Bulgaria’s Cinemania - temptation for film connoisseurs

Photo fuse: Sylvia Petrova

On November 13 the 28TH edition of the Cinemania festival begins. This year the festival will continue until November 30 and includes about 60 of the most expected and critically acclaimed films of the past year. The National Palace of Culture is organizer of the event in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, the Sofia Municipality, The EC Representation in Bulgaria, as well as foreign embassies and culture institutes.

“For us, cinema is art, not just industry or entertainment. We focus on this, making it a leading motive in our choice of films in this year's program of the World Panorama," Hermina Azarian of the Cinemania team told reporters. "When we talk about films, the stories the messages in them are important for us. The director, cameraman and actors  are also of great importance.That is why within two weeks the audience will see the latest movies by renowned directors such as Andrei Konchalovsky, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Volker Schlöndorff, Krzysztof Zanussi, starring actors of different generations, including Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, John Malkovich, Juliette Binoche, Scarlett Johansson."

Renowned critic Vladimir Trifonov is responsible for the festival program for yet another year. He pointed out that out of nearly 60 titles only 11 films will be released for cinema distribution after the forum. The rest will have exclusive screenings only during the festival. Guests will be able to see a number of movies that had their world premiere at prestigious festivals such as Venice, Toronto, London and Rome. There are six Bulgarian movies included in the program. The official opening is on November 13 in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture with the movie "The Sinking of Sozopol" by director Kostadin Bonev. Just some 2 weeks ago the work won two "Golden Rose" awards - for best screenplay - Ina Valchanova and Kostadin Bonev, and Best actress - Snezhina Petrova. On November 14, there will be a screening of the documentary "Listen" by journalist Diana Ivanova which focuses on Radio Free Europe and its influence in Bulgaria during communism. "Citizen Cinema" of Kosta Bikov tells the story of the legendary critic Tony Andreikov.

I used to flee from the army in order to watch movies during Cinemania, journalist Georgi Toshev says. This year he is the author of three documentaries in the program.

"This year great Bulgarian actress Tatyana Lolova turned 80. She fled away from civilization and nobody could even whish her happy birthday. Tatyana Lolova is a phenomenon in Bulgarian cinema and I am very happy that I managed to create the film “Portrait of a Lady " dedicated to this outstanding actress. It presents a very emotional meeting in Paris with Tatiana's brother, with her closest people who had never allowed to be filmed before. Through these meeting one learns about the whole life of Tatyana Lolova. I love ABBA and am very proud that I'm still the only journalist who has been able to meet with all four members of the Swedish band. My documentary about them is included in the program. The third film is dedicated to Bogdana Karadocheva - a story about her opportunity to live and work in Paris, about the obstacles in her life and her stay in the house of Derrida together with singer Emil Dimitrov, as well as many untold stories. The movie "Paris of Bogdana Karadocheva" shows why the singer did not perform in Olympia Hall, given that she had been invited to sing there. Viewers also learn about the activities of the State Security before 1989 in relation to the singer." 

The children's program of “Cinemania" is also very rich. Thanks to the European Commission there will be free screenings in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture, said Peter Natzev of the EC representation:

"It is great pleasure for the EC Representation to support this year's" Cinemania "and in particular the children's movies. Often when we talk about Europe and the EU, we are just talking about European funding or integration policies. We often forget that the EU is a union of nations that share common values such as peace and democracy and have common cultural heritage to some degree. Culture and art is what unites Europe. I hope that from now on our partnership with the festival will continue to show the Bulgarian citizens that Europe is not only money, not just policy. It is culture, art and cinema and all that connects us and gives us a sense of being together.”

English: Alexander Markov

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