CineLibri 2020 Opening Ceremony

CineLibri 2020 Awarding Ceremony

CineLibri 2020 Official Video

Poster CibeLibri 2020

The best of CineLibri 2020

The sixth edition of the International Book & Movie Festival CineLibri was held in Sofia and another seven Bulgarian cities between October 18th and November 8th 2020 under the motto “Sentimental Education” as a tribute to one of the most influential French writers of the XIX century – Gustave Flaubert. In addition to the Bulgarian capital Sofia, the film events took place in: Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Stara Zagora and Blagoevgrad. The spectators watched 45 feature films, traditionally divided into several sections.

Due to the complicated situation as a result of the incidence of the coronavirus disease all over the world, including Bulgaria, the festival was held both in the cinema halls and online. CineLibri 2020 adapted a significant part of its program for parallel broadcasting online through the platform Neterra TV +. The grand opening ceremony was on October 18 in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia. It started with a spectacular musical performance to be followed by a premiere screening of the eccentric crime comedy The Godmother (Mama Weed) directed by Jean-Paul Salome, featuring the icon of French cinema Isabelle Huppert.

The competition program presented a powerful selection of 7 titles. The esteemed Jury this year consisted of: the Finnish film producer and director Mika Kaurismäki, the Argentine writer and screenwriter Santiago Amigorena, the Greek director Babis Makridis, the Bulgarian actress Snezhina Petrova and the acclaimed Bulgarian director Milko Lazarov. The legendary director Jean-Jacques Annaud was the honorable chairman of the Jury. World-renowned for his works and film challenges, Annaud is one of the few European directors with an international career of more than five decades. Most of his  movie achievements were based on emblematic novels, including The Name of the Rose, The Lover, Wolf Totem.

Among the competition films were: the impatiently awaited movie interpretation of the popular play The Father (2020) directed by the playwright himself – Florian Zeller, featuring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman; Summer of 85 (2020) directed by the provocative French director François Ozon; the psychological family drama The Ties (2020) directed by Daniele Luchetti; the ambitious co-production Berlin Alexanderplatz (2020), a modern adaptation of one of the greatest twentieth-century novels, directed by Burhan Qurbani; the Hungarian drama Pilatus (2019) directed by Linda Dombrovszky.

The festival marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Jose Saramago with a premiere screening of the film The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis directed by João Botelho and based on the eponymous novel. An evening in memoriam of Jirí Menzel was held too, as he was not just a brilliant director and ingenious movie storyteller, but also a friend of Bulgaria and CineLibri in particular. The parallel film program offered versatile literary adaptations such as the film Pinocchio (2019) directed by Matteo Garrone, a live-action adaptation of the classic story of a wooden puppet; Here Are the Young Men (2020) directed by Eoin Macken and based on the novel of the same name by Rob Doyle; the captivating dramatic thriller The Last Vermeer (2019) set just after WWII, starring Claes Bang and Guy Pearce; the intriguing adaptation Narziss and Goldmund (2020) directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky and based on the splendid philosophical novel by Hermann Hesse.

CineLibri 2020 celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birth of the genius German composer Ludwig van Beethoven and the 80th anniversary of the birth of the eternal “Beatle” and dreamer John Lennon. In strict compliance with the governmental Covid-19 restrictions, several digital meetings were held with representatives of the film teams during the festival, including video connection with the young actor Benjamin Voisin who perform one of the leading roles in Summer of 85 directed by François Ozon, and video connection with György Somogyi, the screenwriter of Pilatus, based on the Magda Szabo’s novel.

This year’s CineLibri films were divided into several modules, united by the slogan “Sentimental Education”. The section of films competing for the Grand Prize for Literary Adaptation was entitled “If Everyone Thought the Same, There Would Be No Competition” The other modules were titled in view of the genre specifics of the films: “The Arguments of the Heart”, “The Dream of Reason”, “They Who Have No Sense of Humor, Have No Feelings at All”, “Music is a Transcript of Emotions”, “Wisdom Defeats Fate”. The section with documentaries was entitled “When the Facts Speak…”, and the Bulgarian adaptations were collected conditionally under the phrase “Mission: Bulgarian Cinema”. The festival also presented several “Short Temptations” – selected short films based on literary works.

