OCTOBER 12 - 15, 2017

OCTOBER 10 - 15, 2017


Dear Organizers,

Dear Participants,

It is a great honor for me to be a patron of this year’s International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films entitled "Humanism, Aggression, Cinema".

Between the 12th and the 15th of October 2017, we all will be both participants and spectators in one of the largest cultural initiatives boasting a rich history.

Dear hosts and guests,

Through documentaries from various fields and topical issues such as medicine, health care, ecology, migration, human rights, you are promoting your noble mission. You are cultivating the values of empathy, spirituality, unity, mutual assistance, which are crucial in the present day. The festival will offer the audience an opportunity to come closely in touch with the complete spectrum of emotions, feelings, difficulties, as well as the deep satisfaction that volunteers and organizations are experiencing.

Kamchia Children Convalescence Complex will not only host a film event. During the few days of the festival the complex will become a venue for encounters, talks and discussions among health organizations. Kamchia will be the capital of the largest humanitarian movement in the world.

I sincerely wish you the event to remain an integral part of the Bulgarian, European and international cultural calendar!

Good luck!

Iliana Iotova
Vice president of Republic of Bulgaria

XVII International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films will be held in October in Varna! The main theme of the forum this year is: “Aggression-Humanity-Cinema”- a cutting edge artistic impetus, the result of which will definitely attract many fans of the film art.

The International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films adds special character to the cultural calendar of Varna, affirming its image of a beautiful closure of the active artistic summer. I highly appreciate the efforts of the organizers, upgrading the program of the festival with new ideas and events every year.

I wish all the participants good luck and artistic inspiration!

Ivan Portnih
Mayor of Varna



Three years ago, with the support of the Medical University of Varna and after an interruption of 25 years, the Bulgarian Red Cross succeeded in restoring one unique cultural global-scale event – the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films.

We are grateful that Mrs. Margarita Popova, Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria from 2012 to 2017, has agreed to be the patron of the 15th and 16th Festival, contributing greatly to their success and to raising the Festival’s international prestige.

I offer my heartfelt gratitude to the current Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mrs. Iliana Yotova, who continued this tradition and accepted our invitation to be the patron of the 17th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films. We consider her support as a high honor and yet another message to the society - that the Bulgarian Vice President values the everlasting humanitarian principles - charity, love of mankind, goodness, compassion, and makes serious efforts to promote them.

I welcome the participants in the Festival - distinguished world and Bulgarian filmmakers and journalists, for their friendly, professional and responsible attitude towards the realization of such international cultural event that actively joins the struggle for peace and friendship in the world, through art and humanism.

“Humanism, aggression, cinema” is the focus for the screenings, discussions and creative performances at the 17th edition of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films in October 2017 – yet another acknowledgment of our firm commitment in our civilisation choice - helping this world become a better one.

Acad. Hristo Grigorov, Dr. H. C.
President of the Bulgarian Red Cross

Back in 1965, the idea of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films was launched for the first time in the sunshine - soaked city of Varna. Today, 52 years later, both Medical University - Varna and Bulgarian Red Cross continue confidently forward.

Over the years the Festival has become an integral part of the cultural events in Bulgaria and Europe and has raised the interest of young people through culture to the basic human values as a part of the modern way of life. More than ever, the increase of natural and social cataclysms places the humanitarian activities of Medical University - Varna and Bulgarian Red Cross on a crucial position of global importance. The films, dealing with these topics, broadcast and discussed at the Festival, keep the society alert and committed to the contemporary problems.

This year again, one of the most prestigious Festivals in our Sea Capital, entitled "Aggression – Humanity - Cinema", will be held under the patronage of the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mrs. Iliana Yotova. With the 17th edition we will pursue our main goal, and that is to shatter the everyday way of thinking, to use the power of film art to show that the path to the world of peace originates from humanism. The Festival is significant because it is focused on global and eternal values.

For a second consecutive year the Film Academy for Documentary Cinema will be held within the framework of the Festival, through which we aim to educate and train valuable experts that we will expect to be involved with their projects in our forthcoming editions.

Today, more than ever, we need to appreciate the eternal human values - kindness, charity, love of mankind, and to make efforts to strengthen them. As an educational and scientific institution, Medical University - Varna has a commitment to the whole society. Our ambition is to show the best films, interpreting current health and humane topics, the fruit of the activities of the medical and Red Cross organizations.

I am positive that this year again the event will be welcomed with serious public interest, and the halls will be full because the problems of the modern world can be solved through education, science and culture.

Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov, PhD, DSc
Rector Medical University - Varna

Dear followers,

It is time for the new edition of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films. The motto of its 17-th edition is “Aggression – Humanity – Cinema”.

Preparing the Festival, we had to select among 1890 films from 107 countries applying. Topical issues like aggression, war, refugee crisis, disasters, children labor, human rights are largely treated in the film’s program. Out of the competition program the Festival venues are offering interesting screenings and panoramas. The Festival Documentary Filmmaking Academy will be teaching again young Red Cross volunteers and activists.

The interest to the Festival is growing. Guest and participants are coming from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, the International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent, from the Red Cross of Mexico, of Romania; the Red Crescent of Turkey, Iran; the Red Cross Youth of Italy, film directors from Sweden, Poland, Romania, Greece, Russia, Switzerland, Cyprus.

Special gratitude to our supporters: the Municipality of Varna, the Bulgarian National Television, the State Cultural Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the National Film Centre, the Army Media, the Focus Agency, Sofia Film Fest, the honorary consul of Italy to Varna, the Alliance of the Bulgarian Filmmakers, the Bulgarian Naval Force, the Sanatorium & Health Complex “Kamchia”,; to our sponsors.

Ilko Raev
Director of International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films

Dear participants and guests,

Dear Festival spectators,

In the yearly calendar of international film festivals, burdened to the extent of satiation, it is extremely difficult for a new event of this kind to appear and to be affirmed; such an appearance is usually accompanied by countless number of difficulties. And, in case, when the biography of such a festival is saturated with a respectful, long-term tradition and memorable editions in the past, the responsibility for its successful restoration is getting significantly aggravated. All of us, who, during the recent years, are making efforts to continue and renew the chronology of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films, we have in mind its inherited impressive biography and more and more we consider its place and its importance in our extremely modified and complicated world.

For this reason, for a fourth year in consequence, regardless of the enormous difficulties, we are trying to present from the Festival screen some good and useful films, and to organize in the conference halls, with the help of some of the most competent in our thematic field experts, profound discussions on topical professional and human items.

The feature and the documentary films, included in the competitive and information programs, represent just a little particle from the enormous amount of world cinema production with similar thematic profile; but, in their contents, they are focusing on some important accents correlated to our topic area. And the general theme “Aggression and Humanity” serves as a frame for the concrete profound lectures to be exposed by the invited lecturers, and as a point of reference for the free discussions, with all the Festival guests and visitors taking part.

In the past, almost 40 years ago, being a young film critic, I had the lucky chance to come across the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films in Varna and this was my first attendance to such a great event. Therefore, now, with the professional experience I have accumulated, I feel happy to take part in the renaissance of this so important and necessary film festival and I am trying to pay back what the Festival has given to me during the years. I hope the Festival is as much useful for its participants too.

Prof. Dr. Bojidar Manov
Artistic Director