VARNA: One of Bulgaria’s most popular film festivals, Love is Folly, is headed for a close three-year cooperation with Belgium's Mons International Love Film Festival. Dedicated to the theme of love on screen, both festivals form an important part of a recently updated cooperation agreement between Bulgaria, the French Community of Belgium, the Walloon region and the Brussels Capital region. Because of their similar profile, the agreement sets up financial and organizational support for the two festivals through 2015.
To pave the way, the 21st Love is Folly edition (30 August – 5 September) included a special focus of five Belgian features films and director Joel Franca served on the international jury. FIFA director Andre Ceuterick, also present in Varna, said that in its 29th edition in February the Belgian fest hosted its first-ever Panorama of new Bulgarian cinema with Peter Popzlatev’s I am You, Konstantin Bojanov’s Ave and Kristina Nikolova’s Love Faith and Whisky. “For our 30th FIFA we are thinking of an even bigger number of new Bulgarian films, artists and industry people," Ceuterick told FNE. "Our large audience will be among the first to discover the latest achievements of the Bulgarian film culture.”
Love is Folly artistic director Alexander Grozev added that this year the Bulgarian fest made a special effort to include Konstantin Burov’s debut Rat Poison at the last minute “because this was the only Bulgarian feature completed before the deadline. We believe that till the end of the year several Bulgarian films will be ready and we will be able to show them in Mons,” Grozev added.Eminent 85-year-old Bulgarian director Nicolas Korabov (Julia Vrevskaya) was also awarded for his outstanding contribution to the development of Bulgarian cinema.
Founded in 1993, Love is Folly screens over 60 films and invites over 200 guests. The fest is organized by the Varna Festival and Congress Centre (http://www.fccvarna.bg/bg/loveisfolly) under the patronage of the city of Varna Municipality (http://www.varna.bg/) with the support of the ministry of culture (http://www.mc.government.bg), the National Film Center (http://www.nfc.bg), the National Film Library (http://www.bnf.bg) and the Union of the Bulgarian Film Makers (http://www.filmmakersbg.org).
Grand Prix Golden Aphrodite: Tango Libre by Frederic Fonteyne (Belgium, Luxembourg, France)Special Jury award: Our Women, by Peter Szajki (Hungary);Best Actor: Prison ensemble in Tango Libre: Sergi Lopez, François Damiens, Jan HammeneckerBest Actress: Julia Kijowska, Loving (Poland) ( www.odeon.com.pl/ ) Best Script: Anne Paulicevic (Tango Libre)Best Director: Marion Vernou (Les beaux jours) FranceUnion of the Bulgarian Film Makers award: Rat Poison by Kosta Bourov (Bulgaria)Award of the Critics guild by the UBFM: Halima’s Path by Arsen Ostojic ( www.arsenantonostojic.com/aao/feature/halimaspath.html) (Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Serbia) Award of the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communications at the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski: Flying Leaves by Valerii Harchenko (Russia)