Despite the complicated circumstances, the program contained a series of Gala Evenings, creative webinars and other events bringing together film experts, literary critics and diplomats who represented France, the United States, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Denmark, Portugal and Ireland. The events were supported by the embassies and cultural institutes of the respective countries.

Jury of CineLibri 2020

Jean-Jacques Annaud, Honorable President of the Jury

World-renowned for his work and film challenges, Jean-Jacques Annaud is one of the few European directors with an international career of more than five decades. As of his very first feature film, Black and White in Color, Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1977, he developed an unfailing attraction for the cultures of the world. Over the years, Annaud was awarded five César prizes and many other distinctions and gained international recognition for a series ot brilliant literary adaptions such as The Name of the Rose, The Bear’s P.O.V., The Lover, Wolf Totem and others.

CineLibri 2020

Snezhina Petrova

Snezhina Petrova is a gorgeous theater and film actress, one of the most successful and acclaimed actresses in Bulgaria. In 1996 Snezhina became co-founder and executive director of the association “Legal Art Centre” for independent theater projects. Since 2005 she is professor in Theatre Acting at the New Bulgarian University. In 2012, she became head of the department. Among the films for which she won awards are “Buffer Zone” directed by Georgi Dyulgerov and “The Sinking of Sozopol” directed by Kostadin Bonev, adaptation from the eponymous novel by Ina Valchanova.

CineLibri 2020

Milko Lazarov

Milko Lazarov is a director and screenwriter of the acclaimed feature movies Aga (2018) and Alienation (2013). For his film Aga he won over 30 awards and nominations, incl. the Grand Prize “Heart of Sarajevo” (2018), the Award for Best Film at the Cairo International Film Festival (2018), the Grand Prize “Golden Rose” from the Bulgarian Feature Film Festival in Varna (2018), the Award for Best Director from the Valladolid Film Festival, and for Alienation he received over ten international distinctions.

Mika Kaurismäki

Mika Kaurismäki is a Finnish film producer and director known for Three Wise Men (2008), Zombie ja Kummitusjuna (1991) and Helsinki Napoli All Night Long (1987). He is the elder brother of Aki Kaurismäki, and the father of Maria Kaurismäki. Mika Kaurismäki has lived in Brazil since approximately 1992 and has made several Brazilian-themed films. His first film, The Liar (1980), was an overnight sensation, when first shown in Finland; it marked the beginning of the Kaurismäki brothers’ film career and started a new era in Finnish cinema.

Babis Makridis

Babis Makridis was born in Kastoria, Greece. His debut feature film L (2012) was presented in Competition at Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Tiger Awards and other international festivals. It was awarded Grand Prix at the Molodist Film Festival, Kiev, in 2012. Pity (2018), his second feature, also premiered in the Competition at Sundance Film Festival and Rotterdam Film festival. The film received numerous awards and was crowned Best Film at the Hellenic Film Academy Awards in 2019. It also won the FIPRESCI Award at the Torino Film Festival.

Santiago Amigorena

Santiago Amigorena was born on February 15, 1962 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a respected writer and producer, known for Another Silence (2011), A few days in September (2006), Upside Down (2012) and Back to Burgundy (2017). His novel Last Words was adapted for the big screen under the direction of Jonathan Nossiter, starring great actors such as Charlotte Rampling, Nick Nolte, Stellan Skarsgård.

Official selection in Competition

Лято 85Summer of 85 (France, Belgium 2020) directed by François Ozon. Ozon is undoubtedly a master of elegant provocation and one of the brightest names in French cinema. The director of “Eight Women” and “The Pool” this time opted for an adaptation of Aidan Chambers’ novel Dance on my Grave. “Summer 85” is a skilfully composed youth drama that follows the story of a mature. A scorching, wise, hypnotic tale of love and loss, illuminated by the rising stars Félix Lefebvre and Benjamin Voisin.

