FNE at Sofia IFF: Mexican/Italian Red Shoes Wins Grand Prix at 2023 Sofia IFF

    Geraldine Chaplin and Stefan Kitanov Geraldine Chaplin and Stefan Kitanov credit: Georgi Angelov

    SOFIA: Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser’s debut feature Red Shoes received the Sofia City of Film Grand Prix of the 27th Sofia IFF. The same film also won the FIPRESCI Award as well as the Young Jury Award.

    The official ceremony took place on 25 March 2023 at the National Palace of Culture in the presence of the international jury. Macedonian film director Milcho Manchevski (president), Polish film director Agnieszka Smoczyńska, LA - based writer/director/producer Alexandra Kotcheff, Bulgarian/Italian journalist/producer Milena Kaneva and Bulgarian actor Vladimir Penev remained on stage during the emotional presentation of Geraldine Chaplin with the Sofia Municipality Award for Contribution to the Art. In his address to her, the Sofia FF director Stefan Kitanov underlined he was “brought up on those films by famous Spanish director Carlos Saura, in which Geraldine Chaplin played her unforgettable roles”.

    The Special Jury award went to Bekir Bülbül’s Turkish/Belgian Cloves and Carnations, while Greek Vasilis Katsoupis became Best Director for his Greek/German/Belgian coproduction Inside.

    Orlin Milchev’s The Art of Falling, produced by Bulgaria’s Geopoly, already announced as Best Fiction Debut at the 40th Golden Rose FF, now received the Audience Award.

    Asparuh Petrov’s animated film Trace, produced by Compote Collective, became Best Bulgarian Short Film and received 1,500 EUR cash and 8,000 EUR in postproduction services from Doli Media Studio.

    A separate jury headed by Bulgarian director/producer Kostadin Bonev, and composed of Czech scriptwriter/festival programmer Hana Cielová and Georgian film director George Ovashvili, chose Emin Alper’s Burning Days as Best Balkan film.

    Tonislav Hristov’s Finnish/Bulgarian The Good Driver was awarded Best Bulgarian Feature Film.

    The festival is screening 137 films from 53 countries between 16 and 31 March 2023. An important part of the festival programme is also available online for the Bulgarian audience.


    Grand Prix ‘Sofia City of Film’:
    Red Shoes (Mexico, Italy)
    Directed by Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser

    Jury Special Prize:
    Cloves and Carnations (Turkey, Belgium)
    Directed by Bekir Bülbül

    Best Director Award:
    Inside (Greece, Germany, Belgium)
    Directed by Vasilis Katsoupis

    Audience Award
    The Art of Falling (Bulgaria)
    Directed by Orlin Milchev
    Produced by Geopoly
    Supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center

    Special Mentions International Competition:

    Ma'ayan Rypp director of The Other Widow (Israel, France)

    Malin Krastev for his performance in The Good Driver (Finland, Bulgaria)
    Directed by Tonislav Hristov
    Produced by Making Movies Oy
    Coproduced by Soul Food
    Supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center

    Doli Media Studio Award for Best Bulgarian Short Film:
    Trace (Bulgaria)
    Directed by Asparuh Petrov
    Produced by Compote Collective

    Best Balkan Film Award:
    Burning Days (Turkey, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Croatia)
    Directed by Emin Alper
    Produced by Liman Film
    Coproduced by 4 Film, Ay Yapım, Zola Yapim, Gloria Films, Match Factory Productions, Circle Films, Horsefly Films
    Supported by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the French CNC, the Dutch Film Fund, MOIN Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, the Greek Film Center, the Greek Television (ERT), the Croatian Audiovisual Centre

    Best Documentary Film Award:
    Apolonia, Apolonia (Denmark)
    Directed by Lea Glob

    Special Mention Documentary Film:
    Fragile Memory (Ukraine, Slovakia)
    Directed by Igor Ivanko

    Best Bulgarian Feature Film:
    The Good Driver (Finland, Bulgaria)
    Directed by Tonislav Hristov
    Produced by Making Movies Oy
    Coproduced by Soul Food
    Supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center 

    FIPRESCI Award:
    Red Shoes (Mexico, Italy)
    Directed by Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser

    Bulgarian Guild of Film Critics Best Balkan Film Award:
    Safe Place (Croatia, Slovenia)
    Directed by Juraj Lerotić
    Produced by Pipser
    Coproduced by December
    Supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the Slovenian Film Centre, the Croatian Radiotelevision, Eurimages

    Young Jury Award for a Film in the International Competition:
    Red Shoes (Mexico, Italy)
    Directed by Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser

    Teen Competition Best Film Award:
    Waters of Pastaza (Portugal)
    Directed by Inês T. Alves

    Sofia Municipality Sofia Award for Contribution to the Art:
    Geraldine Chaplin (U.S.A.)
    Radoslav Spassov (Bulgaria)