CineLibri 2022 Opening Ceremony

Cinelibri 2023

The best of CineLibri 2023

The ninth edition of Cinelibri International Book-to-Film Festival (Cinelibri IFF), which annually selects and shows the most original adaptations of literary works, was held between October 6-29 in Sofia and six other locations in Bulgaria – Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo and Stara Zagora.  With the motto “Metamorphoses”, the festival marked 140 years since the birth of Franz Kafka, one of the most significant and influential figures in the literature of the 20th century, author of the emblematic novella “The Metamorphosis”, first published in 1915 and reprinted worldwide to this day.

The grand opening ceremony took place on October 6th in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia. Maestro Zhivko Petrov, one of the greatest Bulgarian jazz musicians, played a nocturne by Chopin, Op. 9, No. 2 in E flat major – symbolic start of the ninth edition. Spectacular animation accompanied the musical performance, transporting the viewers into the world of books and cinema with an emphasis on the metamorphoses of literary characters and plots on the big screen. After that Jacqueline Wagenstein, founder and director of the festival, took the stage in order to welcome the audience. The highlight of the evening was the pre-premiere screening of “Poor Things” – undoubtedly one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year – directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and based on the 1992 novel of the same name authored by the great Scottish writer Alasdair Gray.

Viewers and guests of Cinelibri 2023 had access to more than 60 film productions and co-productions awarded at Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, San Sebastian and other festivals. The genre-stylistic and thematic diversity of films, traditionally divided into several sections, was impressive. Each of the selected film titles was an example of ingenuity and courage in “translating” the respective literary work into the language of cinema. The latest festival edition covered 3 international competitions: best feature film, best documentary, best short film. For the first time this year there was a „Cinema with a Cause“ section which presented films dealing with current topics – an unequivocal testimony that modern filmmakers on a global scale are unable to remain indifferent against the background of disturbing trends and “metamorphoses” in all spheres of life. Besides, dozens of side events, discussions, celebrations, workshops and, of course, public meetings with world-famous guests and Jury members were held.

International full-length feature film competition program encompassed 10 titles. Among them was the extraordinary Spanish romance drama “Un Amor” (“One Love”) based on a bestselling novel by Sara Mesa. Directed by Isabel Coixet, the film won the Cinelibri Best Book-to-Film Adaptation Award 2023. The esteemed Jury of Cinelibri competition for a full-length feature film based on work of literature this year was presented by: William Baldwin (actor, producer, writer), Léa Todorov (director and screenwriter), Bruno Rosato (casting director and producer), Carla Nieto (actress), Ivan Burnev (actor). William Baldwin presided the Jury. Apart from the Jury members numerous amazing creators arrived in Sofia for “live” presentations of their films and books. Among them was Mike Downey, Irish-British film producer, writer, screenwriter, publicist and university lecturer, president of the European Film Academy and Honorary Chairman of the LUX Audience European Film Award.

Except the opening ceremony on October 6th, another festive film premiere in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia took place on October 20th, immediately after the Grand Awarding Ceremony was held. The film premiere took place on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the birth of the indisputable master of literary adaptations for the big screen – Roman Polanski. Spectators in Hall 1 watched his latest film, though not based on work of literature –  the grotesque black comedy “The Palace” (2023) written by Ewa Piaskowska and Jerzy Skolimowski.

 

Cinelibri International documentary competition presented five titles listed below. “Anselm” by Wim Wenders was awarded the grand prize by the Jury presented by Bulgarian directors, producers and experts in the field of documentaries: Borislav Kolev, Tonislav Hristov and Bilyana Kirilova. Within the International short film competition eight titles had nominations. A Jury consisting of Georgi Ivanov, Daria Simeonova and Zornitsa Asparukhova awarded the prize to the short film “Theatrical Romance” directed by Teodora-Kosara Popova. The award ceremony and screening of the nominated films took place on October 28 at Euro Cinema.

Traditionally, the parallel program comprised a series of Gala Evenings of different cultures. Supported by the embassies and cultural institutes of the respective countries, these events brought together film experts, literary critics and diplomats of Poland, Finland, Romania, Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Hungary, Japan. As part of the educational module, a two-day cycle of lectures was held. During the first day, the semiotic aspects of the transformations of literary texts into film scripts were discussed. The second set of lectures was devoted to current trends in film distribution and promotion of films based on literary works.

Jury of CineLibri 2023, Feature Film Competition

Уилям Болдуин

William Baldwin – President

Born in 1963 in Massapequa, New York, William Baldwin is a famous American actor, producer and writer, and the second-youngest Baldwin of the four Baldwin brothers. He starred in over 30 films of varied genres. Baldwin’s feature film debut was in Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July” followed by “Internal Affairs”. Then he starred in big-budget films such as “Flatliners” (1990), a science fiction psychological horror directed by Joel Schumacher. As a producer, William Baldwin co-produced the independent film “Lymelife” starring Cynthia Nixon and his brother Alec.

