Sofia Independent FIlm Festival (So Independent) is the first and most exciting American independent film festival in South East Europe. The Festival’s goal is to present films that don't usually reach the screens in Bulgaria and surrounding regions, and to show a side of American cinema that the audience cannot find in mainstream production. In it's 8th edition, the festival invites new works from american and international independent filmmakers. The festival showcases between 50 and 80 premieres in ten days, followed by exciting parties in the heart of the City of Sofia which was named "Creative City of Film" by UNESCO in 2016.
Along with screenings, there are seminars, workshops and parties to allow everyone the chance to share our passion for film. In the supporting event "So Academy" you will find panels and workshops lead by some of the best in our industry: Kenneth Turan, Per Saari, Loren Hammonds, Kalina Ivanov, Prof. Jerry Carlson,James Solomon, Vladimir Todorov had been our guests among others.
So Independent is all about cutting edge art and innovation - the sidebars include films in the following categories: VR and AR, Sport Films, Art and Style, Architecture.
Sofia Independent was the sole exhibitor of amazing films like: "The Lobster" "Swiss Army Man" "Manchester by the Sea" "American Honey" "First Monday in May" "Nebraska" "Whiplash" "Twenty Feet From Stardom" "The Hurt Locker" and many more.
Sofia Independent Film Festival has it's New York City edition in the Fall featuring Bulgarian and South East European Films and projects in development during IFP's Independent Film Week.

Awards & Prizes

We currently offer Awards for:
- Best Feature
- Best Documentary
- Project in development
- Best Short
- Best Bulgarian Feature
- Best Bulgarian Documentary
- Best Bulgarian Short
- Best VR Experience
- Audience Award

Rules & Terms

1. Submission Deadlines 

Submissions are accepted from November 10Th 2016.
- Early deadline - Monday, 17 July 2017.
- Regular deadline - Friday, 18 August 2017.
- Late deadline - Thursday, 31 August 2017.
Early entry is encouraged but does not guarantee acceptance.
2. Submission formats

Films must be submitted via online screener or by DVD. The tracking number, film title, film category and running time must be clearly labeled on the DVD. Submitted copies will not be returned.
3. Submission Eligibility 

All submitted films have to be completed after 1 January 2016. 

- Sofia Independent requires at least a Bulgarian premiere for the feature films, documentaries and VR content. 

- There is no premiere policy for short films. 

- Works-in-progress and films with distribution are accepted.
4. Submission Fee 

All FilmFreeway submissions for Sofia Independent Film Festival are to be paid by credit card. The submission fee is non-refundable.
5. Submission and posting requirements

Your submission DVD should be sent to:
Festival Submissions/ 
"Sofia independent Film Festival" - 
Address: 1 “Bogdana Street”, Bistrica-Sofia 1444, Bulgaria
All shipping and postage costs for the submission package and, if the film is selected for the Festival, for all DCPs and additional materials sent to and returned from Sofia Independent have to be borne by the submitting party. Sofia Independent will not absorb any customs’ fees. All charges must be pre-paid. Sofia Independent will not accept submissions if customs and delivery fees are not paid by the submitting party.
International submission packages must be labeled 'Trade Sample' on any customs label and, for customs purposes, must be given a value of no more than US$10.
6. Selection of Films:
Submissions are reviewed and selected under the following criteria:

- Artistic qualities 

- Independent nature of the production
7. Formats and print traffic requirements:
Selected films must provide a Digital Cinema Package (DCP), as well as a back-up Blu-ray. The film title have to be clearly labeled on the DCP and Blu-ray.
A selected DCP must be received at Sofia Independent no later than two weeks prior to its scheduled screening date.
If shortlisted for a Jury prize, additional preview copies of the film must be provided or authorized by the submitting party if requested by the Festival.

7 Reviews

Overall Rating
  • false
    Otwin Biernat

    Sofia Independent Film Festival is a great festival and the people are very friendly and welcoming. Thank you for selecting my film. I hope to come back again. Best regards to the festival team.

    November 2017
  • false

    I had a great time at The Sofia Independent Film Festival. The team were very nice and accommodating. It was a good experience and I found such a lovely and cinematic friends. High recomandation!

    November 2017
  • false
    Giorgi Tkemaladze

    Thanks a lot of, great festival !

    November 2017
  • false
    Alec Herron

    Very helpful organisers, good communication and a pleasure to work with. Unfortunately I couldn't come to the festival, but I hope to one day.

    November 2017
  • false
    Natalie Kaplan

    So Independent was a wonderful adventure. The selection of the films, the unbelievable and warm team, everything was the best you can imagine. It is So cool. So wonderful. So interesting and so welcoming. thank you SoIFF for memorable days.

    November 2017