US Foundation Launches 9th Sofia Student Film Fest

Society » CULTURE | November 28, 2013, Thursday // 13:14
US Foundation Launches 9th Sofia Student Film Fest: US Foundation Launches 9th Sofia Student Film Fest The poster for the 9th edition of the International Student Film Festival "Early Bird," photo by AFB

The 9th edition of the International Student Film Festival "Early Bird," opened Wednesday evening at the National Academy for Theater and Film Art (NATFA) in Sofia.

The festival for short films will be held between November 27th and December 2nd. 71 films from 21 countries will be shown at the NATFA cinema hall.

Russia, France, Lithuania, Estonia, Israel, Poland, Belarus and Italy are joining the fest for the first time as newcomers, while England, Germany, Romania, Turkey, Serbia and Croatia are traditional participants along with NATFA, New Bulgarian University in Sofia, and the Southwestern University "Neofit Rilski" in the city of Blagoevgrad.

Admission is free for all college students.

The festival is organized and sponsored by the American Foundation for Bulgaria (AFB) with NATFA's support. The prize fund is USD 4 100.

The international jury is chaired by young Croatian director and 2012 Grand Award winner, Barbara Vekaric. Members include well-known Bulgarian directors and filmmakers, Victor Chuchkov and Kostadin Bonev.

"Early Bird" is a festival for students enrolled in film academies, who wish to present their work before colleagues and the European audience, to share their knowledge and doubts, and challenge the world. The festival – the only Bulgarian student film forum gives the audience the opportunity to take a closer look at the art, viewpoints and the aesthetics of young filmmakers and to the participants and their teachers. It is a unique place to exchange ideas and experiences.

The festival is open for international participants under the conditions they have not yet graduated from college and the films (movies, documentaries, and animation) are 90 minutes or shorter, have English subtitles, and are on Beta SP (DVD).

The organizers are paying travel and accommodation for all foreign participants for the entire duration of the festival.

The 1st Student Short Film Festival "Early Bird" took place on May 25, 2005, in the "Sofia Cinema "Center." Students from the Southwestern University "Neofit Rilski," The National Academy for Theater and Film Art (NATFA), and the New Bulgarian University participated in the first edition of the film fest.

The 2nd Students' Film Festival already had international participation.

In 2007, the third edition of the fest included student films from Romania, Turkey, Greece, Serbia and Croatia. Ronald Harwood, the 2003 Oscar winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the movie The Pianist, was a guest of the festival.

Since 2007, the festival also includes participants – students and lecturers from film academies across Southeastern Europe, and the festival became the reason for the establishment of the Association of Film Academies in Southeastern Europe.

The showing of films produced by college students in the US was launched in 2009.

More information and the program, including in English, can be found on the official site of the festival, and on its Facebook page - Early Bird Student Film Festival.

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Tags: Early Bird, Student Film Festival, AFB, NATFA, short film
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