Finland, 2017, 98′, color

Director - Aki Kaurismäki
Script - Aki Kaurismäki
Camera - Timo Salminen
Cast - Sherwan Hadji, Kati Outinen, Tommi Korpela, Sakari Kuosmanen, Janne Hyytiäinen, Ilkka Koivula, Kaija Pakarinen, Nuppu Koivu, Tuomari Nurmio, Simon Hussein Al-Bazoon
Producer - Aki Kaurismäki
Production - Sputnik

This film tells two stories that converge after forty minutes. The first of these features Khaled, a Syrian refugee. A stowaway on a coal freighter, he ends up in Helsinki where he applies for asylum without much hope of success. Wikström, the second main character, is a travelling salesman peddling ties and men’s shirts. Turning his back on his trade, he instead decides to put his poker face to good use at a gambling table and subsequently buys himself a restaurant in the remotest corner of Helsinki. When the authorities turn down Khaled’s application, he decides to remain in the country illegally, like so many other people who share his fate. Going underground in the Finnish capital, he lives on the streets and encounters all kinds of racism, but also some cool rock ’n’ rollers and genuine friendship. One day Wikström discovers Khaled sleeping in the dark backyard behind his restaurant. He provides him with a bed and a job. For a while, these two band together with the restaurant’s waitress, the chef and his dog to form a utopian union – one of Aki Kaurismäki’s typical communities bound together by fate which demonstrates that the world could and should be a better place.


Belgium/Holland/Bulgaria, 2016, 94 min, feature, color

King Nicolas III is a lonely soul who has the distinct feeling he’s living the wrong life. He embarks on a state visit to Istanbul with a British filmmaker, Duncan Lloyd, who has been commissioned by the Palace to shoot a documentary intended to polish the monarch’s rather dull image. The news breaks that Wallonia, Belgium’s southern half, has declared its independence. The King, bursting with purpose, must return home at once to save his kingdom. And for once, he declares, he will write his own damn speech. As they rally to depart, a solar storm strikes the earth causing communications to collapse and airspace to shut down. No phones. No planes. To make matters worse, Turkish security coldly dismisses the King’s suggestion they return home by road. But the King has no intention of waiting out this storm. Lloyd, sniffing an opportunity of historical proportions, hatches a dubious escape plan that involves flowery dresses and singing Bulgarians.

Thus begins their undercover odyssey across the Balkans, a journey that’s loaded with wrong turns, startling encounters and moments of fleeting joy.

King of the Belgians is a road movie in which a dormant King gets lost in the Balkans and awakens to the real world.

On March 25th from 6:30 PM at Cinema Faces (Trakia district), there will be a free screening of the film “The silence of the others” (El silencio de otros, 2018) – a masterpiece of Emmy Award winners Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar. Filmed over 6 years, the film follows the victims and survivals of the “Argentinian reconciliation” which aimed to dissect the multiple crimes against humanity conducted by the 40-yearlong dictatorship of Francisco Franco of Spain.

The idea of the past being covered over and forgotten is central to a film that swiftly and economically sets out the facts before drawing us into individual stories and the bigger picture. Following the death of Franco in 1975, Spain is given the opportunity for major changes and reforms. The giddy jubilation of democracy’s dawn led the Spanish Parliament to pass the Amnesty Act in 1977. The law includes amnesty for all political prisoners, but alsoan amnesty for the crimes of the dictatorship, deciding it was best to forget the past and move forward.

“The silence of others” champions those who cannot forgive or forget, like human rights lawyer Carlos Slepoy and José María Galante. In their efforts to retain justice, they prosecute for crimes against humanity. Don’t miss out and viewing this colorful depiction of the small battles of those who cannot surrender their moral ideals.

 March 25 from 18:30 - at Cinema "Faces" (Trakia district)

Called by the New York Times, "an extraordinary gift to everyone who believes that the limit of human achievement is far from being reached" the Oscar and BAFTA-winning film "FREE SOLO" will meet the audience in Plovdiv in the framework of KINOFABRICA – a unique chance to see this impressive film on a big screen thanks to our partners from NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.

The film is an amazing, intimate and resolute portrait of the solo climber Alex Honnold, who is preparing to realize his long dream – to climb the world's most famous rock, El Capitan, into the Yosemite National Park, which is over 900 meters high... without rope.

This onspirational story is a tense thriller for an athlete who puts to a test his body and his beliefs in search of triumph over the impossible. It reveals what the personal cost of success is. Splendedly directed E. Chai Vassarelli and with stunning camerawork from the world-famous photographer and mountain genius Jimmy Chin, the film manages to capture in an extremely beautiful way the sincere human moments alongside the extreme climbing of Honnold. The result is a triumph of the human spirit.

 March 18 from 18:30 - at Cinema "Faces" (Trakia district)


Iceland/France/Ukraine, 2018, 101 min, feature, color

Halla declares a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry. She is prepared to risk everything to protect the pristine Icelandic Highlands she loves… Until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life.

I wanted to address the fact that environmentalists and activists who are fighting to preserve the environment easily become enemies of the state. We see this all around. We see environmentalists like Berta Cáceres from Honduras who was murdered, and Yolanda Maturana from Columbia. We see this throughout history. In the film, our hero also uses sabotage, like Mandela did against apartheid.“
Benedikt Erlingsson for

It's time again for Monty Python's "LIFE OF BRIAN" to return to cinemas

The day is 18 April - Thursday, the opening hour is 19:30,
and the place is Cinema House in Sofia!