Леа Тодоров

Léa Todorov

Léa Todorov is a film director, writer and actress of Bulgarian-French origin, the daughter of the world-famous philosopher Tsvetan Todorov and the French-Canadian writer Nancy Huston. Lea directed the documentaries “Saving Humanity During Office Hours“ (2012) and “Russian Utopia“ (2015). Her latest directorial project is “La Nouvelle femme”(“The New Woman“), a biopic drama dedicated to Maria Montessori.

Бруно Розато

Bruno Rosato

Born in Montréal, Canada, Bruno Rosato began his career in the entertainment industry in the late 1990s, working as a casting assistant on various television shows and films. He eventually moved up to become a casting director and producer, now best known for his work on the films: “Misanthrope: To Catch a Killer“ (2023); “Pieces of a Woman“ (2020) with the “Oscar” nominee Vanessa Kirby; “Target Number One“ (2020) featuring Josh Hartnett and Antoine Olivier Pilon; “Mafia Inc.“ (2019); “The Jacket“ (2005); “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind“ (2002).

Карла Нието

Carla Nieto

The daughter of politician Marina Geli and actor Rafael Nieto, Carla Nieto graduated in Spanish philology and dramatic art in Barcelona, then moved to Madrid. In 2007, she debuted simultaneously in cinema and television. Her first significant television appearance was in the series “The Odyssey Syndrome”. Carla gained fame with film productions „Café solo o con ellas“, „The Thirteen Roses“, „Consciousness“.

Иван Бърнев

Ivan Barnev

Born in 1973, Ivan Barnev is a famous Bulgarian film and theatre actor. In cinema, Barnev is best known for his performance as Jan Dítě in “I Served the King of England“ (2006) directed by Jiří Menzel, as well as with his collaborations with filmmakers Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, Ivaylo Hristov, Stefan Komandarev. In 2022, Barnev starred in the Spanish-Bulgarian comedy-drama film “Vasil”, for which he received the award for Best Actor at the Valladolid International Film Festival together with his screen partner Karra Elejalde.

OFFICIAL SELECTION, Feature Film Competition

Копенхаген не съществуваCopenhagen Does Not Exist (Denmark 2023). Psychological drama directed by Martin Skovbjerg, written by Eskil Vogt and based on the novel “Sander” by Terje Holtet Larsen. Original title: “København findes ikke”. Stars: Angela Bundalovic, Jonas Holst Schmidt, Zlatko Buric

Страсти в кухнята

The Taste of Things (France 2023). Gourmet romance originally titled as “The Pot-au-Feu” or “La passion de Dodin Bouffant, written and directed by Anh Hùng Trần and based on Marcel Rouff’s novel “The Passionate Epicure”. Cannes’ Winner of Best Director prize and Palme d’Or nominee. Stars: Juliette Binoche, Benoît Magimel

Възходът и падението на другаря ЗилоThe Rise and Fall of Comrade Zylо (Albania 2023). Political satire directed by Fatmir Koçi. Adaptation of eponymous Albanian novel by Dritëro Agolli set during the Soviet Regime in the 70’s. Original title: “Shkelqimi dhe renia e shokut Zylo”. Stars: Aleks Seitaj, Donald Shehu, Amos Zaharia

Операция „Наполеон“Operation Napoleon (Iceland, Germany 2023). Vehement conspiracy thriller directed by Óskar Thór Axelsson, written by Marteinn Thorisson and based on the eponymous novel of Arnaldur Indriðason. Stars: Vivian Ólafsdóttir, Jack Fox, Iain Glen

Само ние двамата

Just the Two of Us (France 2023). Psychological drama thriller on domestic violence directed by Valérie Donzelli, written by Valérie Donzelli and Audrey Diwan, and based on the novel “L’amour et les forêts” by Éric Reinhardt. Stars: Virginie Efira, Melvil Poupaud

Една любов

One Love (Spain 2023). Deeply moving dramatic romance directed by Isabel Coixet and based on the eponymous bestselling novel by Sara Mesa about a young translator, who has just moved to a backwater rural town with eccentric residents. Original title: “Un Amor”. Stars: Laia Costa, Hovik Keuchkerian, Hugo Silva

Чума

Plague (Bulgaria 2023). Drama set in 19 century, inspired by a story by Yordan Yovkov, a beloved Bulgarian narrator. Directed by Ivan Vladimirov and written by prof. Boyan Biolchev. Stars: Svezhen Mladenov, Evelina Bibova, Matei Michev, Dobrin Dosev, Velislav Pavlov

Прекрасно лято

The Beautiful Summer (Italy 2023). Drama with impressive cinematography written and directed by Laura Luchetti and based on Cesare Pavese’s novel of the same name, set in 1938. Original title: “La bella estate”. Stars: Yile Yara Vianello, Deva Cassel, Nicolas Maupas

