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Two Bulgarian film projects awarded in Thessaloniki

2008-11-25

The recent 49th Thessaloniki IFF (http://www.filmfestival.gr/) turned out to be most profitable for Bulgarian filmmakers.

After a 3-day workshop, the 6th Balkan Film Fund jury, consisting of Christina Kallas, Richard Kwietniowski, Milcho Manchevski, Simon Perry, and Razvan Radulescu, granted one of four awards to Zincograph. Writer Vladislav Todorov, director Javor Gardev and producer Buriana Zakharieva will receive 10,000 euros for the development of their anti-totalitarian script. Using the story of a Communist secret police informant, acting shortly before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the team wants to continue mixing genres and social satire. "In Dzift we showed the time before and after the beginning of Communism; in Zincograph we want to show the time before and after its end," said Todorov.

Awarded with a Balkan Film Award in 2004, A Farewell to Hemingway by Svetloslav Ovcharov had its international premiere in Thessaloniki. After the closing ceremony the Bulgarian film was screened to a packed hall. "This is an autobiographical film," Ovcharov said. "Like the young woman, who continues to stay in her small railway station, I continue to make films in and about Bulgaria."

The 4th Crossroads co-production forum, headed by former head of the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes IFF, Marie-Pierre Macia, gave the Nokia N series award to two films: Bulgaria's False Witness writer/director Iglika Triffonova, producer Rossitsa Valkanova (Klas Film) and Greek writer/director Yannis Sakaridis, producer Panos Papahadzis (Argonauts Productions). The Nokia N series award is set at 10,000 euros, but due to the ex aequo decision of the jury and the high quality of the projects, festival director Despina Mouzaki decided to raise the amount of the award to 16,000 euros, granting each project 8,000 euros. "The story of a Dutch attorney by the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague who sees with his own eyes the consequences of the war in Bosnia already provoked big interest in Cottbus. But Thessloniki brought us an award and this is most encouraging," Valkanova said.

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