Bulgaria is one of the world's top destinations that will have the chance to show again on a big screen one of Monty Python's epic works - "LIFE OF BRIAN" with the participation of the unique, legendary Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, who is also the director of the satirical saga. 40 years after the premiere in 1979 all sing in one voice "Always look on the bright side of life!" And the new generations will enjoy the unique humor of the "Pythons" and their adherents.

Trafalgar Releasing took the rights to the film last year. The event cinema specialist is planning a 400-screen release on April 18 that will span the U.K. and U.S. as well as territories and regions including Australia, Canada, Germany, and Scandinavia. Bulgaria joins to the "chosen ones" the very SAME DAY with exclusive screenings in partnership with British Council Bulgaria at the Cinema House in Sofia and Lucky - Plovdiv House of Cinema - as part of the special film selection "Factory Cinema - Traveling in Time" included in the Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture 2019 programme.

There is no better film to prepare people for the Easter holidays - "LIFE OF BRIAN" is perhaps the most famous Monty Python's feature. It's certainly the most ambitious and provoked the most serious contradictions, including accusations of blasphemy. The protest of various religious groups 40 years ago was so strong that the film was banned from showing in some countries. "It’s another coming of Brian, and we are here to fill the world with laughter,” the Pythons said in a joint statement. “’The Life Of Brian’ may have been set 2000 years ago, but it’s a mirror of what’s going on today. Except that it’s funny."

An interesting detail about the creation of the film is the fact that EMI chairman Lord Delphon decided to read the script before shooting - and did not like it at all! He "washed his hands" by withdrawing from the project - and Monty Python urgently needed to raise $ 2 million if they wanted to continue with their plan for the film. Then Eric Idle decided to call George Harrison, the richest man he knows, and once the former Beatle have consulted with his business manager in the United States, Dennis O'Brien, they decided to get involved with the funding of the film. This is how the HandMade Films production house was created and it backed several classic British features from the 1980s - Terry Jones's "Life of Brian", "The Long Good Friday" by John Mackenzie, Terry Gilliam's "Bandits of Time" , "Mona Lisa" by Neil Jordan and others. As George Harrison, an avid fan and admirer of Monty Python, said, “If something’s really good, it deserves to be made.”

And let's not forget the fact that the history of Sofia Film Fest from its very beginning is inextricably linked with Monty Python and their films - over the years we have presented to our audience all their works (mostly) and our special guests were Terry Jones, Michael Palin (who shot in Bulgaria the episode "Eastern Delight" from Michael Palin's New Europe documentary) and Terry Gilliam!

In 2019, 40 years after its premiere MONTY PYTHON's "LIFE OF BRIAN" is back on big screen in Bulgaria!
With the support of British Council Bulgaria!
Do not miss this chance to meet this classic piece of work!

* * *

Here perhaps, behind the iron curtain, in Bulgaria. Here it's roses, roses all the way, a land of simple happiness where we can sample true colour and content. Here there's gaiety and spontaneity in abundance. Nobody's told these merry folk that they're out of pace with modern streamlined living the simple life, peasant style. And today they're crowning a queen in this little village. Hard to believe isn't it, that these simple happy folk are dedicated to the destruction of western civilization as we know it. That these idyllic scenes are just a transparent charade, arranged for our cameras by a propaganda department in reality bent on oppressing every aspect of spontaneity in a once happy and free people. This isn't the kind of place for us. No way squire. Peace and tranquility, my ***. Take one photograph of the wrong building here, and they're taping electrodes to your reproductive organs.

April 18th - 18:30h - LUCKY Cinema House

The newest film by documentary master Sean McAllister "NORTHERN SOUL“ will be one of the undisputed accents in the KINOFABRICA‘s program! Moreover, Sean himself will present his film to the Plovdiv cinephiles!

In his new documentary, McAllister returns to his hometown Hull as the curator of the opening of the City of Culture in the UK - an initiative inspired by Liverpool's success as the European Capital of Culture in 2008, with an aim to build and continue its success in other towns on the Island.

Back living with his 90-year-old parents and reflecting on changes to a city hit by cuts in public spending and divided by Brexit, Sean is drawn to the fringes of town where he encounters Steve – a warehouse worker who contributes to the change in the city in a surprising, atypical way.

It is no coincidence that the Guardian calls the film "Great Work of Radical Empathy" - warm, humane and showing how much really change depends on all of us and our own efforts and dreams.

 March 23 from from 17:00 - at Cultural Center "White House"



  • Programme

April 07th - 18:30h
LUCKY Cinema House


April 11th - 21:00h
LUCKY Cinema House


April 12th - 18:30h
LUCKY Cinema House


April 13th - 18:00h
LUCKY Cinema House


April 13th - 20:30h
Plovdiv Drama Theatre Yard


April 14th - 18:00h
Tobacco City, 16 Ekzarh Yosif Str.


April 14th - 20:45h
THEATRE, Plovdiv Drama Theatre Yard


April 17th - 18:00h
Plovdiv University, 6th Auditory, Building 1 Recotrate


April 18th - 18:30h
LUCKY Cinema House


April 20th - 20:30h
THEATRE, Plovdiv Drama Theatre Yard


April 21st - 20:30h
THEATRE, Plovdiv Drama Theatre Yard


April 22nd - 18:30h
LUCKY Cinema House


April 25th - 18:30h
Tobacco City, 16 Ekzarh Yosif Str.


April 30th - 18:00h
Plovdiv University, 6th Auditory, Building 1 Recotrate