КапитанътThe Capitan (Italy, Belgium 2023). Biographical drama about Salvatore Todaro, the captain of the Cappellini, directed by Edoardo De Angelis, written by Edoardo De Angelis and famous writer Sandro Veronesi. Original title: “Comandante”. Stars: Pierfrancesco Favino, Johan Heldenbergh, Massimiliano Rossi

Любо

Lubo (Italy, Switzerland 2023). Drama about the principles of eugenics and the blurred lines between good and evil, directed by Giorgio Diritti, written by Mario Cavatore, Giorgio Diritti and Fredo Valla, “Golden Lion” nominee. Stars: Franz Rogowski, Valentina Bellè, Joel Basman, Noémi Besedes

AWARDS 2023, Feature Film Competition

Cinelibri Best Literary Adaptation Award 2023 in the full-length feature film competition was bestowed on the Spanish drama “One Love” (2023), originally titled “Un Amor”, directed by Isabel Coixet and based on the novel “Un Amor” authored by Sara Mesa.

The award was accompanied by an exquisite statuette.

The decision was motivated as follows: “One Love” is an intimate and singular film, innovative in terms of storytelling, the atmosphere of which captures you powerfully. Director explores the dark sides of an obsessive passion – irrational and rather vague, at the same time recreated extremely truthfully and convincingly. The film focuses on a disturbing angle of the subject of emotional self-discovery and self-expression in unusual circumstances and offers an interesting example of “translation” of a book into the language of cinema. The raw majesty of the scenery, the magnetic performances, the moving characters and the all-consuming contrast between primal strength and desperate vulnerability contribute to its impact.”

Key criteria for identifying and determining the winner:

  • an original, visionary director’s approach to the interpretation of the respective literary work or true events with the expressive means of cinema;
  • excellently adapted screenplay, perfect casting, masterfully crafted characters
  • influential cinematography and skillful transmission of the messages of the literary work in visual language.

CONTEMPORARY PRODUCTIONS OUT OF COMPETITION

Module: Biographical Films

Първо танцувай

Dance First (USA 2023). Biopic drama about Samuel Beckett’s life: Parisian bon vivant, World War II Resistance fighter, Nobel Prize-winning playwright, philandering husband and recluse. Directed by James Marsh, written by Neil Forsyth. Stars: Aidan Gillen, Gabriel Byrne, Barry O’Connor

Мария Монтесори: Новата жена

The New Woman: Montessori (France 2023). Partly fictionalized biopic drama on the life and work of Maria Montessori, the prominent Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her method teaching method that helps children with disabilities. Written and directed by Léa Todorov. Stars: Jasmine Trinca, Leïla Bekhti, Pietro Ragusa

Данте

Dante (Italy2022). Ten years after Dante Alighieri’s death, Giovanni Boccaccio travels to Ravenna in search of his daughter Beatrice to whom he must deliver ten gold florins as compensation for unjust exile. Written and directed by Pupi Avati, inspired by Boccaccio’s essay “Little Treatise in Praise of Dante”.

Бели сенки

White Shadows (Portugal 2023). A biopic fantasy drama on the life of highly regarded writer José Cardoso Pires, who suffers a stroke and loses his memory at the age of 71. Directed by Fernando Vendrell, written by José Cardoso Pires, Rui Cardoso Martins, Fernando Vendrell. Stars: Rui Morisson, Natália Luiza, Rafael Gomes

Странност

Strangeness (Italy 2022). Fictionalized biopic about Luigi Pirandello, the famous writer and playwright, who’s coming back to Sicily to meet two actors rehearsing a new show with amateurs. Directed by Roberto Andò, written by Roberto Andò, Ugo Chiti, Massimo Gaudioso. Stars: Toni Servillo, Salvatore Ficarra, Valentino Picone.

Алма и Оскар

Alma & Oscar (Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic 2022) Romantic drama which explores the passionate and tumultuous three-year relationship between the Grand Dame of Viennese society Alma Mahler and the Austrian artist and enfant terrible Oskar Kokoschka. Directed by Dieter Berner.

Module: Parallel Program

Убийците на цветната луна

Killers of the Flower Moon (USA 2023). A sobering appraisal of America’s relationship with Indigenous peoples and yet another artistic zenith for director Martin Scorsese and his collaborators. Written by Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese, David Grann. Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone

Сидони в Япония

Sidonie in Japan (Switzerland, Japan, Germany, France 2023). Isabelle Huppert plays a grieving French author, still haunted by the ghost of her late husband, on a cathartic book tour in Japan. Gentle and empathetic drama directed by Élise Girard’s, written by Maud Ameline and Élise Girard.

