International Festival
of Red Cross and Health Films

June 14 - 18, 2023

Jury of 20-th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films


Stefan Komandarev is among the most esta­bli­shed names in contemporary Bulgarian cinema. His film "The World is Big and Salvation Lies Everywhere" (2008) was the first Bulgarian feature film to be shortlisted for the Oscar.

He was born in Sofia, graduated from the Medical Academy in 1993, and in 1999 - film direction at the New Bulgarian University.

He is a member of the Bulgarian Association of Film Directors, the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers, a part-time teacher at the NBU - feature film directing, a member of the European Film Academy.

His filmography includes: the documentaries
"The Path of Harmony" (2001),
"Bread over the Fence" (2002),
"Alphabet of Hope" (2003),
"The City of Badante Women" (2009),
"The Ruse Blood Wedding" ( 2009)
and the full-lengths
Dog Board (2000),
The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Everywhere (2008),
The Courthouse (2014),
Directions (2017) and
In Circle (2019).

The documentary "Life from Life" by director Stefan Komandarev won the grand prize at the 19th edition of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films in 2021.



Joanna Bukovska – Davidova was born in Gabrovo. She graduated from the 9th French language high school "Alphonse de Lamartine" in Sofia. In 2000, she graduated from NATFIZ "Kr. Sarafov" in the class of Prof. Snezhina Tankovska and Associate Professor Andrey Batashov.

Ioana Bukovska - Davidova starred in many films and TV series, including

"Emilia's Friends" (1996),
"Dog Boarding House" (2000),
"Over the Line" (2003),
"My Little Thing" (2007),
"Seamstresses" (2007),
"Naive" (2008),
"Spotlights" (2009),
"Undercover" (2011 - 2016),
"Victor Young Perez" (2013),
"Stolen Life" (2016 - 2017) and others.

Winner of international and national theater and film awards.

In her career, Bukovska participated in dozens of theater productions performed on the stage of the "Bulgarian Army" Theater, "Valentin Stoychev" Theater 199, "Sofia" Theater and others. On the small screen, he became extremely popular with his participation in the Bulgarian series "Danube Bridge".


Viktor Bozhinov graduated from the "Film and TV Directing" specialty at NATFIZ "Kr. Sarafov" with artistic supervisor Prof. Hr. Christov. While studying, his coursework was selected in some of the most prestigious international short film festivals (Munich, Oberhausen, Tampere, Clermont-Ferrand, Drama). He has worked with world names in cinema such as Regis Varnier, Volker Schlöndorff, the Taviani brothers, Timur Bekmambetov, Uli Edeli Michael Apted.

After 2009, he actively participated in the creation of the new wave of successful Bulgarian television series. He directed and consulted on the production of a large part of the episodes of "Glass House", "Stolichani in more", "Kantora Mitrani", "Relationships". Together with producers Dimitar Mitovski and Ivan Doikov, he participated in the creation of the most successful Bulgarian television series "Undercover", produced by BNT. During the period 2015-2017, he worked on his first full-length feature film "Exaltation", based on the novel by Milen Ruskov, which became the most watched Bulgarian film for the last 8 years.


Associate Professor Yuriy Dachev is a famous Bulgarian playwrighter, screenwriter, director, critic and journalist. He was born in Shumen. Graduated from "Theatre Studies" at VITIZ "Krastyo Sarafov". As a scholarship holder of the Silvio d'Amico Academy, he specialized in "Theatre History and Theater Criticism" under Prof. Cesare Molinari at the University of Florence, Italy; participated in the drama school of the Royal Court Theater in London; is a fellow of KulturKontakt, Austria; he is a consultant at the Biennale of Drama in Bonn. He is a teacher at the "Theatre Science" department of NATFIZ "Krastyo Sarafov", repertoire director and dramaturgical consultant at the Small City Theater "Behind the Canal".

Part of the rich creative biography of Prof. Yuriy Dachev are the many author's dramaturgical texts, which received over 60 stage realizations, awarded with a number of awards, among them for dramaturgy of the Union of Artists in Bulgaria, "Chudomir" and others. Prof. Dachev is the author or co-author of nearly 15 realized screenplays for feature films and documen­taries, many of which have been awarded prestigious awards at film festivals in Plovdiv, Varna and Wiesbaden, Germany. He is the author of more than 2,000 publications in the field of theater.


