12 works will compete in the Documentary Competition at the 26th Sofia Film Festival

The competition, with main screenings in the "Slaveykov" hall of the French Institute equipped with new comfortable seats, opens with some of the most anticipated films of the 26th Sofia Film Festival - "Flee" by Danish director Jonas Pocher Rasmussen , which has already gone down in history as the first Oscar-nominated film in three categories at once - Best Animated Feature Film, Best Documentary and International Film. The work, written by Rasmussen, attracted the attention of Sundance experts, where he received the Grand Jury Prize, and then added 69 prizes from around the world to his assets, the film was also nominated for the LUX Audience Award from the EP and EFA. "Flee" tells an extraordinary true story about a respected teacher who decides to marry his longtime friend, but must first reveal traumatic secrets kept for more than two decades. The work is a fascinating blend of skillful animation and documentary realism and is among the most intimate, impactful, personal and profound films of 2021.

"Brotherhood" by director Francesco Montagnier is a joint production between Italy and the Czech Republic. The film presents the dilemmas of three Bosnian brothers who took on heavy family responsibilities after their father was convicted of terrorism. "Brothers" explores the problems caused by the need to choose - between belonging to an unwavering clan and the desire of young people to find out who they really are, even if it involves some mistakes. If it weren't for their cell phones, it would be hard to believe that the shepherd brothers are our contemporaries. Awarded the Golden Leopard Prize at the Locarno 2021 Documentary Competition, the film is an impressive debut.

The co-production of Germany and Bulgaria "Mayor, Shepherd, Widow, Dragon"by Elitsa Petkova is a story about the isolated mountain village of Pirin, which will probably disappear in 20 years. The camera accompanies several locals who are desperately fighting the desolation… Pirin is also the last village in Europe where there is a dragon. Elitsa Petkova won the Grand Prize "Sofia - City of Cinema" with her feature film debut "Zhaleyka", presented at the 20th SFF 2016, her second feature film "Fish floating on her back" was included in the competition program of the 24th SFF 2020

In the French film “Jane By Charlotte”, the director's daughter's approach is delicate and intriguing - Charlotte Gainsbourg manages to portray her famous mother, actress Jane Birkin, overcoming a sense of natural reticence. With the help of the camera lens, interesting details are revealed, while at the same time the two main actors - in front and behind the camera - move away slightly to ensure a space in which the extremely important and valuable relationship between mother and daughter comes to the flore. . A document of time and human relations - without protective barriers, gentle, natural and captivating.

"Life of Ivanna" by director Renato Boraio Serrano, a co-production of Russia, Norway, Finland and Estonia, has won the prize for best international documentary at the Zurich Film Festival. The film follows dramatic changes in the lives of 26-year-old Ivana and her five children over four years, from the harsh reality of nomads in the tundra raising reindeer herds to the clash with modernity in a city in faraway Siberia.

The French-Belgian production "For a Fistful of Fries" is the work of the creators of the cult documentary series "Strip-Tease" - Jean Libon and Yves Inan. The film was successfully screened at the Leipzig Documentary Film Festival, and the story uses material collected over more than twenty years. An inspector in Brussels is investigating a murder in a neighborhood with a dubious reputation. Finding a few french fries leads to clues to the perpetrator of the crime that killed a woman who sometimes works as a prostitute. Despite the serious nature of the events, recreated in the style of cinéma-vérité, in the unusual mixture of gloomy thriller and absurd "reality" stands out and a healthy dose of (black) humor.

"Where Are We Headed?" Directed by Ruslan Fedotov, a co-production of Belarus and Russia, is a kind of road movie that attracted the attention of the IDFA festival in Amsterdam, where it won the award for best debut. The story is encapsulated in the network of the Moscow metro and filmed for a year - the endless tunnels and corridors are an environment without daylight, no man's land, in which it seems no matter who moves where. The stations, with their marble walls and golden lighting fixtures, are an extremely suitable theatrical setting for the ever-evolving tragicomedy and episodic appearances of colorful travelers. This documentary examines the cultural and social problems in modern Russia.

The action in "Our Quiet Place" by director Elitsa Georgieva takes place in France, where two young women meet and get closer because of the common desire to master the French language not only as a means of communication but also as a tool for self-expression. The film tells the story of one of them, Alona, through the eyes of the other, Elitsa Georgieva, while together they explore the benefits of learning a foreign language. With conscious delicacy, the film invents its own environment to meet the fragmentary "dream memories" that Alona collects during her travels between Minsk, Barcelona, Paris, Aromanche and Turkey. She wants to write a novel about the disappearance of her father, a physicist and maritime adventurer fleeing the Belarusian communist dictatorship - his boat sank off the Turkish coast in October 1995.

"Ostrov - Lost Island" is the work of Russian director Svetlana Rodina and Swiss photographer and director Laurent Stop. They talk about the remote island, which after the collapse of the Soviet Union completely disappeared from the view of the people in the political system. Like the fish that have to defend their territory in the Caspian Sea, the few inhabitants left on the island - the main characters of this documentary - are struggling to survive every day. Despite the contradictions and the surreal atmosphere, close to science fiction, in the end it is the myth of the identity of inviolable Russia that gives strength to those who still believe in the future. On the verge of utopia and anti-utopia, "Ostrov - the Lost Island" is about Russia torn between nostalgia and harsh reality.

Through amateur and anonymous films he has collected since his childhood, French director Andre Bonzel reviews his turbulent life. The result is "Flickering Ghosts of Loves Gone By". In fragile, funny and touching images with fragments of stories and past emotions, he explores his own story and that of his family, marked by manic addictions to cinema and sex. A fictional self-portrait, bizarre and baroque, this film becomes a true ode to cinema and life.

"Les enfants terribles" immerses the audience in the daily life of a Turkish family - that of director Ahmet Necdet Kupur, in which young people struggle every day to defend their freedom and independence from their father's power, rooted in traditional values. Winning the Special Prize at the International Competition in Nyon, the film of the eldest brother Kupur presents an authentic account of the clash between generations, between past and present in the conservative community, somewhere in the southeastern part of modern Turkey.

In Haiti, Toyota Land Cruiser is known as Zo Reken, which means "Shark Bone" - and that's how "Zo Reken (Shark Bone") was decided to be titled by Canadian director Emmanuel Lisha. The powerful 4x4 has become particularly popular with humanitarian organizations everywhere in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Ten years later, when the country is in chaos again and under a strict blockade, these cars have been turned into a mobile space for meetings and discussions between Haitians. The driver talks to passengers in Port-au-Prince as he tries to make his way between barricades and demonstrations - the state of the country, neo-colonialism and humanitarian aid are discussed, and anger at unfulfilled promises by the international community is growing.

The documentaries in the competition program of the 26th Sofia Film Festival are an exclusive selection for cinema lovers - do not miss the meetings with these unique, authentic stories - the image and mirror of our time!


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