Seven films will compete for the hearts and applause of young audiences in the Teen Competition of the 28th SFF

For the second year the special selection "SFF Teen" will be presented to audiences in Sofia. After each screening of a film from this programme, there will be a conversation with the audience about the themes and the way they are presented, thanks to the filmmakers' ability to create stories close to the worldview of young people. The programme includes 7 films.

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Bulgaria is represented by Yana Titova's second feature film "Dyad", which won the Best U18 Youth Film award in Cottbus, presented by the student jury to the actress Margarita Stoykova. The actress will represent Bulgaria in Berlinale 2024's special "European Rising Stars" programme, and Titova's film is one of the most successful Bulgarian productions of 2023, winning the Best Film prize in the "Just" programme at the Tallinn festival and awards at the Golden Rose festival in Varna, including the Grand Prize for Best Film (shared with "Blaga's Lessons"). "Dyad" tells the story of the dreams of a 16-year-old girl who will do anything she can to reach her mother in America and study painting there, to make art. "The movie 'Dyad' is for everyone. It reflects the problems of teenagers, but it is also important for parents and teachers. It touches on themes of the absent parent, the parental figure in the lives of adolescents. In this sense, the film is for everyone. All the tensions that accumulate in schools, in families, have their repercussions all around us. The script was written 10 years ago and I wanted to really get into the lives of teenagers. Because there are so many depths to them that we don't notice because of their more frivolous behaviour," Yana Titova said in an interview with Nova TV.

Mira Fornay's new film "Mimi" (Slovakia) premiered at Berlinale '23, where it won the Grand Prix in the Generation Kplus competition. The story follows little Romy (the role is given to the charming Rozmarína Willems), who is looking for her parrot named Mimi in the woods near her hometown. There the girl discovers exciting things and meets people who are mysterious and interesting - reality and fantasy merge in her eyes. Fornay's work is familiar to Sofia audiences - over the years we have shown her films "My Dog Killer" and "Cook F**k Kill", also presented as a Sofia Meetings project.

"When You're 17" (Georgia-Germany) is the feature debut of writer, director and producer Giorgi Mukhadze, which tells the story of the romantic infatuation of a 17-year-old Kurdish boy. As he explores the dark corners of Tbilisi's ghetto with a drug-dealing friend, life throws him an unexpected surprise. The film will have its world premiere in Sofia!

Screened in Toronto, Warsaw and El Gouna, Egypt, director Hanna Slack's new film "Not a Word" (Germany-Slovenia-France) portrays the dramatic relationships within a family. In a small house on an isolated island, a mother and son must learn to talk to each other, but misunderstandings multiply, assumptions turn to suspicions, and when a storm disconnects them from civilization, tensions become intolerable and even dangerous. 

High school teacher Ana is put in a bind when she is attacked by complaints from outraged parents for recommending a film to her students. Hungarian director Katalin Moldovai's debut film, "Without Air", is a provocative drama with a thriller feel, set in Hungary but could have taken place anywhere in the world. The film's festival journey starts from Toronto, through Warsaw, Thessaloniki and Gothenburg, to arrive in Sofia in March.

Presented for the first time at Venice, Anna Buryachkova's Ukrainian-Dutch co-production "Forever-Forever" was awarded the Best Film prize in Cottbus at the end of 2023 - "for its compelling coming-of-age story that recreates the turmoil in the Eastern Bloc countries in the 1990s in an authentic, moving and skillfully constructed narrative." Rebellious young people growing up in late twentieth-century Kiev try to discover love, sexual awakening and some cruel games in which there is never a true winner.

One of the prize-winning favourites from the Locarno festival is the co-production between France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway, Croatia and Serbia, "Excursion", the feature debut of Sarajevo-born Una Gunjak. The story reveals the dramatic twists and turns that occur in the life of a teenage girl - with seemingly innocent lies, she earns condemnation and all kinds of expectations from those around her who are slaves to societal dogmas and prejudices.  

"SFF Teen" at the 28th Sofia Film Fest - don't miss it!

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