FESTIVALS: Sofia Film Festival 2020 Announces Restart


    SOFIA: The 24th Sofia International Film Fest, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic three days before its official opening on 12 March, will restart earlier than initially announced. It will be split into two parts – one to kick off on 25 June, and another by the end of September 2020.

    “After months of emergency epidemic state in the country the festival will present a format fully adapted to the safety measures against the spread of the virus in the country,” the festival said in a statement on 16 June 2020.

    The summer edition will take place under three forms: online for the territory of Bulgaria, at open-air venues, and in Sofia’s House of Cinema.

    The initially announced opening film Petya of My Petya (BOF Pictures / Concept Studio), a debut feature by Alexander Kossev dedicated to the memory of the early deceased cult poet Petya Dubarova, will be replaced by Bong Joon-ho’s global hit Parasite. The opening screening will take place at a newly constructed open air space near the National Palace of Culture, Platform A6.

    The online part of the Sofia FF will include 80 titles and will be realised in cooperation with Festival Scope and Shift 72. The films will be selected primarily from the Official, Balkan, Documentary and Short film competitions. They will be available for a specified number of screenings over a period of some three weeks. According to the festival, for the first time in its history the programmes will be watched simultaneously by different audiences throughout the whole country.

    The autumn edition will screen mainly Bulgarian documentaries and feature films which will have their premieres in Sofia. Depending on the COVID-19 situation, the festival will also welcome film directors who had confirmed their participation earlier this year.

    Programme (Announced in March 2020):

    18 % Grey (Bulgaria, Germany, Serbia, North Macedonia, Belgium)
    Directed by Viktor Chouchkov Jr.
    Produced by The Chouchkov Brothers
    Coproduced by Ostlicht Filmproduktion, Cinnamon Films, Sektor Film, Raised by Wolves, the Bulgarian National Television
    Supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center,  MDM, Film Center Serbia, the North Macedonia Film Agency, Creative Europe Programme – MEDIA

    How To Fake a War (UK)
    Directed by Rudolph Herzog

    Cleo (Belgium)
    Directed by Eva Cools

    A Simple Man (Greece)
    Directed by Tasos Gerakinis

    Send Me to the Clouds (China)
    Directed by Congcong Teng

    Steppe (Turkey)
    Directed by Ali Özel

    A Fish Swimming Upside Down (Germany)
    Directed by Eliza Petkova

    Motherland (Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Greece)
    Directed by Tomas Vengris
    Produced by Studio Uljana Kim
    Coproduced by Locomotive Productions, Heimat Hafen Films, Faliro House
    Supported by the the Lithuanian Film Centre, the National Film Centre of Latvia, Eurimages, Creative Europe Programme – MEDIA

    Sister (Bulgaria, Qatar)
    Directed by Svetla Tsotsorkova
    Produced by Omega Films
    Coproduced by the Doha Film Institute

    Nocturnal (UK)
    Directed by Nathalie Biancheri

    Those Who Remained (Hungary)
    Directed by Barnabás Tóth

    Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness (France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Iran, Lebanon)
    Directed by Massoud Bakhshi