Festival exclusive screenings and premieres of The Roads Not Taken (2020) – Sally Potter’s latest film with Javier Bardem and Salma Hayek, Land (2021) – the directorial debut of Robin Wright, Tove (2020) by Zaida Bergroth, dedicated to the famous artist and writer Tove Jansson, Benoît Jacquot’s Suzanna Andler (2021) with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman (2020) with Carey Mulligan, Christian Petzold’s Undine (2020) with Paula Beer, The Man Who Sold His Skin (2020) by Kaouther Ben Hania with Monica Belucci
Legendary British director Sally Potter trusts Javier Bardem’s talent to tell a day in The Roads Not Taken about the reality of Leo and his daughter – along with extremely talented actors such as Elle Fanning, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, they draw a moment a picture of the mosaic of alternate lives that the protagonist could live. Potter’s script, an uncompromising, raw and ruthless story, is one of the hallmarks of her work, loved by fans and filmmakers alike, and her ability to extract from the actors all the best they can is truly admirable.
Land is the feature directorial debut of the famous actress Robin Wright. This is a touching story about a woman who seeks the meaning of life in the vast and harsh American nature. After experiencing a tragic event, it is not possible for Wright’s heroine to maintain her connection with the surrounding reality and facing this uncertainty, she retreats to the magnificent but harsh wasteland of the Rocky Mountains. Once a local hunter brings her back from the brink of death, she must find a way to live again.
Director Zaida Bergroth tells in Tove part of the story of the artist Tove Janson, for whom the end of World War II brings a sense of creative inspiration. Tove’s quest for freedom was put to the test when she met theater director Vivica Bandler. Her love for Vivika is strong and all-consuming, but Tove begins to realize that the feelings she longs for must be mutual. As she struggles with her personal problems, her creative endeavors take her in another direction. Although he concentrates his efforts on painting, a side project – melancholy and tales, which she tells to the children in the bomb shelters, take a live of their own. This is the beginning of the world-famous and beloved mumintrols. Tove Jansson’s books have been published in Bulgaria over the years and in partnership with “Janet 45” SFF has prepared special surprises for all fans of moomins!
With Suzanna Andler, director Benoît Jacquot makes an impressive adaptation of the play by Marguerite Duras.” The only emphasis missing from this particular sentence, which presents the film at the Rotterdam Film Festival, is the magnetic charm of Charlotte Gainsbourg. Her heroine is hesitant to rent a spacious villa on the French Riviera for the summer. The doubts she feels relate not only to the house but also to the decisions about her personal life that would inevitably change the reality in which she lives – lies, love adventures, inexplicable and hard-to-realize weightlessness, in which the uncertainty about its future hovers.
With five Golden Globe nominations, actress Emerald Fennell’s feature film debut Promising Young Woman received critical acclaim – the film has over 150 nominations and 70 awards from around the world. The story follows the charming Cassie (played by the talented Carey Mulligan), whose future has been changed by a mysterious event. Nothing in her life is what it seems: she is incredibly smart, nervously calculating, and at night she leads a secret dual life… This is an intelligent, provocative, grim comedy and revenge film with an extremely powerful and multi-layered performance by Carey Mulligan in the role of Cassie.
The premiere of Undine, the latest film by German director Christian Petzold, was also at the Berlinale 2020 and in it he once again shines the exquisite Paula Beer and the chameleon talent of Franz Rogowski. For her performance, Beer received the Silver Bear and the EFA 2020 Award for Best Actress, and her character is a historian who works as a museum guide in Berlin. “Christian Petzold recreates the myth of the mysterious aquatic creature as a modern fairy tale in a world full of frustration. His Undine refuses to be a powerless and rejected woman, rediscovers the love in Christoph’s face and follows him into the underwater world. The story of doomed love is told beautifully and effortlessly, “write the experts from the Berlinale, where the film also received the FIPRESCI award.
The story in The Man Who Sold His Skin, told by director Kaouther Ben Hania, is about the journey of a young, sensitive and impulsive Syrian through Europe. To escape the war and live with the love of his life, he agrees to have one of the brightest modern artists tattoo his back. By turning his body into a prestigious work of art, the emigrant will find that his decision can mean anything but freedom. “This project was born from the meeting of two worlds. The world of contemporary art, through the work of Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, and the world of political refugees – especially those from Syria, their battle for documents and residence permits. I asked myself, “What would happen if a famous artist offered a refugee to become his work of art so that he could solve his problem with freedom of movement?” Said Ben Hania. The film, starring the magnetic Monica Bellucci, won the Best Actor award at Horizons, Venice 2020.
Sofia Film Fest is realized with the support of Sofia Municipality.
The main co-organizers and partners are the Ministry of Culture, the National Film Center Executive Agency and the Creative Europe MEDIA Program of the European Union.