The director of the Sofia International Film Festival, Stefan Kitanova-Kita, opened tonight the 25th anniversary edition in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture.
What started as a thematic festival of cinema and music, which has undergone an upward development over the years, the SIFF has become one of the most important film events in Central and Eastern Europe. It is the only Bulgarian film festival with FIAPF accreditation, included in the list of the 50 most important festivals for the film industry in the world and in the FIPRESCI calendar.
Stefan Kitanov-Kita opened this year’s anniversary edition emotional words:
“This is a special edition, very important and dear. About 30 years ago my friend Petar Yankov and I played in the subway of the National Palace of Culture. Then my friend Alexander Yanakiev passed through us and said:” Stop playing for a while, because there is competition for director. That’s how I became the director of this institution. “
“In 2007, Variety magazine ranked Sofia Film Fest among the 50 most important film festivals in the world.”
The Deputy Minister of Culture Rumen Dimitrov greeted the audience and the organizers of Sofia Film Fest with the words:
“This festival continues to be the engine of unity in art and the unifier of the various genres in it.”
The Deputy Mayor for Culture of the Sofia Municipality, Assoc. Prof. Todor Chobanov, also congratulated the festival on the anniversary and addressed the words:
“For this quarter of a century, the festival has surpassed even the wildest dreams of the young Kitanov from the footage you have seen since its creation.
It is no coincidence that it is considered one of the most influential cultural events in Bulgaria, it has been adorning our cultural calendar for many years, bringing to our favorite city the iconic names of this favorite art. “
At the opening ceremony, the Sofia Award of the Sofia Municipality was presented to the outstanding musician, film and theater composer Teodosii Spasov, for his contribution to the art of cinema and music, and his 60th anniversary was celebrated.
“He is not just a great musician and artist, he has created a completely new style in the art of music, he has made Bulgaria famous all over the world. I heartily congratulate him on the Sofia Award!” – With these words Todor Chobanov presented the award to Teodosii Spasov.
The main festival is in its traditional period in March, when the films from the program will be presented both online (in partnership with the world’s leading platform for organizing online festivals Festival Scope / Shift 72) and in cinemas, subject to all anti-epidemic measures, and international guests will be exceptions.
The focus of the first part of the festival will be the competition programs, the presentation of the new Bulgarian feature and documentary films, current films of established directors and young talents, festival favorites in the last year, and films from special anniversary sections.
The official opening of the 25th “Sofia Film Fest” took place tonight in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture with the premiere of the latest film by director Kamen Kalev – February.
He was presented in the “Works in Progress” program of the 17th “Sofia Meetings 2020” and received well-deserved recognition – participation in the official selection of “Cannes 2020”.
A special edition of the 25th festival is expected later this year, focusing on films presented by their authors from around the world.
The program of the festival, together with the traditional editions in Burgas, Plovdiv and Varna, will last until the end of March. A special program at the Cinema House and the Czech Center, related to retrospectives and other events, prepared the audience with anticipation for the festival.
More than 150 feature and documentary titles, as well as over 20 short films will be presented.
The new Bulgarian feature films will be the main focus of SFF’s March program.
For the 19th time the Bulgarian Short Film Competition will present 12 films selected by a jury consisting of: Vanya Raynova, screenwriter and producer, and the directors Boris Despodov and the winner of the award in 2020 – Hristo Simeonov. For the second year in a row, the award is provided by Doli Media Studio.
The festival is organized by Art Fest under the patronage of Sofia Municipality, with the support of the Ministry of Culture, IA “National Film Center” and the program “Creative Europe” MEDIA of the European Union, in partnership with the National Palace of Culture, cultural institutes, sponsors, partners and friends.
The SFF has hosted a galaxy of world filmmakers, including Wim Wenders, Alan Parker, Nikita Mikhalkov, Volker Schlondorf, Agnes Varda, Jiri Menzel, Costa Gavras, Terry Gilliam, Emir Kusturica, Otar Yoseliani, Bile Taugu Krzysztof Zanussi, Agnieszka Holland, Hugh Hudson, Claudia Cardinale, Rupert Everett, Franco Nero, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Jerry Schatzberg, Danis Tanovic, Pavel Pavlikowski, Mickey Manojlovic, Ildiko Felix Enedi . Most of them are winners of the Sofia Award of Sofia Municipality.
You can see the full program of the festival (March 11-31, 2021) – HERE