ВръзкиThe Ties (Italy 2020) directed by Daniele Luchetti. Decadently expressive family drama, which earlier this year opened one of the most prestigious film forums in the world – the Venice Film Festival. It is based on the novel of the same name by Domenico Starnone, known as an impeccable stylist and enchanting narrator, winner of the most respected literary award in Italy – “Strega”. The Ties offers an emotionally charged and insightful account of love, family relationships, and the unknown consequences of some of our actions.

МинаматаMinamata (USA, UK, United Arab Emirates 2020) directed by Andrew Levitas. War photographer W. Eugene Smith is a master of the so-called photo essay. Some of his most significant photographic essays are related to World War II, to Dr. Albert Schweizer’s clinic in French Equatorial Africa, and to pollution in the Japanese industrial city of Minamata, which is damaging the health of its inhabitants. Smith travels back to Japan where he documents the devastating effect of mercury poisoning in coastal communities.

Берлин АлександерплацBerlin Alexanderplatz (Germany, Netherlands, France, Canada 2020) directed by Burhan Qurbani. This ambitious film epic draws on one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, signed by Alfred Döblin, adapted many times for both the big screen and television, including by the great Rainer Fassbinder. We don’t know if love is the feeling that will awaken in you the unfortunate in history. But for compassion and mercy, there will surely be a place in your hearts. And sentences are handed down only after all “mitigating circumstances” have been taken into account.

ИзключениетоThe Exception (Denmark 2019) directed by Jesper W. Nielsen. A film that will not disappoint fans of cool, insightful and unpredictable Scandinavian cinema. The story is based on a novel by Christian Jungersen, who makes a relentless dissection of human nature, revealing the mechanism of turning fear and paranoia into witch-hunts. Four women work together at a small NGO in Copenhagen dealing with genocide research. When two of them face with death threats, they suspect a Serbian war criminal; but then they start suspecting and turning against each other.

БащатаThe Father (United Kingdom 2020) directed by Florian Zeller. Zeller is a world-famous playwright – author of the play of the same name which is an international hit. In the film, the father whose memory is slowly and inexorably melting, is played by the living legend Anthony Hopkins. The other powerful performance belongs to the Oscar winner Olivia Colman. Christopher Hampton authored the screenplay in which a man begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.

ПилатPilátus (Hungary 2019) directed by Linda Dombrovszky. The Hungarian chamber drama Pilátus is inspired by the psychologically penetrating novel of the same name. The mother loves her daughter, the daughter loves her mother, but they can’t meet in their mutual love. Magda Szabó’s novel is a reflection on aging, loss, loneliness and grief, on dysfunctional family relationships that seem “fairly normal” on the outside, but the truth is they are corroded by misunderstanding, blindness and lack of empathy.

Awards 2020

CineLibri Best Literary Adaptation Award 2020, accompanied by an exquisite statuette, was bestowed on the film “Berlin Alexanderplatz”(2020), co-production of Germany, Netherlands, France and Canada, adapted from the eponymous novel by Alfred Döblin.

The decision was motivated as follows: “Berlin Alexanderplatz” receives the grand award for its epic amplitude and Burhan Qurbani’s approach to depicting modern conflicts through an adroit combination of elements of painful realism and poetry, strengthening each other’s impact thanks to the gripping actors’ performances and outstanding cinematography which give new life to one of the twentieth-century literary masterpieces.”


Module: They Who Have No Sense of Humor, Have No Feelings at All


The Godmother (Mama Weed) (2020). A translator working for the police gets involved in the other side of drug dealing. Directed by Jean-Paul Salomé and based on an internationally acclaimed novel by Hannelore Cayre, the film is a crime comedy starring the amazing Isabelle Huppert!

Щастието на някои...

A Friendly Tale (2020). Irresistible French comedy that seeks to answer the question: how is it possible for the happiness of our friends to turn into misfortune for us? Directed by Daniel Cohen, starring Bérénice Bejo, Vincent Cassel, François Damiens.