Звярът

The Beast (France, Canada 2023). Science fiction romantic drama film directed by Bertrand Bonello from a screenplay he co-wrote with Guillaume Bréaud and Benjamin Charbit, freely inspired by Henry James’ 1903 novella “The Beast in the Jungle”. Stars: Léa Seydoux, George MacKay

Редът на времето

The Order of Time (Italy, Belgium 2023). Drama directed by Liliana Cavani, from a screenplay written by Cavani and Paolo Costella in collaboration with physicist Carlo Rovelli. The film is freely inspired by Rovelli’s 2017 essay of the same name. It stars a brilliant ensemble cast: Alessandro Gassmann, Claudia Gerini, Edoardo Leo, Kseniya Rappoport, Ángela Molina.

Престъплението е мое

The Crime Is Mine (France 2023). Set in the 1930s, this elegant crime comedy, directed by François Ozon, follows an actress who gains notoriety after getting acquitted of murder for self-defense. It is a loose adaptation of the 1934 play “Mon crime” by Georges Berr and Louis Verneuil. Stars: Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Rebecca Marder, Isabelle Huppert, Fabrice Luchini

Господин Блейк на вашите услуги

Mr. Blake At Your Service! (Luxembourg, France 2023). Charming comedy-drama film (also titled “Well Done!” and “Complètement cramé!”), directed by Gilles Legardinier and starring Fanny Ardant, John Malkovich, Émilie Dequenne. It is based on Legardinier’s novel and it is also Legardinier’s feature directorial debut. Written by Legardinier and Christel Henon.

Диаболик: Гинко в атака!

Diabolik: Ginko Attacks (Italy, France 2022). Diabolik and Eva Kant team up against Inspector Ginko in this crime action film directed by the Manetti Bros. and based on the 1968 Diabolik’s comic strip “Ginko all’attacco” by Angela and Luciana Giussani. Stars: Giacomo Gianniotti, Miriam Leone, Valerio Mastandrea, Monica Bellucci

По черните пътеки

On the Wandering Paths (France 2023). Based on Sylvain Tesson’s critically acclaimed book, this existential drama based on a true story, reveals a personal struggle and above all else, a personal triumph. Because nature has the power to heal deep wounds. Directed by Denis Imbert with Jean Dujardin, Jonathan Zaccaï, Joséphine Japy, Izia Higelin, Anny Duperey.

Плитката

The Braid (France, Italy, Canada 2023). A moving story of hope and renewal, brightened by the presence of three remarkable actresses, “The Braid” is a celebration of womanhood and the power of connection and perseverance, adapted into the big screen by the author of the novel Laetitia Colombani. Stars: Kim Raver, Fotinì Peluso, Mia Maelzer

Невероятното странстване на Харолд Фрай

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (United Kingdom 2023). A heartwarming and uplifting drama about aging, grief and guilt, but also celebrating everyday joys. Directed by Hettie Macdonald and based on Rachel Joyce’s bestseller “The Incredible Wanderings of Harold Fry” (2023). Stars: Jim Broadbent, Penelope Wilton, Earl Cave, Linda Bassett

Аз съм бездната

I am the Abyss (Italy 2022). An intricate and disturbing thriller about a serial killer set in an atmospheric lakeside setting. Written and directed by Donato Carrisi, the film is based on the book of the same name by Donato Carrisi. Stars: Michela Cescon, Gabriel Montesi, Sara Ciocca

Екзорсистът: Вярващият

The Exorcist: Believer (USA 2023). Supernatural horror film directed by David Gordon Green, who co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Sattler from a story by Scott Teems, Danny McBride and Green. The sixth installment in “The Exorcist” franchise, it serves as a direct sequel to “The Exorcist” (1973). Based on 1971 eponymous horror novel by William Peter Blatty.

Module: Cinema with a Cause

Плитката

The Braid (France, Italy, Canada 2023). A moving story of hope and renewal, brightened by the presence of three remarkable actresses, “The Braid” is a celebration of womanhood and the power of connection and perseverance, adapted into the big screen by the author of the novel Laetitia Colombani. Stars: Kim Raver, Fotinì Peluso, Mia Maelzer

Филип

Filip (Poland 2022). In 1943, Filip, a young Polish Jew, escapes the massacre of the Warsaw Ghetto. Outstanding, irreverent war drama directed by Michal Kwiecinski and based on Leopold Tyrmand’s semi-biographical novel. Stars: Eryk Kulm, Victor Meutelet, Caroline Hartig

Христо Пимпирев

Being Hristo Pimpirev (Bulgaria 2023). The authors of the film seek an answer to the question of what drives a true scientist and discoverer to follow his dreams. Prof. Pimpirev himself tells about the first scientific expeditions of Bulgarian geologists and about the challenges on the way to Antarctica.

