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SOFIA 2023 Sofia Meetings

Sofia Meetings celebrates its 20th anniversary fully in person


- The Bulgarian industry gathering with a strong focus on Central and Eastern European film projects has announced its full selection of works in progress

Sofia Meetings celebrates its 20th anniversary fully in person
Director Giulia Grandinetti, who is taking part in Second Fiction Feature Film Projects with Jaune et bleu

Following two years of remote attendance and one hybrid edition, the 20th iteration of Sofia Meetings will unfold as a full-scale version. The renowned industry platform with a strong focus on Central and Eastern European film projects will return to its regular slot during the Sofia International Film Festival, and it will take place between 22 and 26 March. Over the course of five days, directors will have the chance to pitch their first, second or third feature-length fiction projects, to aid them in their search for future co-producers, sales agents or distributors. Industry professionals will also attend closed screenings of projects at various stages of post-production, whose teams will be attempting to attract the attention of key decision makers.

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As part of the Feature Films Pitching side of the event, 32 projects have been selected across the three strands, most of them hailing from Central and Eastern Europe. Four of them are Bulgarian, and others include production countries of the likes of Brazil, Colombia and India. The films in the Plus Minus One section are either first or third features, comprising ten in total. Five features will be presented under the Second Fiction Feature rubric, and a further eight make up the selection of First Films First. Rounding up Projects In Bank, the only strand that’s not presented publicly, there are nine titles, including some from Turkey, the UK and Ukraine.

The Work In Progress selection encompasses 24 features and three short films, including new titles by Lech Kowalski, Raul Garcia and Andrey M Paounov. As things stand, 13 of all the projects are either Bulgarian productions or co-productions, making up half of the total WIP count.

The Bulgarian capital will turn into the industry hotspot for the week, welcoming hundreds of film professionals to pitching sessions, workshops and talks. Alongside the usual distribution-centred workshops led by Europa Cinemas and Europa Distribution, Sofia Meetings will carry on with its collaboration with Thessaloniki’s Co-Production Forum/Agora Market, set up last year to deliver a programme of industry talks, supported by ACE, EAVE, MIDPOINT and the MFI. One of the highlights is a session on fluid creativity and the untapped potential of European cinema, led by director Kate Cragg and cinematographer Daniel Landin (Under the Skin [+see also:
film review
interview: Jonathan Glazer
film profile
), who are premiering their film Atomen at the Sofia International Film Festival.

A full list of the projects taking part in this year’s edition of Sofia Meetings is as follows:

Second Fiction Feature Film Projects

Dream BirdMurat Pay
Producer: Halil Kardaş – Film Code Production (Turkey)

Jaune et bleuGiulia Grandinetti
Producers: Riccardo Neri, Vincenzo FilippoLupin Film (Italy)

JugoslavaIvan Bakrač
Producers: Ivan Bakrač, Nikolina Vucetic Zecevic, Guillaume de Seille – Quadrifolium Films (Montenegro), Arizona Films (France), Biberche (Serbia)

Drowning DryLaurynas Bareisa
Producers: Klementina Remeikaite, Matiss KazaAfterschool (Lithuania), Trickster Pictures (Latvia)

The Last SlapMatteo Oleotto
Producer: Miha ČernecStaragara IT (Slovenia/Italy), Spok (Slovenia), Propeler Film (Croatia)

Plus Minus One Film Projects

DissonanceEliza Petkova
Producer: Veselka KiryakovaRed Carpet (Bulgaria), Wood Water Films (Germany)

MarioGuillem Miró
Producer: Ana Inés Fernández – Somera Films, Corte y Confección de Películas (Spain) (in partnership with the MFI)

ResonanceYordan Petkov
Producers: Victoria Mitreva, Vanya Raynova – Garti Films, Portokal (Bulgaria)

SłońceAnna Zamecka
Producers: Klaudia Smeja, Bogna Szewczyk – Skupien/Madants (Poland)

The HostessEric Nazarian
Producers: Eric Nazarian, Panos Papahadzis, Maria LaskaridouArgonauts Productions SA/Voyager Pictures (Armenia/Greece/Turkey)

The Last SummerJoão Nuno Pinto, Fernanda Polacow
Producer: Andreia Nunes – Wonder Maria Filmes (Portugal), Grifa Filmes (Brazil)

The Road Less TravelledTyagi Pallava
Producer: Viktoria PetranyiProton Cinema (Hungary)

TravellersPierre Filmon
Producers: Pierre Filmon, Sonal SehgalAlmano Films (France), Sonal Sehgal Films (India)

WorkerGiorgi Kobalia
Producers: Nika Gugushvili, Vako Kirkitadze – Film Asylum (Georgia)

YMaria Popistașu, Alexandru Baciu
Producer: Anamaria AntociTangaj Production (Romania) (in partnership with Crossroads)

First Films First

40, Maria Louisa BoulevardKristina Spassovska
Producer: Maya VitkovaViktoria Films (Bulgaria)

BeastsMaja Križnik
Producers: Vlado Bulajić, Lija Pogačnik – December (Slovenia)

Before I Fall AsleepSenka Domanović
Producer: Marija Stojanovic – SENSE Production (Serbia)

Nothing Will Be Named After MeĐorđe Vojvodić
Producer: Miljan Vučelić – Bitter Frames Production (Montenegro)

LionfishThanasis Trouboukis (Greece)

Long Weekend – Katarina Koljević
Producers: Natasa Damjanovic, Vladimir VidicDart Film (Serbia)

