The 28th Sofia International Film Festival presents in 2024 a total of 170 films from 53 countries. 
Special selection of the films is available ONLINE from anywhere in Bulgaria till 14 April at The festival welcomed over 300 international guests.

The Awards Ceremony took place at Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture on 23 March 2024. 


Szabolcs Hajdu (Hungary) – Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Jury President
Zornitsa Sophia (Bulgaria) – Director
Dennis Ruh (Germany) – Expert, Director of the European Film Market
Tinatin Kajrishvili (Georgia) – Director, Script Writer, Producer
Dimiter Marinov (USA-Bulgaria) – Actor 


THE SOFIA CITY OF FILM AWARD for best film in the International Competition for first and second films, in the amount of 7 000 Euro provided by the Sofia Municipality, went to Sujo (Mexico-France-USA) by directors Astrid Rondero and Fernanda Valadez and producers Fernanda Valadez, Astrid Rondero, Diana Arcega, Jewerl Keats Ross, Virginie Devesa, Jean-Baptiste Bailly-Maitre.

An epic story told with precise and aesthetic cinematography and editing which reveals the violent world of Sicarios in a sensitive and innovative way.”

THE SPECIAL JURY AWARD went to The Capture (Romania-Bulgaria) by director Adi Voicu.

Depiction of a universal situation by using an unconventional and exciting script structure. A film about the relationship between power and the individual for its suffocatingly authentic atmosphere, perfectly crafted acting, and creative cinematography. “

AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR went to Shuchi Talati for his film Girls Will be Girls (India-France-USA-Norway).

A subtle, detailed and brave psychological study which depicts many shades of the hidden and forbidden emotions of the human soul in a coming of age story for teens and adults alike.”

SPECIAL MENTION was awarded to the film Beyond the Fog (Japan) by director Daichi Murase.

The cinematographer Takeshi Dodo managed to create with every single shot a well arranged composition which perfectly carries the general mood of this intimate, very personal and thoughtful debut film.”

The BEST BULGARIAN SHORT FILM AWARD in the amount of 9,500 Euro (1,500 Euro cash prize and 8,000 Euro in postproduction services), provided by Doli Media Studio, went to Chocolate (Bulgaria) by director Orlin Milchev

A warm-hearted film poem about a child's soul and desires, with elegant cinematic language and sensitive direction. a warm-hearted film poem which in a few minutes embraces the world through the eyes of a child, with elegant cinematic language and sensitive direction.“

BEST BALKAN FILM AWARD awarded by Balkan Jury president Hanna Slak (film director, Germany-Slovenia) and members Alberto La Monica (festival programmer, Italy) and Dina Iordanova (Film Academic, UK-Bulgaria), went to Medium (Greece-Bulgaria) by director Christina Ioakeimidi.

For the viscerality of its storytelling and the subtle precision in rendering emotions

The Balkan Jury also awarded a SPECIAL MENTION to the film M (North Macedonia-Croatia-France-Luxembourg-Kosovo) by Vardan Tozija

To director Vardan Tozija for his remarkable work with the child actors in the anti-utopian fairy tale M

THE BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD, awarded by the International Documentary jury with president Vitaliy Manskiy (director, Latvia) and members Darko Lungulov (director, Serbia) and Maria Averina (director, Bulgaria), went to the film Soundtrack to a Coup d'État (Belgium-France-Netherlands) by Johan Grimonprez.

In "Soundtrack to a Coup d’État", director Johan Grimonprez creates a complex tapestry from archival footage, jazz, literature, and diary entries. It is, at the same time, a thrilling, intelligent, and humanistic piece of art that reaches far beyond the years it directly covers and makes invisible connections visible for us and relevant to today's moment.”

The Documentary Jury also awarded a SPECIAL MENTION to two films: Four Daughters (France-Tunisia-Germany-Saudi Arabia) by Kaouther Ben Hania and 1489 (Armenia) by Shoghakat Vardanyan

„Four daughters” is a highly artistic portrait of a family in Tunisia which suffered the consequences of the ongoing conflict with ISIS. The highly distinctive director’s approach of  Kaouther Ben Hania is combined with deeply moving personal confessions revealing the real world of women in the Middle East. “

„1489” is an intimate take on the war in Nagorny Karabach in 2020 in which the film’s director, Shoghakat Vardanyan, looks at the personal tragedy of her own family in a painfully sincere and authentic way. The film creates a strong, universal metaphor for the cruelty of war. “

THE AWARD FOR BEST BULGARIAN FEATURE FILM was awarded by a jury of festival programmers - Dimitris Kerkinos (programmer, Thessaloniki IFF), Basak Emre (artistic director at Antalya Film Festival Golden Orange), and Bernd Buder (artistic director of the Festival of East European Film Cottbus) to Blaga’s Lessons (Bulgaria-Germany) by director Stephan Komandarev.

А film that, through its well written scenario, its robust direction and the excellent performance of the protagonist, portrays modern society as a jungle, testing the spectator’s emotions and putting forward a major moral dilemma that concerns everybody, such as, how we deal with injustice.“

THE FIPRESCI AWARD awarded by jury members Phillip Bergson (UK), Stojan Sinadinov (North Macedonia) and Olga Markova (Bulgaria) went to the film All About the Levkoviches (Hungary) by director Ádám Breier

At the ceremony, Philip Bergson announced the unanimous decision of the jury to present an unofficial honorary diploma for Stefan Kitanov and the selection committee of Sofia International Film Festival for the exceptional level of the International Competition programme for first and second films. 

THE AWARD OF THE BULGARIAN GUILD OF FILM CRITICS for a film from the Balkan Competition went to Blaga’s Lessons (Bulgaria-Germany) by Stephan Komandarev.

Through its sharp social criticism, the film makes a realistic dissection of the state of society and institutions; suspense, tension and unexpected twists in the narrative create the feeling of a "social thriller"; a specific “black” sense of humor in moderate doses leads the story into the plane of the absurd, but its tragedy has universal dimensions.”

THE AUDIENCE AWARD for a film in the International Competition for first and second films and Balkan competition went to Because I Love Bad Weather (Bulgaria) by director Yana Lekarska.

THE YOUNG JURY AWARD of the festival for a film in the International Competition went to Jupiter (Germany) by director Benjamin Pfohl.

THE BEST TEEN FILM AWARD chosen by the audience went to Dyad (Bulgaria) by director Yana Titova.

Within the framework of the 28th Sofia International Film Festival THE SOFIA AWARD of the Sofia Municipality for contribution to the art of film was presented to:

Margarethe von Trotta, director and actress (Germany)
Georgi Todorov-Jozi, artist (Bulgaria)
Tzvetana Maneva, actress (Bulgaria)

The Sofia International Film Festival is financially supported 
by the Sofia Municipality, the Ministry of Culture, EA Bulgarian National Film Center and Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union.