Zeroville (2019). Experimental film project about an ex-communicated seminarian who arrives in Los Angeles on the same August day in 1969 that a crazed hippie ”family” led by Charles Manson commits five savage murders. Directed by James Franco, based on Steve Erickson’s novel.

Module: The Arguments of the Heart

Една русалка в Париж

A Mermaid in Paris (2020). A fantasy romance about a man who rescues a mermaid in Paris and slowly falls in love with her. Directed by Mathias Malzieu, based on the eponymous novel of his own.

Нарцис и Голдмунд

Narziss und Goldmund (2020). Goldmund is to study in the monastery Mariabronn. There he meets a religious monk named Narcissus. He has subjected himself to a strict life and lives completely ascetically. A drama directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, based on Hermann Hesse’s modern masterpiece.


The Lover (1992). In 1929 a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man in French Indochina. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the novel by Marguerite Duras.

Диво сърце

Wild at Heart (1990). Recipient of the prestigious Palme d’Or award at Cannes, this mesmerizing dark romance was also nominated for 1 Oscar. Directed by David Lynch, based on the novel “Sailor and Lula” by Barry Gifford.

Module: The Dream of Reason

Заливът на тишината

The Bay of Silence (2020). Engrossing thriller about the devastating truths of a woman’s past directed by Paula van der Oest and based on Lisa St Aubin de Terán’s novel. With Claes Bang, Olga Kurylenko, Brian Cox.

Последният Вермеер

The Last Vermeer (2019). Enticing look at a blending of art and world history directed by Dan Friedkin and based on the book “The Man Who Made Vermeers” by Jonathan Lopez. Superb performance of Guy Pearce.

Мафия Inc.

Mafia Inc. (2019). An intriguing Canadian mafia drama with a plausible storyline and excellent cast. Directed by Daniel Grou and based on the eponymous book by André Cédilot and André Noël.

Крадецът на дните

Stolen Days (2019). In this touching drama a father, just out of prison, wants to spend some time with his eleven-year-old son. Directed by Guido Lombardi and based on the novel of his own.

Module: Wisdom Defeats Fate

Годината на смъртта на Рикарду Рейш

The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (2020). Ambitious drama directed by João Botelho, which imagines the last months, in 1936, of Fernando Pessoa using the name Ricardo Reis. Based on a novel by the Portuguese novelist José Saramago, the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Ето ги младите мъже

Here Are the Young Men (2020). Directed by Eoin Macken and based on a Rob Doyle’s novel about several Dublin teenagers who leave school to be caught in a social vacuum of drinking and drugs, falling into shocking acts of transgression.


Pinocchio (2019). Wonderful film adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s legendary tale directed by Matteo Garrone. Old woodcarver Geppetto’s puppet creation, Pinocchio, magically comes to life with dreams of becoming a real boy.

По време на войната

While at War (2019). A thought-provoking and compelling drama directed by Alejandro Amenabar, based on the true story of the writer Miguel de Unamuno who faces himself and his ideals after the 1936’s military coup d’etat.

Documentaries: When the Facts Speak…

Гетсби в Кънектикът

Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story (2020) The summer Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived in Connecticut inspired one of the world’s most beloved novels: The Great Gatsby. We know the book, we know the films and series, but do we know the truth? The documentary was written and directed by Robert Steven Williams.

Мълчание с достойнство

Silence with Dignity (2019). It is a film directed by Adela Peeva about the relations between Bulgarian filmmakers and the political elite. The focus of attention is the life and work of film directors Irina Aktasheva and Hristo Piskov.

Mission: Bulgarian Cinema

18% сиво

18% Grey (2020). What makes us move elsewhere and what are we looking for? A story for everyone. About how we build our personal relationships in new conditions, in a changed world. Directed by Viktor Chuchkov and based on the namesake novel by Zachary Karabashliev.

