International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films


October 8 - 11, 2020



To the organizers and the participants in the Autumn academy 2020 of International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films

Dear participants in the Autumn Academy of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films

Please accept my best wishes for creative and fruitful work during the discussions forum and lectures, connected to this year’s motto ”Pandemic - Society – Media”!

I wish to congratulate you, because in spite of the difficulties we encounter due to Covid-19, you were capable to find the proper formula and to avoid interruption of the event.

I am convinced, that your inspiration will give birth to new and interesting trends for the development of the Festival!

Good luck!

Ivan Portnih
Mayor of Varna

Dear friends, participants and guests of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films,

Allow me to address with words of gratitude to the organizers – the Medical university of Varna and the Bulgarian Red Cross. Due to their joint efforts the Autumn Academy of the 18 edition of the Festival is on the way. In the time of complicated epidemic situation, after serious difficulties in searching for the most affordable option, they succeeded to find the best and the safest format to organize the Academy observing all the recommended measures of safety.

I want to congratulate the governing body of the Festival, and personally Ilko Raev and Prof. Bojidar Manov, to have selected the extremely topical in importance motto for this year’s discussion forum - “Pandemic – Society – Media”. The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the society, the health institutions and the humanitarian organizations to a serious test. The Bulgarian Red Cross stands at the front line and it serves as the main assistant to the state. With its whole capacity our organization assists to both medical and social institutions, as well as to vulnerable Bulgarian citizens.

I am confident, that in spite of the difficult situation, the participants in the `Autumn Academy will successfully upgrade the highly humane causes of the Red Cross achievements and with joint efforts we shall help the solving of some problems in the social and the health sphere of topical importance for the society.


The Medical University in Varna has taken as a mission the active participation in the organization for the traditional International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films and its adjacent Academy.

With these events we are promoting the authority of Varna and we are contributing that the festival spirit, a favor with a tutorial effect on the society, conquer our sea capital.

For more than half a century, since the Festival was founded as a joint initiative of the Medical University and the Bulgarian Red Cross, the pages of the story are growing in number and we continue together, following our common goal – to show the best films that interpret topical health and humane themes, being the result of the activities of the medical and of the Red cross organizations. With our joint efforts we succeeded to bring back the interest both to the cinema art, as well as to its indisputable role and contribution for cultivating the spirit of humanity, solidarity and mutual help among the people.

We live in a world filled with enormous aggression, social injustice and discontent. The beauty and the unity of art and education are the path and the mode to turn away and overcome the black statistics. In spite of the present difficult time and the complicated epidemiological situation, we, as co-organizers, acquaint the society with the topical problems. We manage, by the means of the cinema, to attract the attention of the society to the essence of the Red Cross movement, to the health care and to the humanitarian ideas.

With the on-line edition of the Autumn Academy 2020 this year, we are fulfilling our utmost goal – to transform the trivial everyday mode of thinking with the help of the cinema magic and to prove that the road to a peaceful world derive from the humanism.

I am convinced, that this year, as always, the event will be welcomed by the audience with a serious interest because now, more than ever people realize, that we have to appreciate the intransient human values – the good will, the charity, the humanity, and to make efforts for their recognition. I am certain, that very soon, the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films and its adjacent Academy shall reach the level of the leading cinema festivals in Europe and in the world.

Prof.Dr. Valentin Ignatov, MD, PhD
Medical University “Prof. Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov” - Varna

Dear friends of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films,

By tradition, forthcoming is the Autumn Academy of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films. It will happen during a unprecedented for the history of the Festival epidemic situation, which makes the contemporary society face a number of problems. Therefore the motto of the Academy for this year is “Pandemic – Society – Media”.

The Autumn Academy of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films will be held October 8 to 11 2020 in Varna. Traditionally, the Festival and the Academy are organized under the patronage of the vice president of the Republic of Bulgaria.

In the frames of the Forum we organize discussions and show films, and this helps us to define the topical items to be treated during the next edition of the Festival. We discuss upon the current challenges that the Red Cross movement and its volunteers are facing. Red Cross activists, physicians, journalists, public figures, will be searching for these positive examples, that will help to counteract the growing uncertainty nowadays caused by the epidemic Covid-19.

The Academy is organized with the support of our traditional partners, sponsors and benefactors.

The Autumn Academy of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films is a significant tribune for discussions, for tracing the way to the normality of human existence and communication in a pandemic situation, for stimulation of humanity and solidarity between the people.

Ilko Raev
International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films

Dear colleagues and friends,

Dear spectators,

Every year our Festival is born with incredible efforts and with overcoming of various difficulties, mostly financial ones. For this year, an additional heavy imprint is levied by the pandemic Covid-19 and the immense uncertainty of how it will develop in the future. This exerted extreme difficulties upon the usual organization, the planning of the repertoire, upon some preliminary commitments both of the participants, so of the guests. However, in our ambition to avoid a “zero year”, we counted on a moderate film program consisting of some film titles of already awarded festival films and open-air evening film projections showing three classical Bulgarian films, connected with the history of our Festival.

We were categorically clear that we couldn’t abandon the already approved and very interesting Discussion Forum. At the same time, we were fully aware of the fact, that our usual thematic frame “Aggression – Humanity – Cinema” prevailed into a new formula “Pandemic – Society – Media”. It is impossible and incorrect to avoid the burning topical events, which concern literally everyone in his daily life. Therefore, our lectors are redirecting to this thematic their introductory words, and the following discussions will further depict the sphere of the public interest.

We are aware, that a festival cannot be made with naked enthusiasm and discussion energy only. Therefore, we rely mainly on our loyal public and we are sure that this year, like the previous ones it will award us with energy and real sense of the Festival.

Because you are the Festival!

We together are the Festival!

We cannot admit a “zero year”!

Farewell during the golden days in October 8 to 11!

Prof. Dr. Bozhidar Manov
Artistic Director
International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films