Iuli Gerbase's The Pink Cloud wins the Sofia City of Film Grand Prix
- Films from Bulgaria, Romania and Switzerland were also among the winners at the Bulgarian gathering, including Pavel G Vesnakov’s German Lessons, which scooped the Special Jury Award
After a hybrid edition that was continuously under threat of being moved exclusively online, the 25th Sofia International Film Festival (11-21 March) managed to reach its scheduled conclusion still screening films in cinemas at 30% capacity. But, because the Bulgarian authorities closed all cinemas around the country yesterday, the Plovdiv, Burgas and Varna editions of the festival have had to be cancelled. Nevertheless, the Sofia IFF is still screening films online until 11 April.
On Saturday, the festival managed to organise an awards gala in the imposing National Palace of Culture, where the Brazilian feature The Pink Cloud by Iuli Gerbase was crowned the winner of this edition’s top award, the Sofia City of Film Grand Prix.
The jury, led by Bulgarian-Canadian director Theodore Ushev (whose debut feature, Phi 1.618, was presented in the Sofia Meetings Works in Progress programme – see the news) and consisting of Bulgarian helmer Svetla Tsotsorkova (winner of the 2020 Grand Prix with her second feature, Sister [+see also:
interview: Svetla Tsotsorkova
film profile]), Russian filmmaker Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu and Macedonian actress Nataša Petrović, handed the Special Jury Award to the debut feature German Lessons [+see also:
interview: Pavel G Vesnakov
film profile] (Bulgaria/Germany) by Pavel G Vesnakov, who also nabbed the FIPRESCI Award.
Starting on Monday, the festival continues online, with 73 films available through the festival’s streaming partners until 11 April. In September, there will be another edition of the Sofia IFF, with the organisers hoping that the autumn edition will be much more welcoming for foreign guests willing to introduce their work to an eager Bulgarian audience.
Here is the complete list of the award winners at the 25th Sofia International Film Festival:
Sofia City of Film Grand Prix
The Pink Cloud – Iuli Gerbase (Brazil)
Acasă, My Home [+see also:
interview: Radu Ciorniciuc
film profile] - Radu Ciorniciuc (Romania/Germany)
Anny - Helena Trestikova (Czech Republic)
Gunda [+see also:
film profile] - Viktor Kossakovsky (Norway/USA)
Best Balkan Film
Quo Vadis, Aida? [+see also:
interview: Jasmila Žbanić
film profile] - Jasmila Žbanić (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Austria/Romania/France/Netherlands/Germany/Poland/Norway/Turkey)
Oasis [+see also:
interview: Ivan Ikic
film profile] - Ivan Ikic (Serbia/Slovenia/Netherlands/France/Bosnia and Herzegovina)
German Lessons - Pavel G Vesnakov
Best Bulgarian Short
Santiago - Andrey Koulev (Bulgaria)
Tanda - Teodora-Kosara Popova (Bulgaria)
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