"The Good Driver" by Tonislav Hristov and "The Art of Falling" by Orlin Milchev will have their premieres in the International Competition of the 27th Sofia International Film Festival

"Mother"by Zornitsa Sophia is the Bulgarian film in the Balkan Competition of the festival

The Sofia Film Festival's International Competition for first and second feature films traditionally includes 12 features from around the world and they will be judged by an international jury. In 2023 the selection includes two Bulgarian films - "The Good Driver" and "The Art of Falling".

The feature film debut of documentary master Tonislav Hristov "The Good Driver" recreates part of the tribulations of taxi driver Ivan, who is trying to right the wrongs of the past - saving money at the Golden Sands resort in order to go back to Finland to meet his wife and son. The problems multiply and  if he even gets to another side of Europe, is it possible to fix what has once been broken?

The main roles are entrusted to Malin Krastev, Gerasim Georgiev-Gero, Slava Doycheva, Alma Pöysti (we recently saw her in "Tove"), Amos Brotherus and others. One of the producers of the film - Kaarle Aho, Konstantin Bojanov ("Ave", "Light Thereafter") and the director Tonislav Hristov worked on the script of the co-production between Finland, Sweden and Bulgaria, presented at Sofia Meetings; the cinematographer is Orlin Ruevski, the producers are Aho and Kai Nordberg, and the companies Making Movies (Fin), Film I Väst (Swe), Cinenic Film (Swe), Soul Food (Bul) are behind the production. The world premiere of "The Good Driver" was two months ago, in the program of the 62 Thessaloniki  IFF 2022, immediately after that it was also presented before the audiences at the 32 Cottbus IFF, and at the beginning of February it will also take part in the programme of the festival in Göteborg. Tonislav Hristov lives and works in Finland and Bulgaria; he is the author of six documentaries that have participated in numerous festivals around the world, including Sundance, Berlin, IDFA, HotDocs, etc. His documentary "The Good Postman" was nominated for the European Film Awards in 2017.

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The feature film debut of the director Orlin Milchev "The Art of Falling" was presented in the official U18 Youth Film competition at the 32 Cottbus IFF and in the Cinema of the World selection at the 21 Dhaka IFF, as well as at the 40 Golden Rose Bulgarian Feature Film Festival it received the prize for Best feature-length cinema debut. The story follows the evolution of the reserved but sensitive 17-year-old Bori, who lives alone with her caring grandfather and her artistic but alcoholic mother. Growing up without a father, Bori refuses to be harassed by the boys. She begins practicing judo and gradually realizes that before beating others, one must win the battles within himself. Delicate yet resilient, Bori unequivocally suggests the fragile vulnerability of self-seeking young people, as well as their innermost dreams.

Orlin Milchev completed a master class at Italy’s IFA, in the class of the legendary director Bella Tarr. His graduation film "Dobri" was selected in the Bulgarian Short Film Competition at Sofia IFF and in the short films programme of the Moscow festival. The script of his feature film debut "The Art of Falling" was written by Neda Filcheva and Marin Damianov, the cinematographer is the master Emil Christov, and in the roles we will see a real bouquet of first-class actors such as Elena Zamyarkova, Aleksandra Sarchadjieva, Ivaylo Hristov, Ivan Barnev, Valery Yordanov and many more magnificent colleagues of theirs. The producer of the film is Pavlina Jeleva (Geopoly), co-producers are Doli Media Studio, Transformers and Kinolight.

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The fourth feature film by Zornitsa Sophia, who traditionally takes on the roles of screenwriter, director and producer of her films, "Mother", a co-production between Bulgaria, Germany and Croatia, was awarded four prizes at the 40 Golden Rose Bulgarian Feature Film Festival in Varna - the Grand Prize for the Best film, the awards for the Best actress (Daria Simeonova), the Best cinematography (Krum Rodriguez) and a special award for the children from the Kibera ghetto, Nairobi and Bulgarian village Shiroka Laka. The film premiered in the competition programs of two "category A" festivals - Warsaw and Goa, India, as well as in Minsk, Belarus. It was also presented in Cottbus, Germany and the Hague, Netherlands; soon it will be screened also in Egypt and Great Britain. The story follows the path of director Elena, who longs to have a child of her own and while trying to make it happen, she develops a successful life-transforming theater program for orphans and is invited to do the same in Kenya, where nothing seems familiar or possible. Elena redefine the word “mother” and helps thousands of orphans on two continents to start dreaming...

Zornitsa Sophia worked on the script of her film, inspired by a real person, together with Miglena Dimova - it was developed in the ScripTeast programme and presented at Sofia Meetings; Zornitsa Sophia shared the producer's responsibilities with Petar Minchev. In the roles we'll see the talented Daria Simeonova, Leon Lucev, Daria Dimitrova, Peris Wambui, Steve Matias, Lamar Munene and dozens of orphans from Bulgaria and Kenya, who participate with their authentic presence and destinies. The key quality of the film is defined by the fact that it straddles the border between feature and documentary. "Mother" starts its meeting with the Bulgarian audiences in Sofia and the cinemas in Bulgaria on January 13 - the Bulgarian Cinema Day and will be presented as the Bulgarian film in the Balkan competition at the 27th Sofia International Film Festival in March.

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