Мария Монтесори: Новата жена

The New Woman: Montessori (France 2023). Partly fictionalized biopic drama on the life and work of Maria Montessori, the prominent Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her method teaching method that helps children with disabilities. Written and directed by Léa Todorov. Stars: Jasmine Trinca, Leïla Bekhti, Pietro Ragusa

Само ние двамата

Just the Two of Us (France 2023). Psychological drama thriller on domestic violence directed by Valérie Donzelli and based on the novel “L’amour et les forêts” by Éric Reinhardt. The filmmakers delve into those nuanced gray areas where the victim of abuse feels forced to compromise and where the abuser vacillates between tenderness and violence. Stars: Virginie Efira, Melvil Poupaud

Ваймар Експрес

Weimar Express (Bulgaria 2022). When literary glory overrides humanity, a journey becomes a road to Hell. Milena Fuchedzhieva’s debut documentary is a chilling study of the propaganda for Nazi cultural hegemony over Europe by Joseph Goebbels, Fanny Popova-Mutafova, Knut Hamsun, Robert Brasillach.

Module: Thematic Gala Events of Cultures

Процесът

The Trial (France, Italy, West Germany 1962). An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges. Misterious drama thriller directed by Orson Welles and based on the legendary novel of Franz Kafka. Stars: Anthony Perkins, Arnoldo Foà, Jess Hahn, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider

Човек

A Man (Japan 2022). Psychological thriller directed by Kei Ishikawa, mixed with reflections on the nature of love and identity. The meditative narrative explores our enduring connection to the people we’ve lost. Based on a novel by Keiichiro Hirano, the film premiered at the Horizons section of the 79th edition of the Venice Film Festival.

Истории, които не са за разказване

Stories Not to Be Told (Spain 2022). Meeting unexpected person, suffering a public humiliation or making an absurd decision… Superbly played, directed and edited, the latest Cesc Gay’s film  tells five stories which feel like one sardonic, yet sympathetic ode to humans’ inability to govern their own emotions.

Приказка за любовта и мрака

Tale of Love and Darkness (Israel, USA 2015). Powerful drama written and directed by Natalie Portman in her directorial feature debut. Based on the memoir of the same name by Israeli author Amos Oz, it takes place in Jerusalem in the last years of Mandatory Palestine and the first years of independent Israel.

Четирима непораснали възрастни

Four Little Adults (Finland 2023). Touching and humane portrait of grown-ups with growing pains. There is a lot of love in the relationships among the four, but no matter how hard they try to avoid suffering, challenges seem to remain. Written and directed by Selma Vilhunen.

Здравей, мой живот!

Be My Dad! (Hungary 2022). A burnt-out writer’s life is turned upside down when his never-before-seen son walks into his life. An eccentric and humane comedy enriched with fantasy element, written and directed by Gábor Rohonyi and Csaba Vékes. Stars: Szabolcs Thuróczy, Mór Pásztor-Várady, Juli Básti

Високо и ниско: Джон Галиано

High & Low: John Galliano (Great Britain 2023) Created as a documentary investigation, the film reflects the approach to the work of the eccentric fashion designer John Galliano, outlines some peculiarities of his character and gives insight into the motivations behind the utterance of anti-Semitic insults. Directed by Kevin Macdonald.

Бели сенки

White Shadows (Portugal 2023). A biopic fantasy drama on the life of highly regarded writer José Cardoso Pires, who suffers a stroke and loses his memory at the age of 71. Directed by Fernando Vendrell, written by José Cardoso Pires, Rui Cardoso Martins, Fernando Vendrell. Stars: Rui Morisson, Natália Luiza, Rafael Gomes

Умберто Еко: Библиотеката на света

Umberto Eco: A Library of the World (Italy 2022). Engrossing portrait of a thinker forever questing, contemplative, opinionated, engaging and funny. Directed by Davide Ferrario, this documentary celebrates the writer and philosopher Umberto Eco and his many bookshelves, but it’s his symbolic appeal that comes across above all.

Момичето хрътка

A Greyhound of a Girl (Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, United Kingdom, Estonia, Germany, Latvia 2023). Animated drama film, directed by Enzo D’Alò. It is an adaptation of the 2011 novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle. Mary is an eleven-year-old girl with a passion for cooking, absorbing information from her grandmother who is a wonderful cook.

Копенхаген не съществува

Copenhagen Does Not Exist (Denmark 2023). Psychological drama directed by Martin Skovbjerg, written by Eskil Vogt and based on the novel “Sander” by Terje Holtet Larsen. Original title: “København findes ikke”. Stars: Angela Bundalovic, Jonas Holst Schmidt, Zlatko Buric

Филип

Filip (Poland 2022). In 1943, Filip, a young Polish Jew, escapes the massacre of the Warsaw Ghetto. Outstanding, irreverent war drama directed by Michal Kwiecinski and based on Leopold Tyrmand’s semi-biographical novel. Stars: Eryk Kulm, Victor Meutelet, Caroline Hartig

Алма и Оскар

Alma & Oscar (Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic 2022) Romantic drama which explores the passionate and tumultuous three-year relationship between the Grand Dame of Viennese society Alma Mahler and the Austrian artist and enfant terrible Oskar Kokoschka. Directed by Dieter Berner.

