The solidarity and the compassion are bringing people closer together and help them overcome borders, and the motto “Through Humanity to peace and friendship” is the best possible message for the people. This was announced by the Vice-president Iliana Iotova at the opening of the XVII International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films under the motto “Aggression, Humanity, Cinema”.
The event is organized from 12 till 15 October in the Sanatoria and Health Complex “Kamchia” under the patronage of the Vice-president of the Republic of Bulgaria, as more than 1800 films from more than 100 countries have applied to take part in the preliminary selection.
“Today, when fanatics and desecrators of human values are fighting against the human nature and for the minds of the young people, you show with your efforts that life has no price, and, there is no religion to approve death to life. This is what humanity means, however the daily life erases the meaning of this word from us”, said Iliana Iotova.
The Vice-president noted, that the Bulgarian Red Cross is always the first to respond there, where the human tragedy meets the hope, there, where in the first moments the first aid and the compassion are more important than anything else. “Due to the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, hundred of thousands of people receive the first aid and the first good words, while crossing the borders of the European countries seeking salvation and good future for their kids”, pointed out Iliana Iotova. The Festival organizers – the Bulgarian Red Cross and the Medical University “Prof. Paraskev Stoyanov” received from the Vice-president a high assessment for their overall activity.
The Vice-president underlined, that the Festival turns Kamchia into a space of get-together, conversations and discussions for many health-care organizations. “Kamchia became the international capital for the humanitarian movements and organizations” added Iliana Iotova and she reminded about some of the most popular Bulgarian films, prize-winners from this prestigious competition: “Doomed Souls”, “Adaptation”, “Question Time”.
“During the coming Festival days the spectators will enjoy a kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings, they will sense both the hardships and the satisfaction that volunteers and doctors feel because they have devoted their work and their life to the sake of saving lives. During the forthcoming Festival days, with the help of the art we shall be wandering and shall be discovering, we shall be pondering and we shall be acting, we shall be suffering and we shall be enjoying, we shall be dipping into the magic of the cinema art”, said the Vice-president.
According to Iliana Iotova, by the film productions the spectators will meet with the aggression – one of the most terrible challenges of the 21st Century. “Where did we make mistake as people, and allowed the killing and the injuring of our children in school; the clashes on the roads; the injuring of doctors by patients; the injuring of school teachers”, added the Vice-president.
Iliana Iotova also added, that with the help of the films, we shall be able also to meet the human faces of the migration and of the refugees, because we got used to talk about these phenomena in figures and percentages, as if the point is not about living creatures, exiled by the wars and the misery.
“We shall face the people’s mistakes and the dangerous game with the nature, which revenges back with disasters; but we shall also face the invincible determination of the human being to overcome the suffering”, added the Vice-president and underlined, that we have to pronounce the problems without fear, we have to call them with their real names, and the art will help us to avoid loosing the humanity in ourselves.
Important notice from 17-th International Festival of Red Cross and Health films:
Due to the huge number (above 1800) of films submitted by more than 105 countries, the Festival Selection Committee extends the deadline to announce the selected films till July 15th 2017. Thanks for the understanding.
Today we released the regulations for XVII-th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films - Varna. You can get it from the following link:
From 17 to 21 November 2016 in Varna took place the pilot project of International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films - "AUTUMN ACADEMY 2016" with main theme "Agression - Humanity - Cinema".
We present to your attention the Bulgarian Red Cross bulletin of the Autummn Academy. Inside you will find a short review of the event and interviews with several key lecturers.
Between 17th and 21st November 2016, Varna is hosting the Autumn Academy of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films. The theme of the Academy for this year is “Aggression – Humanity _ Cinema”. The Academy program includes lectures, discussions, working sessions with eminent lectors.
The Academy includes also films programs in SOK Kamchia and the Municipality of Varna Plenary Hall with free admittance. For the guests and citizen of Varna a special program will premiere films from China, Indonesia, Malaysia.
Short video resume of 16th International Festival of the Red Cross and Health Films in Varna, Bulgaria - 28 September - 3 October, 2015.
Humanity shines at Red Cross film fest in Bulgaria
The 16th edition of International Festival of the Red Cross and Health Films in Varna brings health issues in the spotlight./Bulgarian RC/
By Andreea Anca, IFRC
For a second consecutive year this fall the topic of Humanity was in the spotlight at the International Festival of the Red Cross and Health Films in Varna, Bulgaria, shining with the glamour of a celebrity in a series of documentaries and feature films screened between 28 September - 3 October.
Red Cross and Red Crescent representatives from around the world walked the red carpet alongside Bulgarian humanitarians, politicians and celebrities.
