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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.

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Nuri Bilge Ceylan: "I watch all kinds of films, but as a viewer I love films for children most"

You chose to go with your team to some villages near Sofia. Did you find any interesting places?

We
toured several villages across the gorge of the Iskar River. I think
the most interesting place we found was an old, completely deserted
railway station. There were no people and the small building was full of
remnants of past life. Among the waste, bird nests and broken things, I
found a very old writing desk. It was astonishing that on the inner
side of one of its doors were posted portraits of the communist leaders –
Todor Zhivkov, Lenin, Brezhnev, Stalin, Khrushchev. I thought about all
these portraits and the missing image  – of the man who had collected
them.

In this context, how do you look for actors you work with? Have you got any ideas for individuals and their typology in advance?

Yes,
I imagine certain types and I always have stared at the people’s faces.
But when I prepare a film I try not to fix characters and then to look
for actors. The only character in the film, for which I wanted to find a
specific type of face, was the role of the murderer. More than a month I
worked only on the selection of actors, unusually long for a standard
film production. The pictures had to happen in winter, and this is a
difficult period for casting, as most actors are busy shooting for
serials. Generally, for me the shooting period is a special time
 
Tell us more about the period of filming of Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.

The
filming lasted 11 weeks, I realized that the filming period for all my
feature films is the same – 11 weeks. I know this is not a typical
shooting time – it’s too long. We have to wait for certain conditions of
the weather, sky  and daylight for days. In Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
I needed a dark, cloudy weather with wind, with rain, including
overnight. Fortunately, in this production, we were much better prepared
and managed to cope well with the vagaries of the weather. I realize
with pleasure, that me and my team become more and more prepared: we
refined the dialogue, the whole text and the details of the script in
advance. And  besides I had at my disposal much larger team – about 70
people.

Read the whole interview with Nuri Bilge Ceylan 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.

Sofia

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