Между революциите

Between Revolutions (Romania, Qatar, Iran, Croatia 2023). A bittersweet, intimate memoir of people’s struggle for a brighter future and of two people’s unfailing friendship. Two women separated by political revolutions find connection through letters, defying distance and turmoil. Directed by Vlad Petri, written by Lavinia Braniște and Vlad Petri.

Галавечер на Франция: Филмов пърформънс „България в мен“,

Tsvetan Todorov, Bulgaria and me (France 2022). Intimate film performance authored by Léa Todorov. Unusual genre-hybrid work dedicated to her father Tsvetan Todorov – philosopher, semiotician, literary theorist, writer, head of the Center for Arts and Languages Studies in Paris, professor at Yale and Harvard, one of the most significant intellectuals of our time.

Module: Films for Children

Момичето хрътка

A Greyhound of a Girl (Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, United Kingdom, Estonia, Germany, Latvia 2023). Animated drama film, directed by Enzo D’Alò. It is an adaptation of the 2011 novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle. Mary is an eleven-year-old girl with a passion for cooking, absorbing information from her grandmother who is a wonderful cook.

Приключенията на барон Мюнхаузен

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (United Kingdom, USA, Germany 1988). An account of Baron Munchausen’s supposed travels and fantastical experiences across late 18th-century Europe. Adventure fantasy film co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, starring John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Robin Williams and Uma Thurman.

Героичната шесторка

Big Hero 6 (USA, Japan 2014). Animated superhero film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, which is loosely based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name created by “Man of Action”. It was directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams.

Смелата Ваяна

Moana (USA 2016). Animated musical fantasy action-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches Moana’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the Demigod to set things right.

Зоотрополис

Zootopia (USA 2016). Animated action comedy produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. In a world populated by anthropomorphic mammals, Judy Hopps, a rabbit from rural Bunnyburrow, fulfills her childhood dream of becoming the first rabbit police officer in the urban city of Zootopia.

Замръзналото кралство

Frozen (USA 2013). Animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen”, the film depicts a princess who sets off on a journey alongside an iceman, his reindeer, and a snowman to find her estranged sister.

JURY OF CINELIBRI 2023, International Documentary Competition

Борислав Колев

Borislav Kolev

Borislav Kolev is a screenwriter and director of documentaries and iconic television formats of the Bulgarian National Television. He directed the documentaries “The Eye of the Minotaur” and “Jam Session”. Besides, Kolev is the screenwriter and director of the documentaries “Stoichkov”, “Salto Mortale”, “Rock’n’Roll”. In 2022, he directed the documentary “Theodore Ushev: Unseen Connections”, awarded with the Special Jury Prize at Cinelibri IFF.

Тонислав Христов

Tonislav Hristov

Tonislav Hristov is a filmmaker known for “The Good Postman” (2016), nominated for the Best Documentary at Sundance Film Festival and for the European Film Awards. His documentary “The Magic Life of V” (2019) was nominated for the Best International Documentary at Sundance and had its European Premiere at Berlinale. In 2022, Hristov made his feature film debut – the film „The Good Driver“, a co-production of Bulgaria, Finland and Sweden.

Биляна Кирилова

Bilyana Kirilova

Bilyana Kirilova authored more than 15 short films. Her debut full-length documentary film – VOEV, brought her awards for debut and best Bulgarian documentary from the „Master of Art“ festival 2022, the Audience Award from the Rodopi Film Fest 2022, the Screenplay Award and the Special Award of the Jury of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers – “Vasil Gendov“ 2023.

Documentary Nominations

Между революциите

Between Revolutions (Romania, Qatar, Iran, Croatia 2023). A bittersweet, intimate memoir of people’s struggle for a brighter future and of two people’s unfailing friendship. Two women separated by political revolutions find connection through letters, defying distance and turmoil. Directed by Vlad Petri, written by Lavinia Braniște and Vlad Petri.

Анселм

Anselm (Germany 2023). Anselm Kiefer is one of the greatest contemporary painters and sculptors. The narrative of his past blurs the line between film and painting and offers the viewer unique cinematic experience that dives deep into the artist’s work. Written and directed by Wim Wenders.

Малкото тъжно момиче

Little Girl Blue (France, Belgium 2023). Biographical documental drama written and directed by Mona Achache, based on the life of her mother, the writer and photographer Carole Achache, starring Marion Cotillard as Carole Achache and Mona Achache as herself. The film had its world premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival in the Special Screenings section.

Всичко за Мартин Зутер. Освен истината

Everything About Martin Suter. Everything But the Truth (Switzerland, Germany 2022). This film, directed by André Schäfer, is not a classic portrait but a documentary using fiction to bring Martin Suter’s novels to life while introducing us to the author behind the stories on a whole new level. “Fantasy is usually more truthful than reality itself” says Suter.

Умберто Еко: Библиотеката на света

Umberto Eco: A Library of the World (Italy 2022). Engrossing portrait of a thinker forever questing, contemplative, opinionated, engaging and funny. Directed by Davide Ferrario, this documentary celebrates the writer and philosopher Umberto Eco and his many bookshelves, but it’s his symbolic appeal that comes across above all.