The IFRC`s “Stop Indifference. Protect Humanity” campaign enjoyed its own moment of fame when the Vice-President of Bulgaria, Margarita Popova, patron of the event, signed the IFRC petition that calls on the public and governments around the world to share the universal responsibility of protecting migrants in countries of origin, transit and destination.
Emotional screenings and thoughtful discussions
The opening film “The Salt of the Earth” from director Wim Wenders showcased photos taken by the well-known photojournalist Sebastian Salgado, and highlighted some of the major events in recent history and their humanitarian consequences. The screening set the stage for an in-depth round table discussion focused on the plight of people on the move in the current context of migration in Europe, as well as the response of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Participants in the discussion included members of the Bulgarian Red Cross, representatives of other local humanitarian organizations, the Vice-President of Bulgaria, one IFRC representative, the president of the Turkish Red Crescent, diplomats, several other Bulgarian public figures as well as members of the public.
“The event was a great opportunity to address important humanitarian concerns and put across some essential messages,” said Mette Petersen, Head of Country Cluster, IFRC, who works closely with National Societies in the Balkan region including the Bulgarian Red Cross. “It linked up many stakeholders in the humanitarian field in an interesting context of the films,” she added.
The film festival featured more than 130 documentaries and films, including some produced by National Societies themselves . The Red Cross and Red Crescent Best Film Award went to “Musteshva”, a silent documentary depicting Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers working in a refugee camp of two million people in Darfur.
In his Skype address to the public, the Turkish director Armagan Pekkaya, said:
“Thank you on behalf of the Turkish Red Crescent for this award. I wanted very much to be with you but I will become a father very soon. I dedicate this award to the little Aylian, thrown by the sea on our sea-shore. As a future father I would like to live in a world where parents never have to grieve for their children.“
Dear Mrs. Vice-President,
Dear Governors of the Bulgarian Red Cross,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all I would like to express my satisfaction with the fact that I am here. Please, accept my gratitude to the District Council of the Bulgarian Red Cross and to the National Council of the Bulgarian Red Cross for inviting me.
We, the governing body of the humanitarian organizations, happen to face difficult dilemmas every day. On one side, we are helping people in need. We make upmost efforts to protect their dignity. According to our principles, we never use people’s drama to make propaganda. At the same time, we know that we live in the era of communications. We are aware of the effect that might be produced upon the public, as locally, so internationally, by the image of a crying child, of a disabled old man, of a sick person. By exposing their drama in its “nakedness” we might probably achieve increasing the amount of the donations for them, but what we aim at is to respect and protect their dignity.
The motive force of the art and of the cinema comes right here. Presenting the crude everyday reality by means of the cinema language and hence sending it to those it concerns, is the filmmakers’ duty. Thus I would like to express my deepest respect to the filmmakers’ work.
I trust this Festival will be a competition amidst the best films. The magic of art, of cinema, we shall be able to see it here once more. Showing human tragedies this time. The film that we proposed to take part in the Festival is exactly of that type. The film director, Mr. Armagan Pekkaya, who is part of our humanitarian activities team, by calling the film “Hospital” he turns the attention to Darfur region in Sudan. He turned his camera to show our humanitarian activities there. The hospital, founded by the Turkish Red Crescent in the desert, turned into a place, where thousands of children, women and elderly people grasped life. All tis is described in our reports. As you may know, our reports consist of documents and statistics data. And what our colleague did made a much greater effect, as compared to our hundreds of sheets of paper as reports. I mean exactly that effect, when talking about the motive force of art.
Along with our territories, the whole world witnesses similar tragedies. Still no proper solutions have been found for the problems in Africa. We are witnessing an everyday growing process of migration caused by wars. Our country hosts at least 2 millions of guests from Syria, compelled to live away from their homes. Reaching the point when they lost their hope to go back home, they started to push open the doors of Europe. The dead body of the baby Aylan was found lying on the coast. The lost humanity is waking up, but if you ask for my opinion, the community in the world is still not applying humanity in cases of huge disasters.
We, the representatives of the Red Cross and Red Crescent family, trying to fight these disasters, sometimes find ourselves in a deadlock. In order to enhance the feeling of humanity in the world policy and public affairs, we use the irreplaceable force of art and cinema.
Once more I would like to congratulate the hosts of this remarkable organization – the Bulgarian Red Cross. I wish success to all the art-people, whose films compete at the Festival.
I express my respect to you with a hope for a world without suffering people.
Turkish Red Crescent Society President, Ahmet Lutfi Akar
By clicking on the images on the right You can browse through the festival diaries in PDF format.
