Established in 1965 in the city of Varna as an international review of Red Cross and health films, the Festival became a world event in the years to 1991. Organised by the Bulgarian Red Cross, under the auspices of the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Health Organisation and UNESCO the Festival gets an "A" category, the same as the festivals in Cannes, Venice, San Sebastian, and others. Each year between 150 and 170 movies in healthcare, assistance and humanitarian idea from 50 to 70 countries participate and give the local audiences the opportunity to meet with important names in the field of cinema, art, medicine and science.
Varna Festival of Red Cross and Health films became not only film event but a meeting point for the exchange of experiences between medical scientists worldwide, national and international health institutions, leaders of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, movie stars, directors, filmmakers, film critics, journalists, cinematography and broadcasters.
In 2014 this unique event will be restored. The Festival will be held in early November in order to continue the cultural season and attract new audiences. The innovative shape of the Festival (non-traditional spaces, themes and participants) enhance participation of diverse groups and communities in the form of contemporary art. The Festival will help a greater awareness of the cultural characteristics of people in different parts of Europe, and their traditions of coexistence, mutual aid and volunteering, helping, educating society for tolerance and understanding.
Our goal is to make the Festival an integral part of the cultural life in Bulgaria and Europe and to increase the interest of young people through the medium of culture to basic human values as part of the modern lifestyle.