Sofia International Film Festival

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Sofia International Film Festival (Sofia Film Fest) (Bulgarian: Международен София Филм Фест, София Филм Фест) gathers together in Sofia films, guests, stars, journalists and cinema fans. Featured in Variety's Top 50 [1] of cinema festivals, the event presents Bulgaria to the world as the host one of the important film festivals in Europe and takes place annually in March. What started as a thematic music film festival,[2] went through 17 previous editions to become the cinema event of the year, bringing the current world cinema trends to the domestic viewers in Bulgaria and the latest in Bulgarian cinema to the rest of the world.

Since 1997 more than 1,600 feature films and documentaries have been screened within the festival's framework. More than 1,000 distinguished guests have attended, including established professionals such as Wim Wenders, Volker Schlöndorff, Katja Riemann and Karl Baumgartner (Germany), Alan Parker, Peter Greenaway, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Tony Palmer and David Mackenzie (United Kingdom), Nikita Mikhalkov, Andrei Konchalovsky, Karen Shakhnazarov and Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov (Russia), Jiří Menzel, Jan Svěrák, Jan Hřebejk and Petr Zelenka (Czech Republic), Emir Kusturica (Yugoslavia), Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland), Otar Iosseliani (Georgia), Jean-Claude Carrière, Agnès Varda, Siegfried and Jacques Dorfmann (France), Assumpta Serna (Spain), Bent Hamer and Unni Straume (Norway), Jafar Panahi and Babak Payami (Iran), Jerry Schatzberg, Michael Wadleigh and Lech Kowalski (USA), Jos Stelling (the Netherlands), Mika Kaurismäki (Finland), Friðrik Þór Friðriksson (Iceland), Lone Scherfig (Denmark), Kornél Mundruczó (Hungary), Goran Markovic, Goran Paskaljević, Radivoje Andric, Dusan Milic, Srđan Karanović and Srđan Dragojević (Serbia) and many others.

The festival is organized by Art Fest under the auspices of the Municipality of Sofia and in partnership with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, the National Palace of Culture, the National Film Center and the Bulgarian National Television with the support of the MEDIA programme of the European Commission, national and foreign cultural institutes and sponsors.

For its 10th anniversary as an international cinema event in the year 2010 named Year of Bulgarian Cinema,[3][4][5] Sofia International Film Festival received as present the recognition from FIAPF(International Federation of Film Producers Associations) - it was accredited [6] as competitive festival specialized in first and second films. Since its creation the director of the festival has been Stefan Kitanov.[7][8]

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