A joint production between Portugal, Russia, Spain and Brazil, the film America, starring Russian theater and cinema actress Chulpan Khamatova, has received the prize for Best Director at the Sofia International Film Festival.
The movie, by Portuguese director Joao Nuno Pinto, tells about the difficulties of life of immigrants in Portugal. It is a family drama on one hand, and serious social problems in the country on the other. The leading female part is performed by a prominent Russian actress and social activist Chulpan Khamatova. In the movie she is a young Russian immigrant married to a Portuguese crook with whom she has a child.
The director was born in Mozambique in 1969 and became an immigrant in Portugal, a war refugee from the former African-Portuguese colonies. He based America on his own past experiences influenced the creation of America, his first feature film.
The grand prix of the festival went to a Bulgarian production Shelter by director Dragomir Sholev. Within the Festival the Sofia Award of Sofia Municipality for contribution to world cinema was presented to Italian actress Claudia Cardinale, Georgian director Otar Iosseliani, Bulgarian actor Russi Chanev, and French director Claude Lelouch.
The main program of the 15th edition of Sofia International Film Festival ended on March 13th with screening of Aleksey Uchitel’s The Edge. In out-of-competition programs of the film marathon Sofia saw several Russian productions including Aleksey Popogrebsky’s How I Ended This Summer and Aleksey Balabanov’s Morphine.
The festival displayed a total of 205 films from 53 countries from all over the world. The rewarding ceremony took place on March 12 in the National Palace of Culture.