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WIM WENDERS CLOSES 13TH SOFIA IFF

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On March 15 at Number 1 Hall of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia the legendary director will present in person his latest feature film "Palermo Shooting"

Sofia has become a favourite destination with world famous director Wim Wenders. His latest feature film "Palermo Shooting" that will take on the Bulgarian cinema halls will be presented for the first time at a special gala screening for the closing of the official programme of Sofia International Film Festival on March 15.

Wim Wenders is a unique film director who has won a particular place within the realm of world cinema - and hardly are there connoisseurs of his work who would dare question the statement. His filmography includes an impressive number of undeniable classical films such as "Paris, Texas", "Wings of Desire", "The State of Things" and "Buena Vista Social Club", which carry the spirit of modern masterpieces and offer contemporary spectators exquisite visual experiences not only from the 20th, but also from the 21st century. It looks as if with the years films have become a particular responsibility with the cosmopolitan artist alongside social comment. Even his latest works such as "Land of Plenty" and "Don't Come Knocking", showcased at previous editions of Sofia International Film Festival, are no exception to the Wenders brand in filmmaking. One movie that charges the audience with the same vibrant energy is the artist's latest provocation entitled "Palermo Shooting".

Trapped in the hectic life that engulfs him all the more, Finn (Campino) decides to turn his back on past habits and take in a new direction. An unplanned trip takes him from Dusseldorf to Palermo, where he finally comes face-to-face with a mysterious stalker (Dennis Hopper). What is the secret that both rivals are after - this is not the only question Finn has to answer; at the same time a charming young lady comes in (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), who will not only conquer his heart, but will for ever change his life...

Together with the new elements Wenders has given credit to what is already known about his work. The three main preoccupations - love, life and death are philosophically entangled in "Palermo Shooting". The camera follows closely all details and all the nuances of the shifting moods in the film. Wenders has selected professionally the soundtrack, as well: 27 tracks featuring legendary artists such as Nick Cave, Portishead, Velvet Underground and Lou Reed in a compelling compilation.

Wim Wenders' active work as director, producer, photographer and writer made him a leading figure in independent filmmaking. In 1971 together with 14 other German filmmakers he created the production and distribution company "Filmverlag der Autoren". It became the heart of the new German cinema and produced his first films. In 1976 Wenders set up "Road Movies Filmproduktion Inc" in Berlin, a company that right until 2003 produced not only his films, but took part in more than a hundred other film projects.

In 1978 at the invitation of Francis Ford Coppola Wim Wenders went to the United States for the shooting of "Hammett" for Zoetrope Productions, with whom he continued working until 1982. In the brief intervals between shootings Wenders managed to create "Nick's Film - Lightning over Water" and "The State of Things", which won him a Golden Lion in Venice in 1982 - the first of a host of prestigious international distinctions in his filmmaking career. Back then Wenders wrote a screenplay based on Sam Shepard's "Motel Chronicles" - and both shot the film under the title "Paris, Texas" in the summer of 1983. A year later it was crowned with the Palme d'Or in Cannes, and Wim Wenders became one of the cult directors of the 1980s. He was singled out as best director at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987 for "Wings of Desire". The film was met with great world renown and became the occasion for the release of the first volume of Wim Wenders photographs, "Written in the West".

Wenders has constantly been on the look-out for various forms with which to experiment, and thus in 1991 he completed his full-length science fiction project "Until the End of the World". Another one of his remarkable works is "Beyond the Clouds" shot jointly with Michelangelo Antonioni (1995). Following the success of "Buena Vista Social Club"(1999) that resurrected the talent of a myriad of Cuban musicians and started the world mania for Cuban music, Wenders created two more music films: "Ode to Cologne: A Rock'N'Roll Film" (2002), an outstanding rock movie about the German BAP rock band who played on stage with the "Rolling Stones" and Bruce Springsteen, and "The Soul of a Man" (2003), an installment of the Martin Scorsese produced blues series. "Land of Plenty" (2004) wraps up Wenders' LA trilogy, parts of which were also "The End of Violence" and "A Million Dollar Hotel".

"Don't Come Knocking" reunited once more Wim Wenders and Pulitzer Prize winner Sam Shepard 20 years after their cult film, "Paris, Texas". The golden tandem repeated the winning formula made up of a powerful script, gifted directing and uncompromising performances. The film was nominated for a Palme d'Or and won the European Film Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

"Palermo Shooting" brings once again Wenders' audience to the best in his philosophical road movies. But this time they are involved in a different kind of journey - inwards to the essence of Man.

"Palermo Shooting" is a particularly communicative film directed entirely at the audience. And yet this is Wenders' most personal one in his entire career, dedicated to two great filmmakers who passed away in 2007 - Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman.

"Palermo Shooting" was in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.