ShibbolethAlexandra Matheou
Producer: Tonia MishialiBark Like a Cat Film (Cyprus)

PietàAndra Chiriac Hera (Romania)

Projects in Bank

AnimalMilada Těšitelová
Producer: Julie ŽáčkováUnit and Sofa Praha (Czech Republic)

End PointMaria Dauza
Producer: Michael SarantinosSteficon (Greece)

Because I Love Bad WeatherYana Lekarska
Producer: Kalin KalinovInvictus Ltd (Bulgaria)

Julio’s VisionRaul Garcia
Producer: Raul Garcia – Solaris Dreams Films (Colombia)

Memento Non MoriŞeyhmus Altun
Producer: Fevziye Hazal – Jurnal Kolektif Production (Turkey)

PotionNatalka Vorozhbyt
Producers: Iryn Kostyuk, Sergiy Demidov, Anna Eliseeva – FILM.UA PRODUCTION (Ukraine)

RadicalKenneth Mercke
Producer: Maarten D'HollanderKrater Film (Belgium) (in partnership with EAVE)

The ViolationKate Cragg
Producer: Daniel Landin – Art Practice (UK)

Things Washed AshoreJanis Abele
Producer: Marta Romanova-Jekabsone – GESTA FILMS (Latvia)

Works In Progress Selection

Axis of LifeAtanas Hristoskov
Producers: Kalinov Brothers – Invictus Ltd (Bulgaria)

BlazingBalázs Dudás
Producer: Gábor KovácsCineSuper (Hungary)

BreathersLech Kowalski
Producers: Maison MariouRevolt Cinema (France) and David Dávila Herrera – Living On Film (Mexico)

DadDimitris Georgiev, Mariy Rosen
Producers: Lyubo Yonchev, Rosen Savkov, Elena Doroshenko, Teodora Mladenova – Four Elements (Bulgaria)

Die Like a ManEric Nazarian
Producer: Eric Nazarian – Voyager Pictures, Confluential Films, Mucho Mas Media (USA)

Dyad [+see also:
film review
interview: Yana Titova
film profile
Yana Titova
Producers: Vanya Rainova, Aleksandar Aleksiev, Nikolay Stoichkov – Portokal, NoBlink (Bulgaria)

Everybody Dies on the NewsVictor Ivanov
Producer: Konstantin Vasilev – B2Y (Bulgaria/Croatia)

Love OffIvaylo Hristov
Producer: Orlin Ruevski – Moviemento (Bulgaria)

Medium [+see also:
film review
interview: Christina Ioakeimidi
film profile
Christina Ioakeimidi
Producers: Yorgos Noussias, Louizos AslanidisEkso Productions (Greece), Red Carpet Films (Bulgaria)

Nothing New Under the SunMurad Zaloğlu
Producer: Halil Kardaş – Film Code Production (Turkey)

Plague Ivan Vladimirov
Producer: Mila VoinikovaMiramar Film (Bulgaria)

Rescuers Ilina Perianova
Producers: Ilina Perianova, Mila Voinikova – Uga Buga Art, Miramar Film (Bulgaria)

Nobody Like MeTomas Weinreb, Petr Kazda
Producer: Guillaume de Seille – Arizona Films (Czech Republic/Slovakia/France)

Scirocco/The Pliarica AdventureYassine Marco Marroccu
Producer: Andrea TaschlerMirage Film, Eclipse Films (Hungary/Morocco)

Enough for Now [+see also:
film review
film profile
Marko Đjordjević
Producer: Miloš PušićFilm Center Serbia (Serbia)

The Answer to All QuestionsDimitar Kotzev-Shosho
Producers: Alexander Stanishev, Dimitar Kotzev-Shosho – Kontraplan (Bulgaria)

The Circus FantasyRaul Garcia
Producer: Raul Garcia – Solaris Dreams Films (Colombia)

The Backstage Hovhannes Galstyan
Producers: Hovhannes Galstyan, Laura Clever – Anso Films, Parallels Film Production, Clever Production, Wady Films, One Man Studio Production, GreyMark-45 Studio (Armenia/Germany/Luxembourg)

The PlatformNikolay Sotirov
Producer: Nikolay Mutafchiev – Premierstudio Plus (Bulgaria)

TrophiesAndré Chandelle
Producer: Vera Chandelle – Fabrikata (Bulgaria/Belgium)

WedlockMagdalena Ralcheva
Producers: Magdalena Ralcheva, Pavlina Jeleva – Nuance Film (Bulgaria)

Windless [+see also:
film review
interview: Pavel G Vesnakov
film profile
Pavel Vesnakov
Producer: Veselka Kiryakova – Red Carpet Films (Bulgaria)

WiesenwoodJannis Alexander Kiefer
Producers: Philipp Kreuzer, Katja Kuhlmann, Chris Degenhart, Lotte RufMaze Pictures (Germany)

Yasmeen’s Element Amman Abbasi
Producer: Kamen Velkovski – Alaz Film (Portugal/Pakistan)

Short Film Selection

Two Times TwoAndrey M Paounov
Producers: Andrey M Paounov, Elitza Katzarska, Herbert Schwering, Samuel Finzi – Chicken Milk Farm, Coin Film (Bulgaria/Germany)

Across the Naked HillsDimitar Kutmanov
Producer: Veselka Kiryakova – Red Carpet Films (Bulgaria)

The EngineerJordan Chichikov
Producers: Y Seu Castor (Jordan Chichikov), Irmena Chichikova – Old School Gemini Productions (UK/Bulgaria)

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