Sofia International Film Festival's 15th Edition Gears Up

Bulgaria's main international film event will include 118 features, 24 documentaries and more than 70 shorts.


MOSCOW -- The 15th edition of the Sofia International Film Festival, Bulgaria's main international film event, is to kick off on Friday, March 4.

This year's festival will include 118 features, 24 documentaries and more than 70 shorts that are to be screened in its traditional sections, including International Competition for first and second feature films, The Big Five, New Bulgarian Cinema and the Balkan Competition.

Among the highlights of the International Program, in which films will compete for the Grand Prix, are the French/Swedish/Danish co-production Sounds of Noise, directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson, Polish Bar by the U.S. director Ben Berkowitz and the Bulgarian/German movie TILT directed by Victor Chouchkov Jr.

The International Jury's chairman will be Icelandic director and producer Fridrik Tor Fridrikson.

Italian actress Claudia Cardinale is expected to be the festival's honored guest invited to collect the Sofia Municipality Award for a Lifetime Achievement in Cinema.

Lifetime achievement awards are also to be handed out to Bulgarian actor Russi Chanev, French director Claude Lelouch and Georgian/French director Otar Iosseliani.

The opening night film will be The Black Swan by Darren Arnofski and The Edge by Russian director Aleksei Uchitel is to be screened at the festival's closing night.

The festival's Grand Prix and other awards are to be handed out at a closing ceremony scheduled for March 13, except for the best Balkan film award, to be handed out by Bosnian writer/director Danis Tanovic, a winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, the day before.