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„The Voice of the Audience” – A Pallette of Various Cinematographies
Wim Wenders Sent Greetings to Bourgas
“The Goat” with a Premiere in Bourgas

It is difficult to say if the audience in Bourgas has a preference for certain cinematography. But we can say for sure that it prefers the valuable cinema – expressive films with messages which stand above the mass consumer’s taste.
There were 18 titles in the competition which were rated by the public on the 6 point scale. The final result was calculated after taking into acount the number of votes, as well. “The Reader” /USA, Germany/ of Stephen Daldry retained the highest position /with 5.75/ and it deserved the “Silver Sea-Gull” statuette, a work of the sculptor Nikola Stanchev.

After a long time on the second position the USA production “Milk” of the director Gus Van Sant /5.53/ was surprisingly left behind by the Russian film of Karen Shakhnazarov “The Vanished Empire” which received the excellent grade of 5.61. This is a vividly narrated, emotional and communicative love story which finely captures the atmosphere of the 1970’s when The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were breaking the music scene wide open. It obviously grabbed the audience in Bourgas, which also appreciated the playful references to the present.

Wim Wenders’s “Palermo Shooting” /UK, Germany/ took the fourth place /The Prize of Bourgas Municipalty/ with 5.50. The fifth position was taken by the co-production of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Germany and France “Snow” of Aida Begic with 5.34 and on the sixth place we find “The Tour” /Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia/ of Goran Markovic, which gathered the spectator’s appreciation for a 5.28 grade.

30 Mar 2009

The Director will receive the “Silver Sea-Gull” statuette on a Bob Dylan concert in Berlin.

“Hello, hello! Really? This is fantastic! Greetings to everyone!” – the great director, script-writer and photographer exclaimed during a surprising telephone call made by Stephan Kitanov on stage at “Trakia” cinema hall on Friday evening. The director of Sofia Film Fest came to Bourgas for the closing ceremony of the 7th edition of the festival on the coast and he couldn’t bear not to call his friend after he heard that “Palermo Shooting” received the Special Prize of Bourgas Municipality.
Kita who never keeps up with preliminary scenarios used his freely artistic speech style to tell the audience about the days he spent with Wim Wenders in Kovatchevitsa where the director gave him a ticket for the Bob Dylan concert in Berlin. He explained that exactly then, after less than a month, he plans to award Wim Wenders with the statuette and diploma which says that the jury of the 7th Sofia Film Fest on the Coast gives the award to the director with the motivation that he has created a gorgeous philosophic cinematography essay with the topic “Life and Death”.
The other thrilling award – for the audience’s favorite film was given to “The Reader” of the director Stephen Daldry. Jokingly provoked by the mayor with the question: “When and where he will surprise Mr. Daldry?”, Stephan Kitanov willingly started with the next story, of how he and his friends named Stephan (Stephan Valdobrev, Stephan Komandarev, Stephan Moskov) always gathered at the Cinema house in Sofia to play “Backgammon” and how much fun they had… So he promised to invite their namesake Stephen Daldry to share the emotion and to receive his statuette…
The „Silver Sea-Gull“ also delighted the young director Nadejda Koseva for her short film “Omelette” which received the public’s appraisal in the Jameson competition. Nadja couldn’t make it for the ceremony so the award was given to Svetla Tsotsorkova, who is the leading actress. She was in Bourgas these days with her colleagues Dimitar Sardjev and Dian Zagorchinov to make a film about her teacher Georgi Djulgerov.
For the first time this year there was a special award given by the municipality leader Ljubomir Panteleev. “A Farewell to Hemingway” of the director and script-writer Svetoslav Ovcharov deserved the prize for “the boldness with which it represents the meeting of Hemingway with an unknown to him and to the audience image of Bulgaria”.
The mayor Dimitar Nikolov, the boss of association “On the Coast” – Borislav Chakrinov, the volunteers from the commission responsible for counting the vote of the audience as well as a part of the festival team in Sofia all mounted the small stage in Trakia cinema hall.
Shy, silent and almost anonymous were the enthusiasts who worked with the subtitles so there were no screw-ups during the projections. Slavi Georgiev, Maria Andreeva and Yanko Slavov – the new face in the team, worked professionally and energetically every evening to deserve the respect of the public and Georgi Djulgerov’s speech of thanks.
After the congratulations and the loud applause, the lights in the hall went out and the public was absorbed in the world of Jordan Radichkov and Georgi Djulgerov. The new Bulgarian film “The Goat” was projected.
The first episode made the public exclaim – a close up of the beautiful head of the long-haired goat who looks around Bourgas harbor from above. And what does he see? The ex-bandmaster of the brass Jordan Karaivanov, singers from “Dobri Chintulov” secondary school, Hristo Dimitrov-Hindo as a scoundrel, captain Toshko Topousov as a mayor of the city, Stoicho Dimov from the harbor, the lawyer Anna Kovacheva, the teacher Lidia Indjova and some other buddies of the director from Bourgas appear in the scene while they welcome some foreign singers coming down from a ship.
After that follows the story – a trumpeter-patriot, deceived by the apartment mafia finds the abandoned house of his grandfather in the midst of the beautiful Rhodopi Mountains where he receives important worldly lessons about love and valuable things in life. His meeting with a woman from a different culture makes him collide with his recent bumptious temper and firm identity. The dynamic tempo with the music, the running around of a bearded goat, the crazy treasure-hunter and a lively, smart dialogue was appreciated by the audience which burst into laughter at times.
“I’m thankful we have you to raise the Bulgarian cinema”, “Bravo! Great film!” – this is only a part of the impulsive greetings received by the director Georgi Djulgerov, who was stopped many times by his fellow citizens while he walked through the hall after the end of the projection.
The producer Vladimir Andreev, the composer Mira Iskarova, the actors Ivan Savov, Ljubov Ljubcheva arrived especially for the premiere in Bourgas. Angela Rodel charmed the public not only with her presence, but also with the beautiful Stranzha song she sang from the stage. At present Ivan Barnev is shooting in Novo selo, Vidin Municipality, where he’s working on the new film of Ivaylo Hristov “A House without Windows”. That is why he couldn’t join the group of the actors from “The Goat”. But emotionally and spiritually, the actor was actually in Bourgas.
„I’m sorry I’m not with you because I know how the projections go. Despite the rotten distribution of Bulgarian cinema, the audience in Bourgas has a feeling for it, eagerly anticipates and reacts adequately to the director’s pledge as it manages to read even the most complicated messages. It is very cozy in Bourgas. I know how you make the festival and now I’m sending you, just like that, on the phone a distant riverside mood. I’ll blow a wave on the Danube and it will carry it to you” – these were the cheerful words of the actor.
Due to the high interest for “The Goat”, the film was projected once more in the late evening which made the producer Vladimir Andreev really happy. At the moment he is still negotiating the distribution of the film.
The 7th edition of “Sofia Film Fest on the Coast” showed 30 feature, documentary and animation films in 9 days and it ended with dancing and lots of music. The guitar of Stephan Kitanov this time was accompanied by the bagpipe of Rosen Pobornikov, the songs of Angela Rodel and the lively steps in “cumbia” style, taught by Leticia Villareal.

