FNE at Sofia IFF 2020: Bulgarian Sister Wins Grand Prix of Sofia IFF Summer Edition

    Monika Naydenova in Svetla Tsotsorkova's Sister Monika Naydenova in Svetla Tsotsorkova's Sister

    SOFIA: Svetla Tsotsorkova’s second feature Sister (Omega Films / Doha Film Institute) won the Grand Prix in the international competition of the 24th Sofia IFF, which was split into a summer and autumn edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This is the second important recognition for the film, that in 2019 won Best Film at the 29th FilmFestival Cottbus.

    The international jury headed by British director Peter Webber and composed of American producer Jim Stark, Bulgarian actress Irmena Chichikova and Mexican producer Nicolás Celis, gave its Special award to Nathalie Biancheri’s Nocturnal from the UK. Belgium’s Eva Cools won Best Director for her film Cleo.

    Hristo Simeonov’s Nina was named Best Bulgarian Short Film and will receive a combined cash / postproduction services award, this year provided by Doli Media Studio.

    The Balkan jury headed by Slovak director Mira Fornay and composed of Iceland’s Benedikt Erlingsson and Bulgaria’s Simona Kostova, gave its award to Turkey’s Emin Alper for his A Tale of Three Sisters.

    Mina Mileva’s and Vesela Kazakova’s Bulgarian/UK/French feature film debut Cat In the Wall (Activist 38 / Glasshead, Ici et Là Productions), won a second Best Bulgarian Film award from a separate jury headed by the Venice Days artistic director Gaia Furrer, the director of the Warsaw IFF Stefan Laudyn and the Egyptian film critic and selector Ahmed Shawky.  

    The summer edition of the 24th Sofia FF (25 June – 19 July 2020) took place online for the territory of Bulgaria, at open-air venues and in Sofia’s House of Cinema, screening a total of 111 films from 48 countries, with 88 films screened online.

    The autumn part of the 24th Sofia IFF scheduled for the second half of September 2020 is prepared to host over 80 additional films.


    Grand prix ‘Sofia City of Film’
    Sister (Bulgaria, Qatar)
    Directed by Svetla Tsotsorkova
    Produced by Omega Films (Bulgaria)
    Coproduced by the Doha Film Institute (Qatar)

    Jury Special Prize
    Nocturnal (UK)
    Directed by Nathalie Biancheri

    Best Director Award
    Eva Cools for Cleo (Belgium)

    Special Mention for Best Screenplay
    Massoud Bakhshi for Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness (France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Iran, Lebanon)

    Special Mention for Best Production Design
    László Rajk for Those Who Remained (Hungary)
    Directed by Barnabás Tóth

    Doli Media Studio Award for Best Bulgarian Short Film
    Nina (Bulgaria)
    Directed by Hristo Simeonov
    Produced by Screening Emotions

    Domaine Boyar Award for Best Balkan Film
    A Tale for Three Sisters (Turkey, Germany, Netherlands,Greece)
    Directed by Emin Alper

    Special Mention Best Balkan Film
    Stitches (Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
    Directed by Miroslav Terzic
    Produced by West End Productions (Serbia)
    Coproduced by Nora Production Group (Slovenia), Spiritus Movens (Croatia), SCCA/Pro.ba  (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

    Best Documentary Film Award
    The Cave (Syria, Denmark, Germany, USA, Qatar)
    Directed by Feras Fayyad

    Special Mention Documentary Film
    Collective (Romania, Luxembourg)
    Directed by Alexander Nanau
    Produced by Alexander Nanau Production (Romania)
    Coproduced by Samsa Film (Luxembourg), HBO Europe

    Best Bulgarian Feature Film
    Cat In the Wall (Bulgaria, UK, France)
    Directed by Mina Mileva, Vesela Kazakova
    Produced by Activist 38 (Bulgaria)
    Coproduced by Glasshead (UK), Ici et Là Productions (France)

    FIPRESCI Award
    Those Who Remained (Hungary)
    Directed by Barnabás Tóth

    Bulgarian Guild of Film Critics Best Balkan Film Award
    God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija (North Macedonia, Belgium, France, Croatia, Slovenia)
    Directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska
    Produced by Sisters and Brother Mitevski (North Macedonia)
    Coproduced by Entre Chien et Loup (Belgium), Deuxième Ligne Films / EZ Films (France), Spiritus Movens (Croatia), Vertigo (Slovenia)