Ваймар Експрес

Weimar Express (Bulgaria 2022). When literary glory overrides humanity, a journey becomes a road to Hell. Milena Fuchedzhieva’s debut documentary is a chilling study of the propaganda for Nazi cultural hegemony over Europe by Joseph Goebbels, Fanny Popova-Mutafova, Knut Hamsun, Robert Brasillach.

AWARDS 2023, Documentary Competition

Cinelibri Award 2023 in the documentary film competition was bestowed on the German film “Anselm” written and directed by Wim Wenders. Visually thrilling and refreshingly unconventional, the film pays mesmerizing tribute to a brilliant artist’s life and legacy.

Wim Wenders creates a portrait of Anselm Kiefer, one of the most innovative and important painters and sculptors of our time. Shot in 3D and 6K-resolution, the film presents a cinematic experience of the artist’s work which explores human existence and the cyclical nature of history, inspired by literature, poetry, philosophy, science, mythology, and religion. For over two years, Wenders traced Kiefer’s path from his native Germany to his current home in France, connecting the stages of his life to the essential places of his career that spans more than five decades.

JURY OF CINELIBRI 2023, International Short Film Competition

Георги Иванов

Georgi Ivanov

Georgi Ivanov has more than 15 years of experience as a screenwriter and creator of TV films and series. He has many distinctions, including Paramount Plus Award for Best MIA Market Project for miniseries GOLD WAR, Rome (2021), Golden Rose Best Screenplay Award for “Bubble Gum” (2017), Award for Best „Be Epic Film festival – London“ screenplay for the film „Bubble Gum“ (2017). The short film „Maybe Tomorrow“ won 1st place at “So Independent” Film Festival – short film category.

Дария Симеонова

Daria Simeonova

Daria Simeonova graduated from the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts in Sofia majoring in „Acting for Drama Theater“. Since February 2012, she has been part of the troupe of the “Sofia” Theater. Daria won a Golden Rose Award for her leading role in the feature film “Mother”; she also has honors for her theater roles, incl. nomination for rising star for her role in Jean Anouilh’s play “Antigone” directed by Ivan Dobchev.

Зорница „Зузи“ Аспарухова

Zornitsa „Zuzi“ Asparuhova

Zornitsa „Zuzi“ Asparuhova graduated from the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts in Sofia majoring in “Dramaturgy”. For over ten years, she worked as a writer and editor in TV shows and then in the field of cinema and film criticism. She was an author on the websites Webcafe.bg and Atrakcia.bg. Today Zornitsa is an editor and author of cinema and lifestyle topics in renowned print and online media.

SHORT FILMS: COMPETITION | Module: Fabula Brevis

Океания

Oceania

Bulgarian film written and directed by Stefan Voivodov. The film is dedicated to “flying fish” and recalls George Orwell’s “1984”.

Артистът

The Artist

Bulgarian animated film directed by Milko Lazarov and Dimitar Dimitrov, inspired by Franz Kafka’s story “First Sorrow”.

Антикварят

The Antiquarian

Portuguese animated film written and directed by Manuel Matus Barbosa. The plot adapts a tale written by Francisco de Almeida.

Театрален роман(с)

Theatrical Romance

Bulgarian film directed by Teodora-Kosara Popova, written by Pavla Kotova and Toncho Kraevski. The plot intertwines the stories of two people who are persistently searching for love.

Сценарият

The Script

North Macedonian film written and directed by Aleksandra Kardalevska. Several literary characters get lost in the fantasy world of “The Script”.

Антракт

Intermission

Bulgarian film written and directed by Martin Dinkov, who takes us from the artists’ make-up room through the dark corridors to the stage and the spotlight.

Нарцис

Narcissus

Polish film written and directed by Krzysztof Pachewicz. When Narcissus’ girlfriend refuses to fulfill his sexual fantasy, he falls into an autoerotic trap.

Книга за хората

A Book for People

Bulgarian film written and directed by Vladislav Lakov. Slavina is faced with a difficult choice – to throw away the books of a village or to save them.

AWARDS 2023, Short Film Competition

Cinelibri Award 2023 in the short film competition was bestowed on the Bulgarian film “Theatrical Romance” directed by Teodora-Kosara Popova, written by Pavla Kotova and Toncho Kraevski. The winner received a diploma, a statuette and a financial reward from TatraTea.

SPECIAL GUESTS OF CINELIBRI 2023

Майк Дауни

Mike Downey

Mike Downey – Irish-British film producer, writer, screenwriter, university lecturer. President of the European Film Academy; Honorary Chairman of the LUX Audience European Film Award; founder of the independent production house „Film and Music Entertainment“ (F&ME). He has participated in the production of over 100 feature films. He was awarded the distinction of Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Фатмир Кочи

Fatmir Koçi

Fatmir Koçi  – writer and director of feature films and documentaries since 1988, selected by film festivals in Venice, Rotterdam, London, Thessaloniki, New York and others. Here are some of his film achievements so far: “Tirana Year Zero”, “Amsterdam Express”, “Time of the Comet” and “Elvis Walks Home”. Koçi’s cinema explores the Mediterranean culture and the Balkans’ history.