Bejay Browne is a female filmmaker, TV and radio producer, writer, presenter and journalist living in Cyprus.

A committed philanthropist, humanitarian and supporter of equal rights, she founded the Cyprus Hearts of Gold awards in 2007, which recognises outstanding children and adults from all over the island.

The film maker spent much of her childhood in Paphos and moved to Cyprus permanently in 2006, where she has worked at TV and radio stations-as a producer, director and presenter. She currently hosts the Breakfast Show on Rock FM Cyprus.

In 2008, Bejay joined the Cyprus Mail news­pa­per where she still works as a journalist and cor­res­pondent. The publication is the island’s leading English language daily and has been in operation for more than 70 years.

Bejay also has a small film production company, 'In Focus Films', which creates original content, documentaries and films.

Her documentary film 'Life Begins at 90' about 95 year old Ray Woolley, a World War 2 veteran, (who was at the time the worlds' oldest active scuba diver), won the Best Short Documentary Film at the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films, Varna, in 2019.

Bejay is currently working on a number of projects including a new documentary film titled, Who am I? The film, based in Cyprus, will explore the cognitive, emotional and practical effects of brain injuries and brain conditions, the consequences for the survivor and their family and friends. It aims to create awareness of the issues surrounding these conditions and create an opportunity for dialogue and dis­cus­sion.

Bejay said : “I am honoured to be a Jury Member of such an important festival, now in it’s 20th edition.I am looking forward to watching the selected films, (which I am sure will feature impactful and important stories), meeting the participants and attending the informative talks and lectures.The International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films, Varna is unique and its aim is more important in today’s world than ever before. The festival understands only too well the need to create a better understanding and tolerance between us, to foster an en­vi­ron­ment of mutual respect and kindness, to dis­co­ver our different cultures and traditions, come to each others aid when most needed and also to educate. This is the true meaning of humanity and a paves the way for a joyful life.The festival stands for all these things and so much more.”


Prof. Dr. Dimitar Stavrev - MU - Varna Prof. Dr. Dimitar Stavrev was born in the city of Varna, where he completed his higher education in medicine in 1987 at the Higher Medical Institute - Varna. Since 1990, a teacher at the Medical University "Prof. Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov" - Varna.

The main scientific topics on which he works are in the following directions: Medicine for disaster situations / Marine medicine; Methods in Medical Education, Contemporary Aspects and E-Learning; History of Medicine; Social medicine, organization, integral care and the place of medical and social professionals.

Author of 130 publications in Bulgarian and international periodicals and collections of scientific works. He is the author and co-author of 16 books, 8 of which are textbooks and scien­ti­fic publications.

Member of the Bulgarian Medical Union; Bulgarian Anatomical Society; Union of Scientists in Bulgaria - Varna branch; Society of Water Rescue Specialists; The Bulgarian Association of Aviation, Marine and Space Medicine; Varna Society for the History of Medicine; Bulgarian Association of Hyperbaric Oxygenation.


Ludmil Stanev is a Bulgarian writer, publicist, screenwriter, physician by education, born in the city of Varna. Graduated from medicine in 1985, works as a doctor.

Author of the books:

"There is no such book",
"The unpleasant Tatar",
"A little night's tale",
"My friends",
"There is no such book and other stories",
"Sharply", and of dramatic texts.

Lyudmil Stanev is a co-writer with Todor Kolev of the series
"How will we catch the Americans",
co-writer with Teddy Moskov of the per­for­mance "Marmalade" and the TV series "The Street",
screenwriter of "Izmislitsi-remyslitsi" and etc.

For 13 years, he has been hosting an author's show about literature on Radio Varna - "Morska gara", he has published over 500 texts in periodicals. Winner of the "Varna" Award, the Award of the Union of Doctors and Writers together with Valery Petrov, the "Chudomir" National Literary Award, the "Hristo G. Danov" National Literary Award.

Participated in the film "Concert for Clarinet and Orchestra", awarded with the Special Award of the Mayor of the Municipality of Varna at the 18th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films.