The films of the international competition for first and second films of the 28th Sofia Film Festival

Sofia International Film Festival is the only Bulgarian film festival with FIAPF accreditation, alongside about 50 of the most prestigious festivals from around the world. SIFF is accredited as a competitive festival with a specialized competition. In this category are also festivals like Sarajevo, Busan, Thessaloniki and others.

The International Competition of the 28th Sofia International Film Festival includes 12 first or second films by directors from 5 continents. They will compete for the Grand Prize "Sofia - City of Cinema", which is awarded by Sofia Municipality. Other awards include a special jury prize, a best director award, an honorary diploma and an audience award. For the first time in the history of the festival, half of the directors in the competition are women!

The international jury, which will give out the awards this year, is composed of Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu (chairman), directors Tinatin Kajrishvili (Georgia) and Zornitsa Sophia (Bulgaria), actor Dimiter Marinov (USA-Bulgaria) and the director of the European Film Market in Berlin, expert Dennis Ruh (Germany). They will also determine the winner of the Bulgarian Short Film Competition. 

So far, we have announced 7 films from the International Competition:

"All About the Levkoviches" (Hungary), directed by Ádám Breier
"Afloat" (Turkey), directed by Aslihan Unaldi
"The Trap" (Bulgaria-Germany), directed by Nadejda Koseva
"Beyond the Fog" (Japan), director Daichi Murase
"Sujo" (Mexico-France-USA), directed by Astrid Rondero and Fernanda Valadez
"The Quiet Maid" (Spain), directed by Miguel Faus
"Horia" (Romania-Bulgaria-Serbia), directed by Ana-Maria Comănescu 

Here are the other 5 titles:

Yana Lekarska's feature debut "Because I Love Bad Weather" (Bulgaria) will have its world premiere in our festival programme in March - she has written and directed the feature. The film is dedicated to a fateful meeting between the characters Irina and Boris, who spent their summers together two decades ago. On a rainy spring day, their quest to rediscover the past may even have the power to change their future... The main roles in this story are played by actors Neda Spasova and Vladimir Mihailov. Lekarska graduated in film directing at New Bulgarian University in the class of prof. Georgi Dyulgerov. She has participated in programmes such as Berlinale Talents 2020, Sarajevo Talents 2018, Tokyo Talents 2017, Film+ 2019. Her debut short film "Awakening" (2013) was successful at festivals in Bulgaria and around the world.

Interesting descriptions of Antonis Tsonis' film "Brando With a Glass Eye" (Greece-Australia) have been published in the media dedicated to cinema - "Tsonis is the new voice in contemporary Greek cinema", "Yiannis Niarros' performance possesses star class", "the film is a testimony to the power of connections between people and the restless spirit of dreamers, and represents a remarkable contribution to contemporary cinema". The plot follows the desperate actions of Luca, who orchestrates an armed robbery to raise funds for his studies in New York, but shoots an innocent bystander. After a visit to the hospital, the would-be actor and his unsuspecting victim befriend each other, in what is Luke's desperate attempt to come to terms with his tormenting guilt.

"Girls Will Be Girls" (India-France-USA-Norway) is the feature debut of Indian writer-director Shuchi Talati, a graduate of the American Film Institute and a member of the Brooklyn Film Society. The coming-of-age story of a 16-year-old girl at an Indian boarding school in the Himalayas who discovers romance and her first sexual urges premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award in the International Competition and an acting prize for the work of young Preeti Panigrahi.

Participating as a project in the Cinelink platform at the Sarajevo Film Festival, Romanian director Adi Voicu's “The Capture” is a co-production between Romania and Bulgaria - produced on the Bulgarian side by Katya Trichkova and behind the camera by cinematographer Krum Rodriguez, who received a prestigious nomination for his skills from the American Society of Cinematographers. Voicu's film depicts the horror experienced by a visual artist who is arrested out of the blue while filming street protests and forced to give false testimony. The psychological pressure and mistreatment in the police station are serious factors that change the photographer's position and he is willing to do anything to gain his freedom... Adi Voicu, who also wrote his feature debut, studied visual arts and cinema in Bucharest, and his short film "The Last Trip To The Seaside" was screened at Cannes Critics' Week 2019 and won awards in Sarajevo and Rio de Janeiro.

"Jupiter" (Germany) tells the story of a teenage family who join a sect that guarantees salvation and life on the fifth planet in the solar system. Memories of the girl's difficult past and her parents must lead her on the path to the right decision - whether to follow them or find her own path on planet Earth. German director Benjamin Pfohl's debut feature serves as the basis for his graduation short film, which bears the same title. Pfohl studied filmmaking in Munich, in the meantime travelling on scholarships to study in Argentina and Tunisia.

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