FNE at Sofia IFF 2021: Brazilian The Pink Cloud Wins Grand Prix of Sofia IFF

    The Pink Cloud by Iuli Gerbase The Pink Cloud by Iuli Gerbase

    SOFIA: Iuli Gerbase’s science fiction debut The Pink Cloud (Prana Filmes) won the Sofia City of Film Grand Prix in the international competition of the 25th Anniversary Sofia IFF, with a prize of 7,000 EUR offered by the Sofia Municipality. The official ceremony took place at the National Palace of Culture on 20 March 2021, a day before the ten day closing of cinemas that starts on 22 March 2021.

    The International Jury, headed by Canadian/Bulgarian film director Theodore Ushev and composed of directors Ilya Khrzhanovskiy from Russia, Svetla Tsotsorkova from Bulgaria, Szabolcs Hajdu from Hungary, and actress Natasha Petrovic from North Macedonia, liked the “pinch of optimism in a poetic film by a young 31-year old Brazilian female director”.

    The Special Jury Award went to the Bulgarian/German German Lessons (Moviemento/Heimathafen Film & Media), a socially engaged debut by Pavel G. Vesnakov, because of its “great sense of style, proportion and unique sensitivity”. The film also won the FIPRESCI prize. China’s Zhou Ziyang became Best Director for his Wuhai (Juben Pictures), defined by the jury as a “real crystal”, while Christian Johannes won a Special Mention for his Swiss Spagat (Cognitofilms).

    Andrey Koulev’s animated film Santiago (Koulev Film Production) won Best Bulgarian Short Film with 1,500 EUR cash and 8,000 EUR in postproduction services, provided for the second year by Doli Media Studio.

    The Balkan jury headed by Israeli producer/director Doron Eran and composed of directors Lili Horvath from Hungary and John-Paul Davidson from the UK gave its award to Jasmila Zbanic’s Bosnian war film Quo Vadis, Aida?, coproduced by the directress’s Deblokada, Austria’s Coop99, Romania’s Digital Cube, Netherlands’ N279 Productions, Germany’s Razor Film, Poland’s Extreme Emotions, France’s Indie Prod, Turkeys TRT and Norway's Tordenfilm.

    Kamen Kalev’s French/Bulgarian February, produced by Koro Films and Waterfront Film, was awarded Best Bulgarian Film by a separate jury composed of Christine Dollhofer (Crossing Europe Film Festival, Linz), Stefan Laudyn (Warsaw IFF) and Lenka Tyrpáková (Karlovy Vary IFF).

    The Romanian/Finish/German film Acasa, My Home by Radu Ciorniciuc was named Best Documentary.

    Between 11 and 21 March, 2021 most of the 134 films from 53 countries were screened in Sofia and in other cities at 30% of the theatres’ capacity. Between 22 March and 11 April 2021, a total of 73 films will be available online for the audience in Bulgaria.


    Grand prix ‘Sofia City of Film’
    The Pink Cloud (Brazil)
    Directed by Iuli Gerbase
    Produced by Prana Filmes

    Jury Special Prize
    German Lessons (Bulgaria, Germany)
    Directed by Pavel G. Vesnakov
    Produced by Moviemento
    Coproduced by Heimathafen Film & Media

    Best Director Award
    Zhou Ziyang for Wuhai (China)
    Produced by Juben Pictures

    Special Mention
    Spagat (Switzerland)
    Directed by Christian Johannes
    Produced by Cognitofilms

    Doli Media Studio Award for Best Bulgarian Short Film
    Santiago (Bulgaria)
    Directed by Andrey Koulev
    Produced by Koulev Film Production

    Special Mention
    Tanda (Bugaria)
    Directed by Teodora-Kosara Popova
    Produced by NATFA Kr. Sarafov

    Domaine Boyar Award for Best Balkan Film
    Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Austria, Romania, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, France, Turkey, Norway)
    Directed by Jasmila Zbanic
    Produced by Deblokada (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
    Coproduced by Coop99 (Austria), Digital Cube (Romania), N279 Productions (Netherlands), Razor Film (Germany), Extreme Emotions (Poland), Indie (Prod France), TRT (Turkey), Tordenfilm (Norway)

    Special Mention Best Balkan Film
    Oasis (Serbia, Slovenia, Netherlands, France, Bosnia & Herzegovina)
    Directed by Ivan Ikic
    Produced by Sense Production (Serbia)
    Coproduced by Tramal Films (Slovenia), Kepler Film (Netherlands), Les Films d'Antoine (France), SCCA/PRO.BA (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

    Best Documentary Film Award
    Acasa, My Home (Romania, Finland, Germany)
    Directed by Radu Ciorniciuc
    Produced by Manifest Film (Romania)
    Coproduced by Corso Film (Finland), Kino Company (Germany)

    Special Mention Documentary Film
    Anny (Czech Republic)
    Directed by Helena Trestikova
    Produced by Negativ Film Productions

    Special Mention Documentary Film
    Gunda (Norway, USA)
    Directed by Viktor Kossakovsky
    Produced by Sant & Usant Production (Norway)
    Coproduced by Louverture Films (US)

    Best Bulgarian Feature Film
    February (France, Bulgaria)
    Directed by Kamen Kalev
    Produced by Koro Films
    Coproduced by Waterfront Film

    FIPRESCI Award
    German Lessons (Bulgaria, Germany)
    Directed by Pavel G. Vesnakov
    Produced by Moviemento
    Coproduced by Heimathafen Film & Media

    Bulgarian Guild of Film Critics Best Balkan Film Award
    Uppercase Print (Romania)
    Directed by Radu Jude
    Produced by microFILM
    Coproduced by Romanian Television (TVR), Hi Film Productions

    Young Jury Award for a Film in the International Competition
    Luzzu (Malta)
    Directed by Alex Camilleri
    Produced by Noruz Films, Luzzu Ltd, Pellikola, Maborosi Films

    Sofia Municipality Sofia Award for Contribution to the Art
    Theodosii Spassov, musician and composer (Bulgaria)
    Jafar Panahi, director (Iran)

    FIPRESCI 96 Platinum Award
    Terry Gilliam, director (UK)