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SOFIA 2020

The 24th Sofia International Film Festival postponed until further notice

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- This year’s edition of the Bulgarian gathering had been due to kick off on 12 March

The 24th Sofia International Film Festival postponed until further notice

Bulgaria’s most important film event, the Sofia International Film Festival, has had to postpone its 24th edition because of the coronavirus outbreak. A message from Stefan Kitanov, the festival director, and his team stresses that the organisers are acting in accordance with the measures taken by the Bulgarian government in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the country.

Sources inside the festival tell Cineuropa that the gathering’s team had been working full steam ahead up until the very last minute to finalise the myriad of details necessary for the organisation of a festival with a selection of 200 films and hundreds of guests in attendance, ranging from the special events to the brochures and invitations. Nevertheless, Art Fest, the main organiser of the Sofia IFF, had to bow to the global threat that the COVID-19 coronavirus poses to the health and lives of people worldwide.

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“Our actions comply with the agreed measures and recommendations of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Ministry of Healthcare and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as the Bulgarian National Film Center and the Sofia Municipality. All of the measures include the prohibition of public cultural events and mass gatherings of people on Bulgarian soil,” stated the message posted on the festival website yesterday evening, three days before the event was supposed to kick off with a gala screening of Bulgarian director Alexander Kossev’s feature Petya of My Petya.

On a more hopeful note, the organisers promise that this is not the last the audience and film professionals will hear about the 24th edition of the gathering and the 17th edition of Sofia Meetings, the festival’s industry platform. Without offering any new dates for the postponed 24th edition, they still say: “We assure you that an amazing festival lies ahead! It will come in its own time. But time is on our side, isn’t it? It shall come! And all of you, friends of the great cinematic art, will learn about it in plenty of time.”

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