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International festival Sofia Music Weeks

The Festival opens its gates for the first time on 24 May 1970. Step by step it establishes itself as the most important international event for Sofia and the country. Aiming at its main purpose – presenting to the Bulgarian audience the most remarkable things from the world’s and Bulgarian music art of the highest level – the Festival receives an international recognition by becoming a member of the European Festivals Association for Music, Theatre and Dance (1982), which members are prestigious festivals from whole Europe.

The Festival is held in the best concert halls of Sofia: Bulgaria hall (big and chamber), halls of the National Palace of Culture, the National Gallery if Fine Arts, etc., which creates possibilities for using the interior and exterior areas for advertising purposes. Co-organizers of the Weeks are Sofia Municipality, Ministry of Culture, National Palace of Culture. The Festival collaborates very actively with the foreign embassies and cultural institutes in this country. The Festival events have a wide publicity in the electronic and mass media.

Sofia film fest

For 16th year Sofia International Film Festival will gather together in Sofia films, guests, stars, journalists and cinema fans from 9th until 18th March 2012. Featured in Variety’s Top 50 of cinema festivals, the event presents Bulgaria to the world as the host one of the important film festivals in Europe and takes place annually in March. What started as a thematic music film festival, went through 15 previous editions to become the cinema event of the year, bringing the current world cinema trends to the domestic viewers in Bulgaria and the latest in Bulgarian cinema to the rest of the world.

Since 1997 more than 1,600 feature films and documentaries have been screened within the festival’s framework. The festival is organized by Art Fest under the auspices of the Municipality of Sofia and in partnership with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, the National Palace of Culture, the National Film Center and the Bulgarian National Television with the support of the MEDIA programme of the European Commission, national and foreign cultural institutes and sponsors.

For its 10th anniversary as an international cinema event in the year 2010 named Year of Bulgarian Cinema, Sofia International Film Festival received as present the recognition from FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) – it was accredited as competitive festival specialized in first and second films.

Elevation Music Festival

The mission of the festival is to establish tradition by introducing and affirming the festival culture in Bulgaria. ELEVATION presents the Bulgarian audience with the new musical trends and meets the music lovers with their favourite groups and artists, as well as young Bulgarian bands. On The Main Stage of the Festival the Bulgarian fans will enjoy seeing not only world-famous and eminent stars from the musical scene, but also rising performers from various genres – pop, funk, jazz, swing, electro swing, soul, Hip Hop, reggae, R&B, alternative and experimental rock, ska, punk and more.


Kinomania is an international festival for independent cinema. The festival usually offers exclusive premieres and most discussed titles. Viewers can watch the latest films of Pedro Almodovar, Nikita Mikhalkov and Lars Von Trier, and new bands with Robert De Niro, Monica Bellucci, Antonio Banderas, Cate Blanchett.

Each year the forum goes under a different motto and presented to viewers over 40 films in various categories. The program includes screenings in cinemas in Sofia and in recent years visited the forum in Varna and Plovdiv.

Arts Salon

Arts Salon focuses on contemporary Bulgarian art. And definitely puts the emphasis on Bulgarian culture of today, such as it is. No excess claim, but a tribute to the efforts of artists to create. Nevertheless, to be inspired. Arts Salon 2012 is urban, modern and conceptual Festival. Arts Salon aims to transform the National Palace of Culture and turn in May each year in building large urban system that redefines the vision, the presence and function as emblematic space. Whatever needs to be. NPC produces the majority of the events of the Salon for the first time this year will deliver part of the program in Varna.

Sofia Vocal Fest

The forum aims not just to enjoy the global diversity of the oldest and the finest musical instrument in the world – the human voice, but also to provoke dialogue between the language of music audience, and Bulgarian and international vocalists.

The main genres represented are jazz, swing, pop, experimental music, church music, folk and fusion / world music.

The first international festival of vocal art world was conducted between November 27 and December 4, 2011 in Sofia.

On! Fest (September each year)

The objective of “ON! Fest ‘2011” is to bring together the most popular youth activities: contemporary music, competitions and demonstrations in dance, skateboarding, graffiti, Japanese culture, beatbox and others. The program includes the presentation of new IT technologies and tournaments in computer and console games, which fills the atmosphere with even more excitement.

“ON! Fest” unfolds over a large area on which different parts of youth interests are located. Demonstrations, workshops, seminars, music and dance competitions, lectures and discussions on topics that concern young people take turns.

The first ON! Fest (16-18 September 2011) was conducted in five thematic areas with own program, intensity and attractions – Party ON!, Street ON!, Dance ON!, Technology ON! and Aniventure.

Mellow Music Festival (July each year)

Mellow Music Festival is a music city festival. The guests of the festival are renowned musical innovators as well as young artists. What unites them is the instrumental approach to electronic music and the fact that they are ambassadors of styles that are not represented on the Bulgarian scene. The Festival’s fever is going through Borisova Gradina Park, Shishman street and 6 clubs located a few meters from each other in the area around the National Palace of Culture.

National Festival for cinematography “Golden Eye” (May)

The festival was founded in memory of the famous Bulgarian cameraman Dimo Kolarov (1924-1997), who was born here. It is held every two years during the celebrations of culture in May in the city and dates back to 1998.

The competition program of the festival gives the opportunity of participation of films, documentaries and student films. It is organized by the Municipality Popovo and the Union of Film Makers in Bulgaria, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the National Film Center, the Association of Bulgarian operators and others.

Some of the winners of the “Golden Eye” prize for cinematography are: Konstantin Zankov with the movie “The Patience of the Stone”, Emil Topuzov with the movie “Dan Koloff”, Hristo Bakalov for “The Devil’s Tail”, Georgi Nikolov for “Journey to Jerusalem”, Plamen Somov for “Stolen Eyes”.

Festival of dance and martial arts (April)

Within three days, the Festival of dance and martial arts collects and presents under a roof the most popular dances and martial arts in the world. During the festival days 40 dance styles are presented (Latin and folk dance, hip-hop, breakdancing, MTV, ballroom, oriental, modern and unconventional dance) as well as over 20 demonstrations of martial arts and sports (boxing, kick boxing, Judo, MMA, karate, kung-fu, aikido, tai chi, self-defense techniques, etc.).

Three days without rest, there are dances, martial arts, dances and martial arts again, and so on until the audience meets with all 40 dances and 20 martial arts.