Sofia Film Fest 2009: Awards and Juries

March 15, 2009–Israeli-German co-production For My Father took home the Grand Prix at the March 14 closing ceremony of the 13th Sofia International Film Festival, with a special jury award going to local favorite Zift.

The main programme of the 13th edition of Sofia International Film Festival ended with a Gala screening of Wim Wenders' new movie “Palermo Shooting”.

During the festival 262 films were presented (100 features, 50 documentaries, 112 short films) from all over the world. The number of the international guest was 228 directors, producers, actors, festival directors, media and cinema experts.

The Award ceremony of the festival took place at National Palace of Culture on March 14th.


Janos Szasz (Hungary) – director, chairman of the jury

Doror Eran (Israel) – director and producer

Momchil Karamitev (Bulgaria – USA) – actor

Elena Yoncheva (Bulgaria) – journalist

Stefan Arsenijevich (Serbia) – director


The GRAND PRIX Award for best feature film goes to the film “FOR MY FATHER” with director Dror Zahavi. This co production of Israel and Germany is brave film dealing with impossible love with humor and humanism.

The award is diploma, trophy and a prize of 5000 Euro.

The SPECIAL JURY AWARD goes to the film “ZIFT” (Bulgaria) and to the director Javor Gurdev – welcome the first film noir in the Bulgarian National Cinema

THE AWARD FOR THE BEST DIRECTOR from the International Competition provided by UBB (United Bulgarian Bank) goes to Ozcan Alper for his debut film “AUTUMN” (Turkey-Germany). The film is powerful, challenging and emotional cinematic journey from life to death

The award is diploma and cash money prize of 1000 Euro.

JAMESON SHORT FILM AWARD FOR BEST BULGARIAN SHORT FILM goes to “Three sisters and Ahdrey” from the director Boris DESPODOV and Andrey PAUNOV for original, intensive and sophisticated revisiting of classical literature in animation.

The award is diploma, a trophy and a prize of 6000 Euro, provided by Jameson Irish Whiskey.

THE NO MAN'S LAND AWARD FOR BEST BALKAN FILM from the Bulgarian film critics guild goes to „MY MARLON AND BRANDO” from the director HUESEYIN KARABEY. The award is diploma, trophy and box of wine No Man's Land provided by Damianitsa.

THE KODAK AWARD FOR BEST BULGARIAN FEATURE FILM goes to “ZIFT” and to the director Javor Gurdev.

The award is diploma, a trophy, film negative and laboratory services amounted of 2000 USD provided by Kodak.


Adela Peeva (director) – Bulgaria, Chairperson

Pavel Stingl (dirctor) – Czech Republic

Adina Pintilie (director) – Romania

Give the award for the film “RENE” to the director Helena TRESTIKOVA.

It's a film that captures the very essence of documentary filmmaking as because through long-term persistent observation of a character's life over 20 years. It becomes an intimate symbiosis between life and film and, ultimately, an “act of love”.

The award is diploma and cash money prize of 2000 Euro – with the option the film to be bought and screened by Bulgarian National Television.


Einar Staalesen (Norway)

Tonci Valentic (Croatia)

Ingeborg Bratoeva (Bulgaria)

gives THE FIPRESCI AWARD to the film “THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD” of the director Radu Jude.

THE AUDIENCE AWARD for the audience favourite movie goes to Takeshi Kitano's film “ACHILLES AND THE TORTOISE” (Japan)

The Award, provided by Sofia municipality, is diploma a cash money prize of 1 000 BGN and goes to the Bulgarian distributor of the film. So far there is no such distributor, the award will be delivered when there is one.

During the 13th edition of Sofia International Film Festival the SOFIA MUNICIPALITY AWARD for lifetime achievement in the cinema was given to:

MICHAEL PALIN, actor, screenwriter and TV narrator (Great Britain)

NIKOLA KORABOV, director (Bulgaria)

For more information :

Sofia International Film Festival

Svetlana Damianova, Mob: +359 885 901 296; Tel: +359 2 865 9015

Preslava Preslavova, Mob: +359 884 200 910 or  +359 888 659 819

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