10 March 2023
Two new features and one documentary, and two large retrospectives of important Czech filmmakers are a part of the programme at the 27th Sofia International Film Festival, taking place from the 16 to 31 March 2023. Two Czech projects are participating at Sofia Meetings, the festival's industry program.
The Sofia IFF's international competition includes Romania-France-Greece-Bulgaria-Czech Republic coproduction drama To the North by Romanian filmmaker Mihai Mincan which was premiered at Venice IFF. Based on true events, the film tells a thrilling story of two stowaways trying to get to America on the board of a transatlantic ship. Prague based company Background Films is the Czech producer. The Czech Film Fund backed the project in the minority co-production scheme.
The documentary Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limits directed by Jan Šimánek and Petr Záruba about one of the top mountain climbers today will screen in the fitting Extreme/Adrenaline section of the festival. Sofia IFF also invited the feature film directed and written by talented filmmaker Beata Parkanová The Word, the winner of the last Karlovy Vary IFF´s Best Director and Best Actor Awards. The film will be screened in the Special Screenings.
The visitors of the festival will have a chance to see the retrospective programmes of two important Czech filmmakers: Jan Svěrák and Věra Chytilová. Jan Svěrák will personally present to the audience his latest film Bethlehem Light about a writer whose literary characters enter his reality in unexpected ways. The retrospective of his films will include his first features - the popular Elementary School, the low-budget road movie The Ride from 1994, the phantasy comedy Accumulator 1, and of course the Oscar winning Kolya from 1996.
Dark Blue World, a Czech Republic-UK-Germany-Denmark coproduction from 2001celebrating Czech fighter pilots serving in the Royal Air Force during the WW 2 will screen in the programme too, together with another coproduction - Empties (Czech Republic-UK-Denmark) about a retired literature trying to find a new sense of life.
Věra Chytilová, an important representative of the Czech New Wave will be introduced to the audience by her key films from 1960s: her graduation film Ceiling from 1962, the fictional documentary set in the women’s boarding house of a textile factory, A Bag of Flees, Chytilova´s feature debut Something Different, a loose adaptation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve We Eat the Fruit of the Trees of Paradise and of course the famous provocative slapstick comedy/allegory Daisies.
In frame of this programme, the festival will also screen Pearls of the Deep based on the stories of the famous Czech author Bohumil Hrabal and directed by several New Wave filmmakers: Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec, Evald Schorm, Věra Chytilová and Jaromil Jireš.
Two Czech projects will be presented at Sofia Meetings, the festival´s industry programme: Animal directed by Milada Těšitelová and produced by Julie Žáčková from Unit and Sofa in Projects in Bank. The ironic story about a woman who gives birth to a cat was also presented at this year's Berlinale Talents. Highly anticipated Nobody Likes Me, touching the theme of transsexuality, directed by Petr Kazda a Tomáš Weinreb from the production company Black Balance will appear in Works in Progress section.
Adam Ondra is one of the best climbers today, a true virtuoso who has tackled the world’s most difficult rocks and walls. But with the pressure of the media and the audience rising, his desire to climb has changed into the…