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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.


Jan Cvitković about “Archeo”: “I wanted to make a film, not a coated story”

Undoubtedly one of the most distinctive and original directors in
Slovenian cinema, Jan Cvitković, is an old friend of SIFF. Among the
many international festival awards that his films Bread and Milk and Gravehopping gatnered, is No Man’s Land
in the Balkan competition at the SIFF. This year Jan Cvitković comes to
the festival as a mem¬ber of the International Jury as well as with his
new movie Archeo. Archeo
(produced by Jozko Rutar, who also arrives for the 16th edition of the
Sofia International Film Festival) is a chamber surrealistic film, a
rare example of what Cvitković calls “pure cinema”. In the main part we
will see Niko Novak from dirty old blues duo Incurabili, one of the best
known Slovenian underground formations (last year they visited Sofia on
“Alarma Punk Jazz”, n. a.), and the music of the film is en¬trusted to
another cult underground musician (and a writer, poet, prophet,
generally speaking, a prominent figure) – the Bosnian Damir Avdić who
has been living in Ljubljana for several years.

conversation with Jan Cvitković, a day before his arrival in Sofia,
starts from the idea to shoot such an unprecedented film ...

main idea was to make a pure film. Not coated story, but a film. More
or less, all movies which are made today, are coated stories, which
means that authors use cameras only to translate the literary form
(script) into pictorial language. They do not use the image itself as a
source of inspiration. And I did just that – used pictures and
atmospheres of my own subconscious to make a film in which any rational
interventions are almost absent. I underwent also hypnotherapy to
achieve relaxation of mind, which was the main condition for creation of
the pictures and scenes that I wanted. When I have already collected
enough of these pictures and scenes, I wrote them on pieces of paper and
then arranged them in a form, some kind of “scenario”. Other scenes
were born at the rehearsals with the actors or during the filming

How did you choose Niko Novak from Incurabili for the main role? As far as I know he has worked with you before – as a designer ...

We are friends with Niko. We have known for a long time and he has the right sensibility  for such a film.


Read the whole interview on SIFF's website

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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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