Most of the entries in the International Competition for First and Second Films of the Sofia International Film Festival were presented in February, as well as the jury that will judge them - the chairman of the jury is the world-famous director Milcho Manchevski (North Macedonia), Golden Lion winner and foreign-language Oscar nominee. His colleagues are three other female directors - Agnieszka Smoczynska (Poland), Beata Parkanova (Czech Republic), and Alexandra Kochef (USA), as well as one of the most experienced and beloved Bulgarian actors - Vladimir Penev.
Traditionally there are 12 films in the competition. Bulgaria will be represented by "The Good Driver" by Tomislav Hristov and "The Art of Falling" by Orlin Milchev; we have already presented the debuts of Michal Hmielewski's "Roving woman", Joachim Neef's "Night Watch", Maayan Rip's "The Other Widow", Carlos Eichelman Kaiser's "The Red Shoes", as well as the films "Cloves and Carnation" by Bekir Bulbul and "No End" by Nader Seivar. Here are the other titles in the competition program:
Vassilis Katsoupis is a director whose debut feature project "Inside" caught the attention of William Defoe - it was he who starred as a professional art thief, an absolute genius in his field. He breaks into the luxury penthouse of a famous collector, but after the security system unexpectedly locks all entrances and exits and malfunctions, the thief undergoes a total transformation, forced to spend months in total isolation trying to survive. The co-production by Greece, Germany, and Belgium premiered just weeks ago in the Panorama program at Berlinale 2023.
At the center of the story of Summer to come, the second film by Hungarian director György Mor Karpaty, are the heartfelt thrills of two boys and a girl who participate in a performance by a high school theatre company. A love triangle is unraveled after one boy ends his life and his classmates try to get over his loss.
A co-production between Romania, France, Greece, Bulgaria (Screening Emotions - Polly Angelova, Nikolay Todorov), and the Czech Republic, "In the North" is the feature debut of director Mihai Minkan, presented as a Sofia Meetings project and based on a true story. The plot follows the misadventures of a Romanian fugitive who finds a hiding place between containers on the deck of a transatlantic ship. The emigrant meets a protector in the form of a religious Filipino sailor, but cannot expect sympathy from the Taiwanese crew.
Asif Rustamov's "Cold as Marble" is another entry in the International Competition launched by the co-production forum Sofia Meetings. The film tells the heartbreak of a talented artist who immortalizes images on gravestones but is forced to take revenge on his despotic father, an ex-con who steals his femme fatale temptress lover.
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