sofia Film Festival is realized with the support of Insurance Company UNIQA - Bulgaria, Grand Hotel Sofia, Bulgaria Air, Moto Pfohe Rent a Car. 

Our traditional partners are also the companies Dolly Media Studio, Schweppes, Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Café and Gallery Synthesis PHOTOSYNTHESIS, Maison de MITKO DAMOV, Hotels Downtown, Coop, Rosslyn and many more organizations, media and supporters.

Sofia Film Festival is supported by the Sofia Municipality, the Ministry of Culture, the National Film Centre and the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

* * * 
We are waiting for you at the #CINEMA!