The incomparable director who made the classics "Bad Lieutenant and King of New York will receive the Sofia Municipality – Sofia Award for his outstanding contribution to the world of cinema and will lead two master classes within the festival
Abel Ferrara's visit is JAMESON Irish Whiskey‘s gift for the 15th anniversary of partnership with SIFF and is achieved with the support of the US Embassy
“Abel embodies what Pazolini talked about cinema ... The way most films are funded and sold out effectively excludes people who are full of life, freedom and unconventional views. The people holding the levers of control no longer want to work with strong and too unpredictable individuals, which is why they disappear from the cinema. So, when you have a person like Abel, you treasure them. (...) Meeting a director who shares your most important interests, finding a common language with them and building mutual trust is the actor’s dream. When you have this, you only think about films. Some are good, others – less so, but you can always look at yourself in the mirror, because you know where these films come from."
This is how Willem Dafoe explains his longtime collaboration with Abel Ferrara. He starred in most of Ferraras’ films ("New Rose Hotel",1998, "Go Go Tales", 2007, "4 h 44, Last Day on Earth", 2011, "Pasolini", 2014).
Ferrara is known for the provocative and often controversial content in his films, his use of neo-noir imagery and gritty urban settings. Ferrara was born in 1951 in The Bronx, and is of Italian and Irish descent. He began directing as a student on Super 8 amateur films. In the mid-1970s, he met the writer Nicholas Saint-John, who become a permanent co-author of most of his screenplays, including Ferrara’s feature debut - "Driller Killer", and later "Ms.45". The good reviews in the press, especially after his second feature film, lead to bigger budgets and working with the bigger names in cinema. But Ferrara did not allow aesthetic compromises and quickly won himself the name of one of the harshest underworld portrayers of New York. In this respect he can only be compared to Martin Scorsese. Although he was commissioned by major film studios for various projects, he preferred the freedom of independent filmmaking and working with familiar actors who like himself, were not afraid to challenge the film specialists and the audience. Among the cinema "chameleons", most often he worked with Christopher Walken, William Defoe, Harvey Keitel, Matthew Modine, Forest Whitaker, Dennis Hopper, Giancarlo Esposito and others.
Abel Ferrara will receive the Sofia Award at a gala evening, at Lumiere Cinema, just before the screening of his masterpiece "King of New York" (1990), one of the most significant studies on the subject of violence in the US cinema. The main role of the drug lord is played by the irresistible Christopher Walken, who is joined by young Wesley Snipes, Laurence Fishburne, David Caruso and Steve Bushemi. Most impressive is the moral ambiguity in Walken's character - Frank White, who after being released from prison and seeing his neighborhood darker than ever, decides to do something good...
Abel Ferrara’s program will include several more films made during his various periods. His filmography includes over 40 titles. Which ones will they be, you are going to find out from our next press release!
You canEXPECT more surprises – MARCH is the month dedicated to CINEMA!