- XVI IFRCHF Diary for 28.09.2015
- XVI IFRCHF Diary for 29.09.2015
- XVI IFRCHF Diary for 30.09.2015
- XVI IFRCHF Diary for 01.10.2015
- XVI IFRCHF Diary for 02.10.2015
- XVI IFRCHF Diary for 03.10.2015
- SPECIAL XVI IFRCHF Diary for 03.10.2015
The XVI International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films was officially closed on 3 October 2015 in SHC „Kamchia” – Varna.
All the awarded participants were announced in an official ceremony and the Festival Director, Ilia Raev gave an honorable award to the Art Director, prof. Bojidar Manov for an overall contribution to the Red Cross idea.
Among the winners in the category The Best Red Cross and Red Crescent Award, as best film was awarded “Mustesfa”, Turkey, director Armagan Pekkaya. Mr. Pekkaya was reached through skype and he thanked with the following words: “Cordially thank you on behalf of the Turkish Red Crescent for this award. I wanted very much to be with you, but I will become a father very soon. I dedicate this award to the little Aylian, thrown by the sea on our sea-shore. As a future father I would like to live in a world where the parents never grieve for their children.
The President of the Bulgarian Red Cross Award was given to the films “Disaster Management Unit I” and “Disaster Management Unit II”, and “Emergency Medical Services I”, Lebanon, director Naji Becara.
The Best Documentary Film Award was given to the Bulgarian film “TOTAL Denial” with director Milena Kaneva, and as favourite for the category The Best Feature Film Award unanimously was chosen the Albanian masterpiece “Bota”, directed by Iris Elezi and Thomas Logoreci.
The Mayor of Varna Award for Significant Creative Achievement was given to “Shooting Star”, co-production Bulgaria-Italy with director Lyubo Yonchev.
According to the Regulations of the Festival were also given the following awards:
- to the film “Holy Mother Pyre“, with director Hristo Stoychev by the Union of Bulgarian Film Makers;
- to “Diagnosis +”, director Alexander Yanev by Nu Boyana Film Studio;
- special award for contribution to the development of the humanitarian films and documentary was given to baroness Denislava Angelova for the realization of the film “The Diabetes Cause” with director Iva Martinova.
The little heroes, participants in this film, dedicated to the fate of children with diabetes, were invited on the scene and touched the spectators with their hard destiny and unbending spirit.
Today the 16-th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films was opened by the vice-president of Bulgaria Mrs. Margarita Popova. Find more images from the opening ceremony on the facebook page of the festival.
Today a press conference about the opening of the 16th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films on September 28th (monday) was held in Varna.
It was largely covered in Bulgarian on-line and tv media:
Chernomore: The XVI-th Festival of Red Cross and Health Films is starting. The event, which restores its character as competition, runs under the patronage of the vice-president of the Republic of Bulgaria Mrs. Margarita Popova.
Focus-news: Hristo Grigorov, Bulgarian Red Cross Chairman: The restoration of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films returns Bulgaria back to the intellectual world of Europe.
Focus-news: The XVI-th Festival of Red Cross and Health Films will be held in Varna
Focus-news: Films from 21 countries will be shown on the XVI-th Festival of Red Cross and Health Films in Varna
Intrigi.bg: The Refugees are the epicentre of the 16th International Festival of Red Cross and health films.
Regional Television Centre Varna: A FESTIVAL OF RED CROSS FILMS IN VARNA
Blitz.bg: Sixteenth edition of the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films in Varna in September !
You can read the press centre announcement here.
You can download the 16th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films catalogue from THIS LINK or by clicking on the picture on the right in pdf format.
From today You can get a FREE TRAVEL & COFFEE CARD!
1. You can take it from the Red Cross office in Varna on 3 Bratya Shkorpil Street.
2. You can dowload the card image and show it from the screen of Your smartphone or tablet.
3. You can get the Portable Data Format file from HERE and print it Yourself.
Any of the three versions will be valid during the festival for a free trip from Varna to SOK "Kamchia" and back. The bus times are on the CARD itself.
Today we have the pleasure and honour to present You the juri of 16-th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films - Varna.
Inernational introduction TV spot for 16-th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films - Varna.
Our media partner - Bulgarian National Television made a short spot to announce the
16-th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films.
Today we presented the organization committee and the representative faces of the reborn International Red Cross Film Festival in its 16-th edition on a pressconference in BTA (Bulgarian Telegraph Agency) in Sofia.
Today we released the regulations for XVI-th International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films - Varna. You can get it from the following link: