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Sofia International Film Festival

For 16th year Sofia International Film Festival will gather together in Sofia films, guests, stars, journalists and cinema fans from 9th until 18th March 2012. Featured in Variety’s Top 50 of cinema festivals, the event presents Bulgaria to the world as the host one of the important film festivals in Europe and takes place annually in March. What started as a thematic music film festival, went through 15 previous editions to become the cinema event of the year, bringing the current world cinema trends to the domestic viewers in Bulgaria and the latest in Bulgarian cinema to the rest of the world.

Since 1997 more than 1,600 feature films and documentaries have been screened within the festival’s framework. More than 1,000 distinguished guests have attended, including established professionals such as Wim Wenders, Volker Schlondorff, Katja Riemann and Karl Baumgartner (Germany), Alan Parker, Peter Greenaway, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Tony Palmer and David Mackenzie (United Kingdom), Nikita Mikhalkov, Andrei Konchalovsky, Karen Shakhnazarov and Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov (Russia), Jiri Menzel, Jan Sverak, Jan Hrebejk and Petr Zelenka (Czech Republic), Emir Kusturica (Yugoslavia), Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland), Otar Iosseliani (Georgia), Jean-Claude Carriere, Agnes Varda, Siegfried and Jacques Dorfmann (France), Assumpta Serna (Spain), Bent Hamer and Unni Straume (Norway), Jafar Panahi and Babak Payami (Iran), Jerry Schatzberg, Michael Wadleigh and Lech Kowalski (USA), Jos Stelling (the Netherlands), Mika Kaurismaki (Finland), Friðrik Þór Friðriksson (Iceland), Lone Scherfig (Denmark), Kornel Mundruczo (Hungary), Goran Markovic, Goran Paskaljević, Radivoje Andric, Dusan Milic, Srđan Karanović and Srđan Dragojević (Serbia) and many others.
The festival is organized by Art Fest under the auspices of the Municipality of Sofia and in partnership with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, the National Palace of Culture, the National Film Center and the Bulgarian National Television with the support of the MEDIA programme of the European Commission, national and foreign cultural institutes and sponsors.
For its 10th anniversary as an international cinema event in the year 2010 named Year of Bulgarian Cinema, Sofia International Film Festival received as present the recognition from FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) - it was accredited as competitive festival specialized in first and second films. Since its creation the director of the festival has been Stefan Kitanov.


Ivo Arakov: Valeri and Ivan made me fall in love with my profession even more

Just a few day ago Ivo Arakov graduated NATFA in the class of prof. Atanas Atanassov. Now he acts in “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” and “King Lear” at the National Theatre “Ivan Vazov” and in Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” at Sfumato theatre. In Sneakers he makes his feature debut in a starring role. Ivo is hesitant in painting his future as a professional actor in bright colors, but we wish him the competition programmes of Moscow and Karlovy Vary change this into a positive confidence.

- How did you receive the part in Sneakers?

I was still in my second year in NATFA when Yavor Gardev invited our class to participate in his production of “King Lear”. This is where I met Valeri Iordanov. Later I found out that Valeri works on his film project for more than four years already. Everyone who participates in this film went through casting, including Filip Avramov, Ivan Barnev, Vasil Draganov, Ina Nikolova. Everyone had the same chance to win the casting. And it was a long casting. We had to try 3-4 scenes, until they decided which one of us fits perfectly for each role. I was very happy when Valeri told me that I was approved. 

Valeri knows very well what he needs and maybe this is why he only tried me for the part that I subsequently played. The guy that I play, Malkiya, has an interesting personality. There are a lot of things in common between him and me. We both have had similar experiences. Off course, his experience is recreated in a different way, because you see it through Valeri’s eyes. He also incorporated some of his own experience in the script. So this is a very authentic story, told by cinematic means. 

Read the whole interview on our festival's site

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About Sofia International Film Festival

International film festival for feature films, documentaries and shorts (mainly Bulgarian). Main themes: International competition for first and second films, Balkan & Bulgarian cinema, Cinema Europe, World screen, retrospectives.



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