Снимка с Юки

A Picture with Yuki (2019) A dramatic romance inspired by a story by Miroslav Penkov, in which a Bulgarian man and a Japanese woman meet in Canada, where they both lead an immigrant life, fall in love with each other and get married. Directed by Lachezar Avramov.

Физика на тъгата

The Physics of Sorrow (2019). In this animated film using the encaustic, hot-wax painting technique, a rootless, melancholy man sifts through his memories while trying to find his home, family and self. Directed by Theodore Ushev and inspired by Georgi Gospodinov’s bestseller.

A Little Luck for Later (2017). In this dramatic action movie, based on a story by Palmi Ranchev with the same title, two boxers meet by chance in a tram years after their youth match. Directed by Alexander Smolyanov.


Crack! (2015). How deep is the “priceless pearl” hidden that makes us better? Adaptation of the famous tale of Valeri Petrov, “Crack!” is not only for children, but for all who don’t stop seeking the good.


Zift (2008) Directed by Yavor Gardev and based on the novel by Vladislav Todorov, this film is a brilliant postmodern parody that sweeps through politics, dealing with existential truths through a pure genre code.

Module: Music is a Transcript of Emotions

Партитурите на Бетовен

Copying Beethoven (2006). This co-production directed by the great Agnieszka Holland tells about the last years of the life of the genius composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

Представи си: Джон Ленън

Imagine: John Lennon (1988) This biographical documentary is based on a nearly 240-hour film and videotape accidentally shot by John Lennon. The archival footage becomes a fascinating story about the life of one of the most interesting and inspiring men who marked the modern musical era with their creativity.

In memoriam: Jirí Menzel


Cutting It Short (1981) – this beautiful comedy is an evocation of the childhood memories of the glorious writer Bohumil Hrabal in his provincial town of Nymburk, dominated by the local brewery. Directed by Jirí Menzel.


  • Butterfly and Mouse (Bulgaria, 2019) 14:19 min. Directed by Mira Yankova
  • Don’t Tell Mom (Bulgaria, 2020) 13:03 min. Directed by Teodora-Kosara Popova
  • The Priest (Bulgaria, 2020) 18:30 min. Directed by Borislav Kolev
  • Taken Captive (Bulgaria, 2019) 10:00 min. Directed by Asparuh Frangov
  • Deadly Love (Bulgaria) 10:13 min. Directed by Elena Petrova
  • Marta Mia (Italy, 2019) 7:52 min. Directed by Elena Siri
  • The Foreigner (Bulgaria) 5:00 min. Directed by Ani Antonova
  • The Poor People (Russia, 2019) 15 min. Directed by Lolita Naronovich
  • Wind2Win (Bulgaria, 2019) 30 min. Directed by Stoil Dimitrov and Borislav Kamilov

Jury of the Short Film Competition

CineLibri 2020

Martina Apostolova

The talent of the charming Martina Apostolova rose with her debut in the film “Irina”. In addition to being awarded the European Rising Star Prize at the Berlinale 2020, for her role in the feature debut of director Nadezhda Koseva, she won a total of eight awards for best actress at international festivals, including from Warsaw, Tbilisi, Hong Kong, Cottbus. Martina is also fond of football and motorcycles, but theater and cinema are her great passion.

CineLibri 2020

Stefan Denolyubov

Acclaimed Bulgarian actor with dozens of unforgettable roles in cinema and theater. In recent years, he is standing out thanks to his brilliant roles in the films “Glory” and “The Lesson” directed by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, “Directions” and “Rounds” directed by Stephan Komandarev, “While Aya Was Sleeping” directed  by Cvetodar Markov, “A Little Luck for Later” directed by Alexander Smolyanov and others. Denolyubov is the star in the short film “Jump”, which won an award at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival.

CineLibri 2020

Neda Morfova

Neda graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a degree in Film Directing. At the age of 28, she is one of the most sought-after directors in Europe in perhaps the most difficult sector of film production – advertising. She had completed advertising projects in Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Beirut, Kosovo, Lithuania, Latvia, France, Portugal and Austria. Her debut short film “Morning” was presented at numerous festivals and won the “Jameson” award at the 16th International Sofia Film Festival.

