The Best of Cinema from the Balkans Online at Sofia International Film Fest

The Best of Cinema from the Balkans Online at Sofia International Film Fest

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The best cinema in the Balkans can be watched until April 11, as part of the 25th Sofia International Film Fest. 

The international Oscar nominee and winner of the Domaine Boyar Award for Best Balkan Film at the 25th Sofia Film Fest Quo Vadis, Aida? by the successful director Jasmila Zbanic is a story about one of the most brutal events in Europe in the 90s of the last century. In the last days of the Bosnian war in July 1995, 8,000 boys and men were killed during the Srebrenica genocide.

Quo Vadis, Aida by Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)

Jasmila Zbanic’s devastating account of the atrocities of this period captures the horrors of genocide, as well as the absurd indifference of people that allows all this to happen.


Awarded in San Sebastian, the full-length debut of More Raca Andromeda Galaxy (Kosovo) recreates the story of a 52-year-old unemployed mechanic who rents a trailer to live in. His daughter is a teenager and was sent to an orphanage after her mother’s death. The question is whether the two will be able to get closer.

Footage from the movie Andromeda Galaxy – the feature debut of More Raca (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)


Romanian director Radu Jude is a discovery of Sofia Meetings more than a decade ago. The premiere of Uppercase Print was at the Berlinale 2020. The film is based on a real case, played out 40 years ago during the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. Graffiti written in capital letters appears in a rural town. The secret police discovered that the “terrorist” was a 16-year-old student who was accused of “striving for freedom”.

The co-production between Serbia, Germany and Bulgaria The Living Man by director Oleg Novkovic (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)

The co-production between Serbia, Germany and Bulgaria The Living Man by director Oleg Novkovic is a story about the life of an aging rocker Jela, forced to deal with the annoying monotony of everyday life, in an effort to rush back on the road and revive the old glory. The main role is entrusted to Nikola Djuricko, whom the audience remembers from When I grow up, I will become a Kangaroo byRadivoje Andrić, as well as from the super-popular Netflix series Stranger Things. Bulgarian co-producers of The Living Man are Chuchkov Brothers.

Croatian director Dalibor Matanic’s latest film Dawn (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)

Croatian director Dalibor Matanic’s latest film The Dawn is the second film in a kind of “Sun” trilogy – the first is The High Sun, which won the jury’s award from the Special View section in Cannes 2015. Mixing the allegory with the well-known theme of communities divided for ideological and religious reasons, the Croatian director creates a compelling drama charged with high tension.

Focus, Grandma by Pierre Zalitsa (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)

A dramatic and entertaining story from Bosnia and Herzegovina takes viewers back to the pre-war Yugoslavia. Focus, Grandma by Pierre Zalitsa recreates the relations in one family – in the spring of 1992, the members of a large family had to gather around the deathbed of their elderly mother and mother-in-law. Meanwhile, a real war begins in Sarajevo …

Oasis is a film by Serbian director Ivan Ikic (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)


Oasis is a film by Serbian director Ivan Ikic, successfully presented at the Venice Film Festival last year. The co-production between Serbia, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina and France brings together three separate love stories about people in a God-forgotten place – a special home for children with intellectual disabilities abandoned by their parents.

Ghosts, debut work of screenwriter and director Azra Deniz Okyay (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)


The premiere of Ghosts, the debut work of screenwriter and director Azra Deniz Okyay, is in the International Critics’ Week at the Venice 2020 Festival. The co-production between France, Turkey and Qatar follows the paths of four characters who cross in an interesting mosaic in one day filled with riots, unrest and power outages in Istanbul.

Only Human by director Igor Ivanov (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)


The co-production of Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria (Gala Film), Kosovo and Slovenia Only Human by director Igor Ivanov is a dramatic story of six different stories about the quest to survive, preserve love and achieve redemption. The film stars Natasha Petrovich (member of the jury of the International Competition of the 25th SFF) and the Bulgarian actress Joanna Bukovska-Davidova.

The film by Slovenian director Miroslav Mandic Sanremo (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)

Slovenian director Miroslav Mandic’s film Sanremo is a touching love story in which fragmented memories return to consciousness from a song. The main character Bruno tries to escape from a nursing home, although his memory betrays day after day.


Tailor is the debut film of Sonia Lisa Canterman, which focuses on the consequences of the economic crisis in Greece. The film tells the story of Nikos, a master tailor who does not fit into the world around him. Participated as a project of Sofia Meetings, Sonia Canterman’s film won the FIPRESCI Award, ERT and the Special Jury Prize in Thessaloniki.

Greek director Christos Nikou realizes an interesting challenge – to recreate a pandemic feeling in the plot of his film Apples (Photo: Sofia Film Fest)


Greek director Christos Nico realizes an interesting challenge – to recreate a pandemic feel in the plot of his film Apples, co-written with Stavros Raptis. The two construct a story about a global pandemic that causes sudden amnesia, and the protagonist Aris, a middle-aged man, is involved in a recovery program designed to help patients build a new identity. The film premiered last year on Venice’s Horizons program.

The 25th Sofia Film Fest continues online until April 11 on

Single film entry price – BGN 8. The package of 12 films is priced at BGN 25.


Andromeda Galaxy —  Kosovo-Spain-Italy-Northern Macedonia, directed by More Raca

Uppercase Print —  Romania, directed by Radu Jude

The Living Man —  Serbia-Germany-Bulgaria, directed by Oleg Novkovic

The Dawn —  Croatia-Italy, directed by Dalibor Matanic

Focus, Grandma —  Bosnia and Herzegovina-Turkey, directed by Pjer Zalica

Oasis —  Serbia-Netherlands-Slovenia-Bosnia and Herzegovina-France, directed by Ivan Ikic

Ghosts —  France-Turkey-Qatar, directed by Azra Deniz Okyay;

Only Human —  Northern Macedonia-Serbia-Bulgaria-Kosovo-Slovenia, directed by Igor Ivanov

Sanremo —  Slovenia-Italy, directed by Miroslav Mandic

Tailor —  Greece-Germany-Belgium, directed by Sonia Liza Kenterman

Apples —  Greece-Poland-Slovenia, directed by Christos Nikou

Quo Vadis, Aida? – Bosnia and Herzegovina-Austria-Romania-Netherlands-Germany-Poland-France-Norway-Turkey, directed by Jasmila Zbanic.

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