Sofia Independent Film Festival, now in its fifth year, has carved a niche for itself as one of the rare opportunities for cinema-goers in Bulgaria to see films from the international festival circuit on the big screen in Sofia.
This year’s slate features the usual mix of documentaries – including student shorts from the American University in Bulgaria (in Bulgarian) – and dramas, including titles that won critical acclaim in recent years, such as Oscar-nominated The Master (featuring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman), 2014 Palme d’Or nominee Foxcatcher (featuring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), and director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash (winner of a grand jury prize at Sundance in 2014).
Sofia Independent Film Festival offers the opportunity to see some familiar faces in films that are unlikely to go on wide release in Bulgaria: Al Pacino in The Humbling, Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy, or Nicholas Cage in Joe (the film won two awards at the Venice Film Festival in 2013).
The organisers will also screen Stonehearst Asylum, filmed in Bulgaria, which features a cast that includes Kate Beckinsale, Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess, as well as two Bulgarian films – documentary The Tracks and drama Victoria.
A total of 28 films will be shown over nine days in five venues across the city; for a full programme of the festival or to purchase tickets, visit the Sofia Independent Film Festival website.
(Photo: Sofia Independent Film Festival’s Facebook page)