The 21st edition of the Sofia Film Fest is about to finish its first week. During this event, every day is special. Sure, it is about honouring stars like the 95-year-old actress Stoyana Mutafova or saying hi to Rupert Everett, John Savage, Deborah Kara Unger or Anjela Nedyalkova, all of whom are part of this. Of course, it is about awards. But the main aspect is a celebration of the art of cinema.
Most commercial movies seem to be following the very same pattern, nowadays. Some evil force has to be fought, in overproduced, hectic movies, which are too loud and which resemble brutal computer games with all of their flashy, exaggerated shots. Sure, there are exceptions, which are being screened at commercial cinemas too. But at festivals like the one in Sofia, it is all about the art and the communication around it.
On a typical day, let’s pick today, March 15th, 2017, around 28 motion pictures are being screened, including full length flicks, short films and documentaries.
One of the very special works shown today is “Pelé: Birth of a Legend”. The U.S. production airs at the Cine Grand Park Center, in Sofia, at 9:30 p.m.. In truly wonderful camera settings and shots, this film tells the story of Pele’s early life, which started in the slums of São Paulo and led to a World Cup victory for Brazil, when he was only 17 years old.
Leonardo Lima Carvalho, who plays the young Pelé, and Kevin de Paula, who portrays the older version of the soccer hero, are doing a great job, just like Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, the two directors.
Let’s look at a second movie, which is being screened today, this time a Bulgarian one: “Glory”. At 2 p.m., it will be shown at “Cinema Lumière Lidl”.
“Glory” was buried in awards from countless festivals across Europe as well as in North America, and rightly so. It is about Tsanko Petrov, who finds millions of Leva on train tracks. Instead of doing what everyone else would do, keeping the cash, he gives it to the police. This leads to a chaos.
The Bulgarian production is about corruption, the abiding subject in this country, but mainly about dignity.
These are just two out of 28 inspiring films, which are being screened today. The Sofia Film Fest ends on March 31st, 2017.