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Born in Sofia, Bulgaria (1947). Film critic and journalist; dean of the Cinema Faculty at the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts, Sofia (2011– 2013); lecturer at the New Bulgarian University; member of the National Film Board, Bulgaria (2004–2010); member of the Board of the National Culture Fund, Bulgaria (2005–2009); vice president of FIPRESCI (2001–2005); member of the European Film Academy; president and member of international juries at film festivals in Berlin, Venice, Cannes, Thessalonica, Istanbul, Busan, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Valladolid, Palm Springs, Wiesbaden, Gothenburg, etc.; author of the books: Theory of the Cinema Image (1996), Digital Audiovision (2000), The Digital Element (2003), NonFictional Child (2004), Festival Meetings (2007), Cinema and Other Temptations (2008), Evolution of the Screen Image (2004, 2012).

LUDMIL STANEV is a writer/screenwriter/playwrighter. Some of his screenplays and plays have been produced by the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television. His writings are in the fields of short stories and the absurd. He has published seven books enjoying republishing on a regular basis. Winner of Hr.G.Danov, Chudomir and Dimiter Dimov literary awards.

GEORGI TOSHEV is a journalist and a producer. He has contributed for the 24 Hours, Kontinent, Dnevnik dailies and for the L’Europeo, MAX, One magazines. He is the maker and producer of The Unknown and The Other Bulgaria TV documentary series; producer of Before Noon, Like the Movies, 42 documentaries on Emir Kusturica, Monica Bellucci, ABBA, Christo, Nevena Kokanova, Naum Shopov, Lili Ivanova, Katia Paskaleva, Tatiana Lolova among others. Books about Nevena Kokanova, Naum Shopov, ABBA, Katia Paskaleva. He also contributed for RFI, BBC, ARTE.

Prof. STANIMIR TRIFONOV was born in 1958, in Veliko Turnovo; graduated from a language school in his hometown, obtained MA in Bulgarian Studies at the University of Turnovo and in Film and TV Directing from NATFA (1985); awarded a PhD by the Institute of Art Studies, BAS. Producer and/or director of over 70 TV series, features and documentaries such as Till Tomorrow… Four Portraits and a Memory (Jury Special Mention, Golden Rhyton, 1989); Elias Canetty. Answer to a Letter (Silver Rhyton, 1993); Image Impossible (Golden Rose, 1996); By God’s Will (Jury Special Mention, Golden Rhyton, 1999); Wolf Hunt (Golden Chest and Best Music Awards, 2000), Parched (Golden Rose, Best Male Lead, etc., 2004); On the Border (Bulgarian Film Academy Awards for Best Series, Best Screenplay and Best Costumes, 2015)

YANA MARINOVA is a Bulgarian actress. She completed her studies in Acting, Script Development and Producing at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute LA, USA. Presently, she is about to obtain her MA in Theatre at the New Bulgarian University. She has played lead characters in very popular Bulgarian TV shows such as Glass Home, The Family, Liaisons, etc., and various roles in the features Labyrinths of Love (Russia); Living Legends (Bulgaria); Sniper: Legacy (USA), etc. Winner of the Best Leading Actress Award at International Motivation Film Festival in Rostov-on-Don for her role in 11 A. She has just completed her feature Attraction (screenwriter/ co-producer) starring some of the top Bulgarian film actors.


MARTINA VACHKOVA – chairperson
was born to the family of one of Bulgaria’s greatest actors, Grigor Vachkov adored by several generations. She studied at NATFA and has worked with some of the most renowned Bulgarian theatre, film and TV directors. Martina has played most of the character parts in a quite broad range of roles, from Shakespeare to Carlo Goldoni: Maria (Twelfth Night by Shakespeare); Dorine (Le Tartuffe by Molière); Smeraldina (A Servant to Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni). Martina Vachkova became hugely popular through her participation in Cuckoo and Canaletto TV shows. She has been fronting her own TV shows Why Not? With Martha Vachkova, The Apartment and The Women. She began her acting career at the age of 9 and has played in such significant Bulgarian features as Friday Night by Ludmil Kirkov; Measure for Measure by Georgi Djulgerov; I, the Countess by Peter Popzlatev; A Stolen Life (TV series). She received the Best Lead Actress Award in 2016 for her role in Nikolay Stoichkov’s short Witches’ Loaves.

GENOVEVA DIMITROVA, PhD is one of the leading Bulgarian film critics. Born in Pleven, she obtained her MA in Russian Studies at the University of Sofia and in Film Studies at NATFA, Sofia. Since 1991, she is editor of the Film Desk at Kultura weekly, where she leads the At First Sight column; author of a lot of publications in periodicals and specialised press; she has authored the books Film at the Turn of the Century. Bulgarian Figures and Feature Films: A Look from the 1990s (ЕА publishing house, 1999) and Carousels of the Russian Cinema of the Absurd (1991–2011), Valentin Trayanov publishing house, 2011. She conducts courses in Film Studies for two MA programmes at the University of Sofia; writer of the documentary A Night in Sofia by Stanislava Kalcheva; member of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers, Union of Bulgarian Journalists and of FIPRESCI (The International Association of Film Critics). She has several nominations and received the Film Reviews Award of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers in 2006; seven nominations for the Film Reviews Award by the Bulgarian Film Academy and received the award in 2016; winner of the BFA Prize for her book Carousels of the Russian Cinema of the Absurd (1991–2011).

DIMITAR KOTZEV – SHOSHO obtained his MA in English Studies at the University of Sofia and in Film and TV Directing at NATFA, Sofia. Writer/ translator/producer/screenwriter/director. He received the Best Debut Award at Golden Rose Bulgarian Feature Film Festival 1995, Varna for his short Reflection; director of The Other Bulgaria documentary TV series and Open Files; author of the shorts Voodoo Calendar and Shopping. Producer/writer/director of the features Lora From Morning Till Evening and Monkey (Audience Award, Sofia IFF 2016) as well of the TV series The Fourth Estate (Best Screenplay and Best TV Series Awards of the National Film Academy); author of the novels Lora From Morning Till Evening and Shrimp. Dimitar Kotzev currently teaches creative writing for film and TV series.