CineLibri 2020

Petar Krumov

Petar Krumov studied culturе sciences at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, then graduated from the National Academy of Theater and Film Arts “Krastyo Sarafov”. Krumov made his debut as a writer with the novel “A Hearse, Two Rhinos” (published by “Colibri”), which brought him the national PEROTO award. He is the director of the short film “Shame”, with which he participated in the international competition of the festival in Clermont-Ferrand and was nominated for the award for short film of the European Film Academy 2018.

CineLibri 2020

Kaloyan Bozhilov

Kaloyan Bozhilov graduated in Film and Television Cinematography at the National Academy of Theater and Film Arts “Krastyo Sarafov” in 2010. He is the cinematographer of the feature films “Aga” (2017) and “Alienation” (2013) directed by Milko Lazarov, and Holly Light, directed by Georgi Tenev , as well as a number of short and documentary films. For his cinematography work in “Ága” he has received awards from the East-West Golden Arch, International Film Festival & Awards Macao, Golden Rose 2018, RAVAC International Film Festival.


Benjamin Voisin

Benjamin Voisin is an actor and writer, known for La dernière vie de Simon (2019), Emma (2016) and French-Belgian drama Summer of 85 (2020) directed by François Ozon.

György Somogyi

György Somogyi is a screenwriter, writer and actor, known for Kaland (2011), A kockaember (2017) and Pilátus (2020) directed by Linda Dombrovszky.

CineLibri 2020

Burhan Qurbani

Burhan Qurbani is a German film director, writer and actor of Afghan origin. His modern day adaption of Alfred Döblin’s modern classic novel Berlin Alexanderplatz was selected for the main competition of the 2020 Berlin International Film festival.

Prof. Fernando Álvarez Palacios

Fernando Álvarez Palacios is a prominent Spanish philosopher and researcher of Miguel de Unamuno’s works.

Prof. Lazar Koprinarov

Lazar Koprinarov is a Bulgarian philosopher and diplomat. He was ambassador to Venezuela from 2001 to 2006. His research interests include social philosophy, aesthetics, European studies and international relations.


  • Opening Ceremony with a spectacular musical performance and interpretation of a song by Edith Piaf, followed by premiere screening of the film The Godmother directed by Jean-Paul Salome
  • Both LIVE and ONLINE screenings of over 40 films, including feature films, documentaries and short films, in eight Bulgarian cities. Competition program of 7 films and parallel program of several sections
  • Official Award Ceremony in the presence of Bulgarian members of the Jury and with video participation of the International Jury members. Announcing the winner by Jean-Jacques Annaud was followed by a screening of his cult film “The Lover”
  • Glamorous Gala evenings of European and Non-European cultures, including France, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, in cooperation with the respective cultural institutes and embassies
  • Online presentation of Alejandro Amenabar’s film While at War inspired by the works and personality of the writer and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno
  • CineLibri award and honorary statuette for the best literary adaptation of the year – it was received in absentia by Burhan Qurbani for his film Berlin Alexanderplatz (2020)
  • Short Film Competition of films inspired by various works of literature, including short stories, novels, poetry etc. Award ceremony and screenings of the distinguished films
  • In memoriam: An evening in memory of Jirí Menzel, one of the masters of comedy film art, a representative of the Czech New Wave
  • David Lynch and His Wild Heart: Presentation of the (auto) biography “Room to Dream”, followed by a screening of the film “Wild at Heart”
  • IMAGINE – an evening dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the birth of John Lennon and the 40th anniversary of his tragic death
  • Educational webinar “From the Novel to the Screen” with the participation of famous Bulgarian playwrights and writers Boyan Papazov and Georgi Tenev
  • Educational webinar: “The Games of Content Hunger: Bulgarian Perspectives” with the participation of Nikolay Yordanov, producer, television screenwriter and lecturer at National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts
  • Educational webinar “Psychoanalysis and Cinema” with lecturer Svetlozar Vassilev, psychotherapist and writer