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SOFIA 2022

The 26th Sofia International Film Festival kicks off with a strong anti-war statement

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- The festival expresses its solidarity with Ukrainian filmmakers

The 26th Sofia International Film Festival kicks off with a strong anti-war statement
Humble by Svetoslav Draganov

It would be hard to find a film event more affected by the pandemic and political climate than the Sofia International Film Festival, whose 26th edition kicks off today and will take place until 31 March. After a 2020 edition cancelled days before it was supposed to begin and a 2021 edition drastically limited by Bulgaria’s cinema attendance regulations, this year’s offering is kicking off just as Europe is left reeling from Russia’s war on Ukraine, which the festival strongly condemns. The festival team have sent a strong message of solidarity to the Ukrainian people, and to directors Oleh Sentsov, who was supposed to be a jury member but is now fighting in the Ukrainian army, and Valentyn Vasyanovich. Their most recent productions, Rhino [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Reflection [+see also:
film review
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interview: Valentyn Vasyanovych
film profile
]
, feature within the festival’s selection this year.

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12 films, all first or second features, will be competing for the festival's top award. There’s Svetoslav Draganov's Humble [+see also:
film review
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]
(Bulgaria/Romania), Andrey Paunov's January [+see also:
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]
(Bulgaria/Portugal/Luxembourg), Daniel Densik's Miss Osaka [+see also:
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]
(Denmark/Norway/Japan), Natalie Biankeri's Wolf (Ireland/UK/Poland), Beatrice Baldacci's The Den [+see also:
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]
(Italy), Florian Dietrich's Toubab (Germany/Senegal), Bartosz Blaschke's Sonata [+see also:
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]
(Poland), Hajni Kis's Wild Roots [+see also:
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]
(Hungary/Slovakia), Ayden Orak's Time of Impatience (Turkey), Arvand Dashtaray's The Absent Director (Iran), Max Walker-Silverman's A Love Song (USA) and Tamara Dondurey's Stand by Me (Russia).

The Balkan Competition also consists of 12 titles: Dragomir Sholev's Fishbone [+see also:
interview: Dragomir Sholev
film profile
]
(Bulgaria/Romania), Alina Grigore's Blue Moon [+see also:
film review
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interview: Alina Grigore
film profile
]
(Romania), Radu Jude's Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Radu Jude
film profile
]
(Romania/Luxembourg/Croatia/Czech Republic), Radu Muntean's Întregalde [+see also:
film review
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interview: Radu Muntean
film profile
]
(Romania), Stefan Arsenijevic's As Far As I Can Walk [+see also:
film review
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interview: Stefan Arsenijević
film profile
]
(Serbia/France/Luxembourg/Bulgaria/Lithuania), Srdjan Dragojevic's Heavens Above [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Srđan Dragojević
film profile
]
(Serbia/Germany/North Macedonia/Slovenia/Croatia/Montenegro/Bosnia and Herzegovina), Antoneta Alamat Kusjanovic's Murina [+see also:
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interview: Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović
interview: Gracija Filipovic
film profile
]
(Croatia/Brazil/USA/Slovenia), Blerta Basholi's Hive [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Blerta Basholli
interview: Yllka Gashi
film profile
]
(Kosovo/Switzerland/Albania/North Macedonia), Luana Bayrami's The Hill Where Lionesses Roar [+see also:
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interview: Luana Bajrami
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]
(France/Kosovo/USA), Dina Duma's Sisterhood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dina Duma, Antonia Belazelk…
film profile
]
(North Macedonia/Kosovo/Montenegro), Araceli Lemos's Holy Emy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Araceli Lemos
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]
(Greece/France/USA) and Emre Kaish's Anatolian Leopard [+see also:
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trailer
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]
(Turkey/Germany/Poland/Denmark).

Another 12 features stand a chance at winning the documentary competition’s awards: Eliza Petkova's Mayor, Shepherd, Widow, Dragon (Bulgaria), Elitsa Georgieva's Our Quiet Place (France/Bulgaria), Francesco Montagner's Brotherhood [+see also:
film review
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interview: Francesco Montagner
film profile
]
(Italy/Czech Republic), Jonas Poher Rasmussen's Flee [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
film profile
]
(Denmark/France/Sweden/Norway), Jean Libon and Yves Hinant's For a Fistful of Fries [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean Libon and Yves Hinant
film profile
]
(France/Belgium), Ahmet Necdet Cupur's Les enfants terribles [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(France/Germany/Turkey), Svetlana Rodina and Laurent Stoop's Ostrov - Lost Island [+see also:
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]
(Switzerland), Renato Borrayo Serrano's Life of Ivanna [+see also:
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film profile
]
(Russia/Norway/Estonia/Finland), Charlotte Gainsbourg's Jane By Charlotte [+see also:
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]
(France/UK/Japan), Andre Bonzel's Flickering Ghosts of Loves Gone By (France), Ruslan Fedotov's Where Are We Headed? (Belarus/Russia), and Emmanuel Lisha's Shark Bone (Canada).

The 26th edition of festival is also offering up a focus on films by Bulgarian women directors. Works by Adela Peeva, Iglika Trifonova (who’s also the main jury president), Zornitsa Sofia, Svetla Tsotsorkova, Nadezhda Koseva, Kristina Grozeva, Maya Vitkova, Ralitsa Petrova, Elitsa Petkova, Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova, and Yana Titova are all set for the showcase.

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