Jordanka Ingilisova

24 Mar 2009

The World Cinema Arrives at the 7th Edition of “Sofia Film Fest On the Coast” from March 12th to 20th

The latest feature film of Bulgarian director Georgi Dulgerov “The Goat” will be shown for the first time in Bourgas during the 7th edition of “Sofia Film Fest On the Coast”. The screening is supposed to close the festival on March 20th. The director of photography Radoslav Spasov, the actors – Ivan Burnev, Krasimir Dotkov, Lubov Lubcheva and the American actress Angela Rodel, who plays the main role are expected for a meeting with the audience by the sea. Angela Rodel is a musician, married to her Bulgarian colleague Ivan Hristov and she recently became the mother of baby Kerana.
Twenty feature films, the full program of the “Jameson competition” – 12 short films, 3 awards “Silver Seagull”, meetings with Bulgarian and foreign cinematographers – all this will happen during the 7th edition of “Sofia Film Fest On the Coast”. This year the festival will take place in the only cinema hall in Bourgas “Trakia”.
The Bulgarian programme will also include Svetoslav Ovtcharov’s “A Farewell to Hemingway”, as well as Ivan Cherkelov’s “Crabs”. The participation of “The Forecast” of Zornitsa Sofia, who became famous with her film “Mila from Mars” hasn’t still been confirmed.

The Festival’s art director Georgi Dulgerov has included animation in the program for the first time this year with the film „Waltz Wit Bashir” of the Israeli director Ari Folman.

The long awaited film of director Gus Van Sant, “Milk”, starring Sean Penn will surely be warmly welcomed by the audience. This is a provocative story, based on the real life of Harvey Milk – the first openly gay municipal councilor in California in the 1970s, elected officially on the post, that fought for the rights of gays and lesbians."Milk" has received 8 nominations for “Oscar”.

The Indian film “Colors of Passion”, shot by the Bulgarian directors of photography Rali Ralchev and Hristo Bakalov, “O’Horten” of the well-known from previous editions Norwegian director Bent Hammer, “Cumbria Calera” of the Mexican director Rene Villareal are only a part of this year’s festival bill, organized traditionally by “Art Fest” and association “On the Coast”, with the financial support of Bourgas municipality and friends.

The festival atmosphere will be complete with the presence of special foreign guests. So far we expect the picturesque French scriptwriter, director, cinematographer, photographer, film editor, composer and writer Siegfried to come by the sea. He will present his second film “Sansa” /2003/ which won the Young Jury Prize of the Flanders Film Festival.

The Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó is also expected to visit Bourgas. His film “Delta” took part in the main competition of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
The Latvian Alexander Khan will present the co-production from Latvia, United Kingdom and Austria “Midsummer Madness”.

The film festival will open on March 12th under the sounds of well known waltz melodies played by the brass band in front of the Municipality building. This year a special excitement will bring the presence of two young Bulgarian directors – Svetla Tsotsorkova and Dimitar Sardjev. They will shoot a documentary about the festival and their teacher Prof. Georgi Dulgerov.

The Bourgas edition is a part of “Sofia Film Fest” with director Stefan Kitanov, who managed to turn this festival into the most spectacular international film event in Bulgaria, included in the list of the top 50 festivals according to “Variety” magazine. The movie marathon of the year is already an event with serious pretensions even for the most demanding audience, because it represents the actual trends in world cinema.

The festival has a history of more than 1500 feature and documentary films, more than 1000 guests from all over the world and unforgettable emotions. Bourgas has been a part of that history for seven years already.

Jordanka Ingilizova

12 Feb 2009
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