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XVI edition of Bulgarian Cinema Festival in Rome

Bulgarian films screened in the heart of the Eternal City

Minister of Culture Krastyo Krastev and Oscar-nominated actress Maria Bakalova are special guests to the festival

Photo: festacinemabulgaro.com

This year, the traditions are not what they used to be and for the first time the Festival of Bulgarian Cinema in Rome is taking place not at the beginning, but at the end of summer. The reason is that the venue for all the screenings - "Casa Del Cinema", is already under the management of the Festival of Italian Cinema and its foundation (Fondazione Cinema per Roma), Jana Iakovleva, founder of the forum and director of the Bulgarian cultural institute in the Italian capital, said. Now, after a major renovation, one of the most beautiful and emblematic places in the heart of the Italian capital, located in Villa Borghese Gardens, is once again opening its doors to Bulgarian cinema. The sixteenth edition of the festival begins on Bulgaria's Independence Day - September 22 and will last for three days. Together with the Bulgarian filmmakers and actors, who will personally present their works to the audience, special guests to the forum will be Bulgarian Minister of Culture Krastyo Krastev and the Ambassador of Bulgaria to Italy Todor Stoyanov.

Jana Iakovleva

"During all these years, we have climbed many steps of the 'ladder' and we keep climbing higher and higher", Jana tells Radio Bulgaria and adds:

"The visit of the Minister of Culture of Bulgaria Krastyo Krastev on September 22 will begin with a meeting with Chiara Sbarigia, President of the film studio Cinecittà and president of the Association of Audio-Visual Producers in Italy. I am very happy that this meeting will take place because it will give Bulgarian cinema a new image and new friends with whom we will have a conversation about the future of co-productions between the two countries. All this happens at a very difficult time. Recent years were very difficult times for culture everywhere in the world. I believe that this meeting will open new doors and new opportunities for both Bulgarians and Italians. In addition, on September 23, all viewers will have the opportunity to personally meet Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova. I can't hide that here in Rome, Maria is a much-awaited guest who provokes enormous interest.”

This year the program of the festival starts with a screening of the movie "Chalga" by director Marian Valev, shot entirely on a phone. It is an interesting fact that Jana Iakovleva also has a role in the film. On the second day, the feature films "Bulgarian Ship Sinks in a Stormy Sea" by director Petrinel Gochev and "The Good Driver" by Tonislav Hristov will be shown.

"On the third evening, we will have the opportunity to see ‘Vaklush’ by Nikolay Vassilev. A very interesting documentary about Vaklush Tolev that recently provoked interest in Bulgarian documentary cinema, which is not well known in Italy. I am very happy that after the films about our opera singers, created by Nayo Ticin, this film will now tell Italians about a Bulgarian who gave his life for freedom. This is extremely important to me. We will end this year's program with the Bulgarian-Italian premiere of the movie ‘Block’ directed by Todor Mattsanov. A film that tells about the time of lockdown and was shot right during the pandemic. The film was made entirely by Italian producer Francesco Frattini, who has been living in Bulgaria for years and managed to see the abilities of our native cinema."

Jana Iakovleva has one hope - that every viewer will take home a little warmth and a little more understanding of Bulgaria. All screenings within the program of the festival have free entry. The head of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute admits that despite almost three decades of living in Italy, her heart continues to beat with the rhythm of Bulgaria, with all its problems, pains and joys.

"Thank you and I wish a lot of health and smiles to my Bulgaria!", Jana Iakovleva says in conclusion.

See also:

English version: Al. Markov
Photos:festacinemabulgaro.com, Facebook/chalgamovie, Facebook /Jana Iakovleva, siff.bg
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