Four more remarkable works will compete for the Grand Prix "Sofia - City of Cinema"

"Time of Impatience" is Turkey's proposal in this year's international competition. Director Ayden Orak tells the story of two children from a poor Kurdish family in Diyarbakir, rebellious brothers who pass by a luxury property with a swimming pool every day on their way to school. They are terribly eager to take a dip in this pool, and with each passing day their desire grows until it becomes a matter of life and death. The pool is fenced with a high wall, barbed wire and has security - none of their plans work. The two brothers start their own class war in an attempt to find an answer to the question they ask themselves every day - "Why is the world so kind to some and unfair to others?" ...

The co-production between Germany and Senegal, "Toubab", director Florian Dietrich's debut, touches on serious topics such as immigration laws, racism and homophobia, and the decision to recreate reality is through the prism of comedy - a bold move that is addressed to a wide audience. The plot revolves around Babtu and his friend Denis - the first has just been released from prison and longs to start his life "fresh", but soon finds himself again in the power of law enforcement and the only move that would save him from deportation is if he marries a man from Germany. After none of his girlfriends take such a serious step, Babtu and Dennis decide to "try their luck" in the gay community and prove that they are ready to do anything to keep their friendship.

Dale Dickie ("Winter's Bone") and Wes Study ("The Last of the Mohicans"), winner of the American Film Academy Award, star in "A Love Song" (2022) by American director Max Walker-Silverman. for 2019. The film takes place in an idyllic campsite in the mountains of Colorado, where a woman spends her days listening to birds, catching crabs from the lake and trying to find a station on her old radio. But most of all, she's waiting for Lito, her dear childhood friend, whom she hasn't seen in decades. "A love song is pure magic: a simple, deep and completely engrossing love story between two characters in the beauty of the desert - a modern western, surprising and musical, which will excite audiences around the world," said Gabor Grainer of Films Boutique.

Natalie Biancheri's name is known to the Bulgarian audience - her short films have participated in previous editions of Sofia Film Festival, and her debut film "Nocturnal") was presented in the international competition of the 24th SFF in 2020 and its jury awarded her with a Special Mention. Her second feature film, “Wolf”, was a project of the 15th edition of the Sofia Meetings 2018 co-production market, where it received the Danny Lerner Grand Prize from New Boyana Film Studio. The author of the film has entrusted the main roles to two young actors - George McKay and Lily-Rose Depp, who are partnering in a challenging way. The story follows Jacob, who lives with the belief that he is a wolf trapped in a human body. Sent to a special clinic, he and other patients with a sense of "animal" nature underwent extreme forms of "treatment" therapies. When he meets the mysterious wild cat, their friendship develops into an irresistible attraction and he faces a serious challenge - should he give up his true nature in the name of love?!…

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

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

In the main program, but outside the competition, two more films will be presented.
Director Ruichi Mino's Japanese film "Make The Devil Laugh" tells the story of a naive idealist who commits a crime to protect his mother and younger sister from violent harassment at home. Romanian-Bulgarian-Serbian co-production by director Mihai Sofronea "The Windseeker", with producer Tudor Giurgiu and Bulgarian co-producers  the Chouchkov Brothers meet the audience with the lonely and depressed Radu, who suddenly realizes that he has a few months to live and has to decide what to do with them…

Challenges await us - at #CINEMA in March!

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