FESTIVALS: Brazil’s Stories Wins Sofia IFF Grand Prix

By Pavlina Jeleva

    {mosimage}SOFIA: The 16th Sofia International Festival (www.siff.bg) jury headed by director David Mackenzie gave its top prize to Julia Murat's lyrical debut Stories Only Exist When Remembered, a 2011 Brazilian-Argentinean-French co-production.

    "This is a most valuable recognition for the first feature film of a very talented Brazilian directress," Pierre Menahem said on the stage of the National Palace of Culture (www.ndk.bg), receiving the festival statute on behalf of Murat. Representing Moving Partners in Motion (MPM, www.mpmfilm.com) co-producer and sales-agent of the film Menahem was in Sofia mainly for the 9th edition of the Sofia Film meetings (15-18 March 2012).

    For his film Ave, Bulgarian director Konstantin Bojanov's who said he "was most afraid of the first reactions to the movie at home" received the Best Director award, the Best Balkan Film award and the Bulgarian Guild of Film Critics award, followed by the films producer from Camera (www.camera.bg) Dimitar Gotchev accepted the Kodak award for Best Bulgarian Feature. It was the first time that the Sofia Film Festival gave so many awards to a single film.

    Most of the awards went to Balkan films, another first. The exceptions were the Special Jury award to Jaffe Zinn's original debut Magic Valley sold internationally by Rezo Films (www.rezofilms.com), the Special Mention to Victor Ginzburg's Russian-American Generation P with world sales agent Shoreline Entertainment (www.slefilms.com) and the documentary winner This is not a Film by Jafar Panahi.

    Festival director Stefan Kitanov said the festival showed 260 films from 52 countries and invited over 300 guests.