October 8 - 11, 2020
MEDICAL UNIVERSITY - VARNA
OPEN SPACE - ENTRANCE OF SEA GARDEN
The International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films is biannual, and in the years between two competitive issues of the Festival, the organizers offer the public its Academy under the motto “Aggression – Humanity – Cinema”.
The 2020 edition of the Academy is organized under an unprecedented for the Festival pandemic situation, thus imposing on-line presentation of the major part of the events. The worldwide Corona virus epidemics and its social impact is the major focus of this year’s Autumn Academy. The epidemics modified the life of everyone; therefore the motto for this year is modified also to “Pandemics – Society – Media”.
The Autumn Academy 2020 is due October 8 – 11 in Varna, under the patronage – traditionally – of the vice-president of the Republic of Bulgaria.
A selection of documentary and feature films, revealing profoundly the most pressing up-to-date issues and challenges for the society, caused by health and humanitarian crises, construct the program of the Academy. We shall witness how the Red Cross organizations are helping vulnerable groups of people under the pandemic conditions. The unique for Bulgaria television of the Medical university of Varna will offer its newest documentaries devoted to up-to-date health problems. In retrospections we shall remind some films from former editions of the Festival, which have attracted the attention of the spectators and the jury and have been deservedly awarded. These films will be accessible via the Internet sites of the Festival.
For the cinema art connoisseurs the Festival offers open air free admittance to three film shows at the entrance of the Sea garden of Varna. The favorite Bulgarian films to be seen are: “The White Room” by the film director Metodi Andonov; Yo Ho Ho, directed by Zako Heskiya and “Affection”, directed by Ludmil Staikov. The admission to the zone of the film shows is after a preliminary registration and observing the security measures.
An important accent of the Academy is the discussion forum, where the topics, prompted by the screen and mostly prompted by the society, are debated upon by Red Cross activists, journalists, doctors, cinema and media experts, public speakers.
The discussion forum in this year’s edition of the Academy turns to be the first one in the new history of the Festival to be organized on-line from the TV studio of the Medical university of Varna, by observing all sanitary measures.
Analyses and view points on the way the pandemic changed the mode of life of the society will be presented by our lectors: Dr. Slavita Djambazova, Deputy Director General and Head of Organizational Development Division of the Bulgarian Red Cross; Neshka Robeva, the “Golden Girls” of Bulgaria coach in rhythmic gymnastics and a public figure; Dr Tsveteslava Galabova, national expert in psychiatry, Bulgarian Union of Physicians; Prof. Ivo Hristov, Sociology of Jurisprudence Ph.D.; Georgi Toshev, journalist; Assoc.Prof. Tsonko Paunov, Head of Department of Hygiene and Epidemology, Medical University of Varna. The moderator of the Forum is prof. Bojidar Manov – the art director of the Festival. The observers will be able to pose their questions in the public networks of the Festival.
In 2020 the Festival is realized with the financial support of the Culture Fund of the Municipality of Varna and the Executive Agency of the National Film Center.
The International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films – Varna was founded in 1964. The Founders, the Bulgarian Red Cross, supported by the Bulgarian state institutions, by the International Federation /the League, by that time/ of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, by the International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent, by the World Health Organization and by UNESCO. Its exclusive importance as an international forum, penetrating in depth into the most urgent humanitarian problems of nowadays, is proved by the highest in cinematography “A” certification /like those given to Cannes, Venice and Berlin/, given to the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films – Varna. A great number of famous leaders and representatives of the International Red Cross Movement, of the Federation and the Committee have been taking part in the work of the Festival during the years. Due to some reasons, the Festival was interrupted in 1991.
In 2014, the National Council of the Bulgarian Red Cross, headed by Acad. Hristo Grigorov, Dr. H. C., the Medical University of Varna, headed by Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov, PhD, DSc, Rector and Ilko Raev, Chairman of the District Council of the Bulgarian Red Cross in Varna and member of the National Council of the Bulgarian Red Cross, restored the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films – Varna under the patronage of the Vice-president’s institution in the Republic of Bulgaria .
After such a continuous interruption – for more than two decades, the re-birth of the Festival is a great challenge. Step by step it acquires large and larger popularity among the Bulgarian and the international audience and it is morally supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, by many National societies, media, filmmakers from all over the world. The motto of the Festival ”Through humanity to peace and friendship” is uniting and inspiring, and it enjoys an increasing number of followers. Thousands of films apply to participate in all the five categories of its official competition program and their number tends to increase every year. More than one hundred and fifty are the participants and guests marching upon the Red carpet for the opening of the Festivals. The professionals and the public are looking forward the Festival as one of the most significant events in the cultural calendar of Varna; its international recognition is growing.
The proofs for the growing prestige of the Festival are the four regular editions and the three Academies organized after the rebirth of the Festival till now:
• In 2014, in the fifteenth edition of the Festival, the number of film productions participating is 125 from 20 countries;
• In 2015 in the sixteenth edition of the Festival, the number of film productions participating is 145 from 25 countries;
• In 2017, in the seventeenth edition of the Festival, the number of films applied for selection was 1890 from 107 countries and the number of film productions participating is 201 from 49 countries;
• In 2019, in the eighteenth edition of the Festival, the number of films applied for selection was record-breaking – more than 3000 films from 118 countries from all the continents, and the number of film productions participating is 201 from 49 countries;
The Festival is biannual. Between two festivals we organize an Autumn Academy, under the motto of the Festival “Aggression – Humanity – Cinema”. The screening of the films during the academies does not have a competition character, but the film program presents titles of films ranking among the most vivid ones, devoted to the topic worldwide – films, presenting on the agenda the topical humanitarian problems, films, posing questions and asking for answers in a brave and inspired way. And the great accent of the academies is the discussion forums, where the topics, prompted by the screen and mostly prompted by the society, are debated upon by Red Cross activists, journalists, doctors, media experts, public speakers. With the help of the partnership of leading media, these discussions and civil positions access the wide public making it compassionate to the Red Cross ideas. We discuss upon the current challenges to the Movement, the role and the topical importance of the Federation, the Committee, the Societies and the Volunteers.
A basic module in the Academy is the tutorial one to teach Red Cross workers and volunteers how to elaborate the most efficient models of reflecting the work of the Societies, with the instruments of the visual art and media, thus making it known to wider public and announcing important issues of the Movement.
International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films - Varna
3 Bratia Shkorpil Str.
Mrs Svetla Lefterova
phone: +359 888 422 421