Magazine article Screen International

'Godless' Wins Top Prize at Sofia Film Festival

Magazine article Screen International

'Godless' Wins Top Prize at Sofia Film Festival

Article excerpt

Sofia Meetings industry winners include UK project The Tentmaster's Daughter; The Expendables 4 heads to Bulgaria.

Ralitza Petrova's Godless was this year's winner of the 'Sofia City of Film' Grand Prix at the 21st edition of the Sofia International Film Festival (SIFF).

Petrova's feature debut, which won the Golden Leopard for best film and the best actress Silver Leopard in Locarno last year, received the award for best Bulgarian feature film.

Petrova also won Turkey's YAPIM-LAB young producer award for her second feature Dust which she presented with producer Poli Angelova as a project at the Sofia Meetings.

This is the third year in a row that a local Bulgarian film has won SIFF's international competition grand prix following Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov's The Lesson in 2015 and Eliza Petkova's Zhaleika in 2016.

Local Bulgarian films also featured among the other prize winners this year: Grozeva and Valchanov's second film Glory took home the Domaine Boyar award for best Balkan film and the Bulgarian Guild of Film Critics award for the best film in the Balkan Competition.

The audience award for best local film was presented to Iglika Trifonova for Lift For Patients, and the FIPRESCI award went to Bojan Vuletic's Requiem For Mrs J, a co-production between Serbia, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Other awards included a special diploma for the non-professional actress Mia Petricevic in Hana Jusic's Quit Staring At My Plate and the special jury award for Jan Matuszynski's The Last Family; both films are handled internationally by New Europe Film Sales.

Speaking about the international jury's decision, jury president Cristi Puiu said: "It wasn't easy and we had long discussions because there were three films we liked, but only one main prize."

Festival director Stefan Kitanov pointed out that the jury's deliberations were the longest in the SIFF's history, with the final decision not being communicated until early on Saturday morning. …

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