– The festival expresses its solidarity with Ukrainian filmmakers

Humble by Svetoslav Draganov

It would be hard to find a cinematic event more affected by the pandemic and the political climate than the Sofia International Film Festival, whose 26th edition starts today and will run until March 31. After a 2020 edition canceled a few days before its start and a 2021 edition significantly limited by Bulgarian regulations on cinema attendance, this year’s offer kicks off just as Europe is reeling from the war of Russia against Ukraine, which the festival strongly condemns. The festival team sent a strong message of solidarity to the Ukrainian people and filmmakers Oleh Sentsovwho was supposed to be a jury member but is now fighting in the Ukrainian army, and Valentin Vasyanovich. Their latest productions, Rhinoceros [+see also:
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and Reflection [+see also:
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interview: Valentyn Vasyanovych
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appear this year in the selection of the festival.

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12 films, all first or second feature films, will compete for the festival’s first prize. There are Svetoslav Draganovit’s Humble [+see also:
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(Bulgaria/Romania), Andrei Paunovit’s January [+see also:
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(Bulgaria/Portugal/Luxembourg), Daniel Densickit’s Miss Osaka [+see also:
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(Denmark/Norway/Japan), Natalie Biankeriit’s Wolf (Ireland/UK/Poland), Beatrice Baldacciit’s The den [+see also:
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(Italy), Florian Dietrichit’s Toubab (Germany/Senegal), Bartosz Blaschkeit’s Sonata (Poland), Hajni Kisit’s wild roots [+see also:
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(Hungary/Slovakia), Ayden Orakit’s Waiting time (Turkey), Arvand Dashtarayit’s The absent manager (Iran), Max Walker-Silvermanit’s A love song (United States) and Tamara Dondureyit’s support me (Russia).

The Balkan Competition also consists of 12 titles: Dragomir Sholevit’s Fish bone [+see also:
interview: Dragomir Sholev
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(Bulgaria/Romania), Alina Grigoreit’s Blue Moon [+see also:
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interview: Alina Grigore
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(Romania), Radu Judeit’s Bad Luck Bang or Loony Porn [+see also:
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interview: Radu Jude
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(Romania/Luxembourg/Croatia/Czech Republic), Radu Munteanit’s Integralde [+see also:
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interview: Radu Muntean
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(Romania), Stefan Arsenijevicit’s As far as I can walk [+see also:
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interview: Stefan Arsenijević
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(Serbia/France/Luxembourg/Bulgaria/Lithuania), Srdjan Dragojevicit’s Heavens above [+see also:
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interview: Srđan Dragojević
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(Serbia/Germany/North Macedonia/Slovenia/Croatia/Montenegro/Bosnia and Herzegovina), Antoneta Alamat Kusjanovicit’s Murine [+see also:
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interview: Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović
interview: Gracija Filipovic
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(Croatia/Brazil/USA/Slovenia), Blerta Basholiit’s Hive [+see also:
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interview: Blerta Basholli
interview: Yllka Gashi
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(Kosovo/Switzerland/Albania/North Macedonia), Luana Bayramiit’s The hill where the lionesses roar [+see also:
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interview: Luana Bajrami
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(France/Kosovo/USA), Dina Doumait’s Fraternity [+see also:
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interview: Dina Duma, Antonia Belazelk…
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(North Macedonia/Kosovo/Montenegro), Araceli Lemosit’s Saint-Emy [+see also:
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interview: Araceli Lemos
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(Greece/France/USA) and Emre Kaishit’s Anatolian leopard [+see also:
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(Turkey/Germany/Poland/Denmark).

12 other feature films have a chance to win the prizes of the documentary competition: Eliza Petkovait’s Mayor, Shepherd, Widow, Dragon (Bulgaria), Elitsa Georgievait’s Our quiet place (France/Bulgaria), Francesco Montagnerit’s fraternity [+see also:
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interview: Francesco Montagner
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(Italy/Czech Republic), Jonas Poher Rasmussenit’s To run away [+see also:
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interview: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
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(Denmark/France/Sweden/Norway), John Libon and Yves Hinantit’s For a handful of fries [+see also:
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(France/Belgium), Ahmet Necdet Cupurit’s The Terrible Children [+see also:
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(France/Germany/Turkey), Svetlana Rodina and Lawrence Stoopit’s Ostrov – The Lost Island [+see also:
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(Switzerland), Renato Borrayo Serranoit’s Ivanna’s life [+see also:
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(Russia/Norway/Estonia/Finland), Charlotte Gainsbourgit’s Jeanne by Charlotte [+see also:
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(France/UK/Japan), André Bonzelit’s Twinkling ghosts of past loves (France), Ruslan Fedotovit’s Where are we going? (Belarus/Russia), and Emmanuel Lishait’s shark bone (Canada).

The 26th edition of the festival also offers a focus on films by Bulgarian female directors. Works by Adela Peeva, Iglika Trifonova (who is also the main president of the jury), Zornitsa Sofia, Svetla Tsotsorkova, Nadezhda Koseva, Kristina Grozeva, Maya Vitkova, Ralitsa Petrova, Elitsa Petkova, Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakovaand Yana Titova are all ready for display.