Bulgarian Film Festival starts

Films will be at Lucerna and Evropský dům cinemas

Now in its ninth year, the Bulgarian Film Festival will present seven films from March 2 to 8 at Lucerna and the cinema hall of Evropský dům. Most but not all of the films have English and Czech subtitles. Several guests will come to introduce their films and discuss them with the audience.

The festival kicks off at Lucerna with Glory (Slava), about a railway worker who finds some money on the tracks and returns it. He is hailed as working-class hero but is really being used as pawn to deflect attention from corruption. The film won prizes at several film festivals, including the HIFF Award for Best Narrative Feature Film at the 2016 Hamptons International Film Festival.

The tone lightens up in Holiday Makers (Letovnitzi), a comedy set on the beach that reaffirms that happiness is found with friends and family, and not built out of sand.

Losers (Karatsi) was submitted for Oscar consideration, but was not nominated. It did, however, win the Golden George at the 2015 Moscow International Film Festival. Several high school students are looking forward to a famous rock band coming to their town. The event causes complications to their relationships.

The festival moves to Evropský dům on March 6 for the documentary Balkan Harmony: Truth or Dream, which focuses on musicians and their joint projects to see if music can be unifying factor in the region.

The festival closes with the documentary Cambridge, about Dolni Tsibar, a village in the poorest part of the EU. Due to the local people's interest in learning, the village is mockingly called the Romany Cambridge. The film looks at life over the course of one year as people struggle to get good enough grades so they will have opportunities to go to college.

The remaining films in the festival — The Double (Dvoynikat) and the animated film Lilli and the Magic Pearl (Prásk) — are in the original versions with only Czech subtitles. There are also exhibitions at Lucerna and Evropský dům related to the festival.

The festival is made possible by the Czech and Bulgarian ministries of culture, as well as the Bulgarian National Film Institute, the European Commission representation in the Czech Republic and Lucerna cinema.

For more information, visit www.bki.cz and www.facebook.com/events.

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