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Sofia's Last Ambulance Scoops Award at Cannes

Sofia's Last Ambulance by Bulgarian filmmaker Ilian Metev topped off its exceptional showing at the Critics' Week in Cannes by winning the first-ever France 4 Visionary Award. Remarkably, Ambulance - co-produced by Germany, Croatia and Bulgaria - was also the only documentary film in the 2012 selection. The film was pitched at the 2010 East European Forum and presented at the 2011 Doc Launch.

 

Semaine de la Critique or the Critics' Week (May 17-25) is a prestigious parallel section of the Cannes IFF. Success of Metev's film at what is arguably the world's most publicized film festival is an extraordinary feat, and another milestone for documentaries with East European participation. It is the first major accomplishment in Cannes since 2008 when Blind Loves by Juraj Lehotský won the Art Cinema CICAE Award at the Directors' Fortnight

Sofia's Last Ambulance is Ilian Metev's first documentary feature. In 2008, he made the short doc Goleshovo which has won 17 awards, including the BBC Development Award and DOK Leipzig's Talent Dove.

Designed to recognize new filmmaking talent, the France 4 Visionary Award - presented for the first time this year - comes with 4,000 euros for the director. The Visionary Award Jury was headed by French filmmaker Céline Sciamma and included four young film critics from Belgium, USA, South Korea and India.

Sofia's Last Ambulance was co-produced by Sutor Kolonko (Ingmar Trost), Nukleus Film (Siniša Juričić), SIA (Dimitar Gotchev) and Chaconna Films (Ilian Metev).

You can read brief reviews on IndieWire and Cineuropa.


In 2010, IDF had the pleasure of introducing the film at the East European Forum. Last year, it was presented at the Doc Launch presentation, a selection of notable soon-to-be-released docs.

 

Sofia's Last Ambulance

 
 
Director: Metev Ilian
Production company: Nukleus Film, SIA, Sutor Kolonko

Poslednata lineika na Sofia , Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, 75 min, Beta SP, Digi Beta, DVD, Personal View, Portrait, Social Issues, Society

In a city where 13 ambulances struggle to serve a burgeoning population of several million, 47-year old Krassi Yordanov is our unlikely hero: chain-smoking and saving lives in a non-stop 48-hour shift. Krassi is the emergency doctor on one of Sofia’s last ambulances and today is the worst day of his life. This is a film about the regular working day of Dr. Krassi, nurse Mila and driver Plamen, a team working on an ambulance in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Struggling against an avalanche of absurdities in a crumbling medical system and scarcely earning enough to make a living, these three are simply trying to do what they do best – save lives.
 

East European Forum 2010 / Doc Launch 2011

 


Related Articles:
Film of the Week: Sofia's Last Ambulance
Sofia's Last Ambulance at Critics' Week in Cannes
Choreography of Movement [Interview with Ilian Metev]