Милена Фучеджиева

Milena Fuchedjieva

Milena Fuchedjieva is a writer, screenwriter, playwright and journalist born in Sofia. In the 70s she lived and studied in Paris, later emigrated to the USA, and in 2010 she returned to Bulgaria. Milena began writing drama and prose, first in English, producing and staging two plays in Los Angeles. Her documentary „Weimar Express“ (2023) was presented at the Hamsun Days festival in Norway.

Иван Владимиров

Ivan Vladimirov

Ivan Vladimirov is a Bulgarian director and screenwriter. “Sneakers“ (2011) is his first feature film, co-directed with Valeri Yordanov, awarded with the Special Mention Award of Russian Film Clubs of Moscow 2011. In 2020, his film drama “Scenes from the Life of an Actress“ won three awards from the “Golden Rose” film festival – for best screenplay, for direction and the special jury award for best film.

Христо Кафтанджиев

Hristo Kaftandjiev

Hristo Kaftandjiev is a doctor of philological sciences, professor at the Faculty of Journalism of Sofia University and head of the Department of Mass Communications and PR, author of scientific articles on advertising and semiotics. In 2007, he specialized in the University of Westminster in London and in the Institute of Technology in Dublin. He had seminars on marketing communications all over the world.

Христо Пимпирев

Hristo Pimpirev

Hristo Pimpirev is a Bulgarian scientist and polar explorer, professor of Geology at Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“, doyen of the Bulgarian Antarctic Program, a participant in the First National Antarctic Expedition in the season 1987/ 88. He is the leader of the annual national scientific expeditions to the Antarctic and the founding chairman of the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute since 1993.

Лиза Боева

Lisa Boeva

Lisa Boeva is a lecturer at the New Bulgarian University, Department of „Cinema, Advertising and Show Business“, lecturer in art history, screenwriter and director of documentaries. Together with the actor Itzhak Finzi, she created the art educational platform for children and adults „Filizi 33“.

Тодора Радева

Todora Radeva

Todora Radeva graduated in cultural studies at Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“. Radeva is an experienced cultural manager, creator of the „Reading Sofia“ Foundation and writer of fiction. Program director of the Sofia International Literary Festival (2013-2020).

Христо Христозов

Hristo Hristozov

Hristo Hristozov works as a cultural and business consultant in the field of leadership, as well as in the field of cinema and cultural management. In 2011, he joined the Sofia Film Fest team. Since the beginning of 2017 (with a two-year hiatus), he has been program director of Cinema House and works on improving its strategy.

SPECIAL EVENTS 2023

  • Opening Ceremony with a spectacular visual & musical performance, followed by premiere screening of the film Poor Things directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, October 6, Hall 1 of National Palace of Culture in Sofia
  • Live screenings of more than 60 films, incl. feature films, documentaries and short films, in seven Bulgarian cities. Competition program of 10 films and parallel program of several sections
  • Special film screenings within “Cinema with a Cause” section accompanied with socially engaged lectures and discussions
  • Official Award Ceremony in the presence of Jury members, October 20, Hall 1 of National Palace of Culture in Sofia. Announcing the winners by William Baldwin (feature film competition) and Borislav Kolev (documentary competition), followed by a premiere screening of Roman Polanski’s latest film – “The Palace”
  • Official Award Ceremony of short film competition winners in the presence of the respective Jury members, October 28, Euro Cinema
  • Gala Events of European and non-European cultures /Poland, Finland, Romania, Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Hungary, Japan/ in cooperation with  relevant cultural institutes and embassies
  • Online meetings with a number of internationally acclaimed filmmakers and actors incl. Romanian director Vlad Petri, Finnish actress Alma Pöysti and others
  • Lecture of Mike Downey at National Academy for Theater and Film Arts in Sofia and official presentation of his adventurous novel “The Gold of Istria”
  • 100 years since the birth of Italo Calvino – series of events incl. theatre performance, readings and professional discussion dedicated to the celebration
  • The process of the (im)possible metamorphosis: Lisa Boeva, Aleksandra Alexandrova and the actor Vilian Geshev in conversation about Franz Kafka’s oeuvre
  • Meeting with the acclaimed Albanian director Fatmir Koçi: presentation of the novel “Rise and Fall of Comrade Zylo” authored by Dritëro Agolli and premiere screening of the eponymous film adaptation directed by Koçi
  • Educational seminars with lecturers Hristo Kaftandjiev – professor at the Faculty of Journalism of Sofia University and head of the Department of Mass Communications and PR, and Hristo Hristozov, manager of cultural projects with solid experience as film festival program manager

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