Sofia Contemporary

Sofia Contemporary is an international festival for contemporary art, which took place for the first time in autumn 2012.

Sofia Contemporary presents diverse artistic means, traditional and new media, urban and interior spaces for and with art. The festival discusses various attitudes to the problems of our time, territory, gender, social and political frustrations as well as affiliations. For three weeks the residents and visitors of Sofia will be challenged to experience the city as a collective space which can be reorganized and affected.

Curator of the first edition was Iara Boubnova. The theme – Present Unlimited. Curator of the second edition, which took place between 19th April and 12th May 2013,  was Övül Durmusoglu (Turkey/Germany). The theme of the second edition is “Near, closer, together”.

Sofia Contemporary is a new festival for contemporary art, produced within the scope of Sofia municipality project: “Festivals for art in urban space: Sofia Contemporary and Public Festival at West Park”, financed by operational porgramme “Regional development” 2007-2013.

DOMA art festival

DOMA is an international art festival of visual arts initiated by DOMA Art Foundation. The idea of the foundation is to promote contemporary art in different states in our country by focusing on growing and established artists.
Each year a selected country will present some of its eminent contemporary artists to the Bulgarian public. On a next edition some of the best Bulgarian artists will be sent and exposed to the respective country.
DOMA 2013 ‘The Heart Beat of South Korea’ explores the art and culture of South Korea. The eastern country is represented in Sofia by different artists – photographers, performers, graphic artists, sculptors, painters, illustrators, dancers, musicians, etc. The festival will take place at four main locations at the capital city – Vivacom Art Hall, The National Art Gallery, The National Academy of Art and Fabrica 126.
Between the dates May the 30th and June the 9th 2013 the Bulgarian public was able to enjoy multiple exhibitions, workshops, lectures, discussions, and other activities for free. For detailed information, please see the PROGRAM section in this web site. The festival also gave special attention to its youngest audience – DOMA KIDS program took place on 1st and 2nd of June 2013.
DOMA International Art Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sofia Municipality, The National Academy of Art, The National Art Gallery, The Centre of Korean Studies “St. Kliment Ohridski” Sofia University and The National School of Applied Arts “St. Luka”. DOMA supports “Sofia and the South-West region as Candidate for European Capital of Culture 2019” program.


The Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance ANTISTATIC has already built up its own profile of a platform for definite artistic standpoints. But what is really this elusive material of the performer – his/her own individuality? How is it formed and expressed by movement, speech and sound? These are the leading questions of the organizers of Brain Store Project, Red House Center for Culture and Debate and Informburo Association in this year’s sixth edition of the festival. From 15 – 21 April it will meet the Sofia audience with innovators in contemporary dance and performance on Bulgarian and international scene to explore its new perspectives together.
The Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance ANTISTATIC 2013 is supported by  Goethe-Institut in Bulgaria and is realized in support of Sofia’s bid for European Capital of Culture Cultural Calendar of Sofia Municipality. It is organized with the financial support of NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ (NPN) . It is organized in partnership with New Dramaturgies Platform, Theatre Laboratory Sfumato and Cultural Centre at Sofia University

Sofia Jazz Plus

Jazz Plus Festival has existed since 2005 and is held each spring in Sofia. First 7 editions (2005-2011) presented a program of between 5 and 8 shows that present current artists of the highest rank in the field of improvised acoustic music. The festival has presented for the first time in front of the Bulgarian audience world stars (like Stanley Clarke, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jan Garbarek), such potential in the up and continuing their career and today (as Tord Gustavsen or Roberto Fonseca) and the world premiere concert new music programs (like Dino Saluzzo and Anja Lechner). As side events were organized shoukeysi who represented the Bulgarian singers before invited directors of festivals (2005 and 2006), exhibitions (ECM Cover Art Exhibition, 2007), cinema (including national premieres of new films), concert performances outdoors in public spaces (Pascal Nevyo, 2008 and 2010). Are visiting musicians from Argentina, Britain, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Cuba, Mali, Norway, Peru, Poland, USA, Tunisia, Hungary, France, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden.


Kinomania launched in 1987 as World Film Panorama. For 26 years of its existence, the festival enjoys strong recognition and loyal audience. The program of each edition includes premiere one of the most attractive and valuable films of world cinema industry for the last two years that are not displayed on the screen Bulgarian. The selection of films Kinomania is extremely precise, and each year the format is upgraded to be even more interesting to viewers.

Sofia Film Fest

Since 1997 more than 1,600 feature films and documentaries have been screened within the festival’s framework. More than 1,000 distinguished guests have attended, including established professionals such as Wim Wenders, Volker Schlondorff, Katja Riemann and Karl Baumgartner (Germany), Claudia Cardinale (Italy), Alan Parker, Peter Greenaway, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Tony Palmer and David Mackenzie (United Kingdom), Nikita Mikhalkov, Andrei Konchalovsky, Karen Shakhnazarov and Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov (Russia), Jiri Menzel, Jan Sverak, Jan Hrebejk and Petr Zelenka (Czech Republic), Emir Kusturica (Yugoslavia), Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland), Otar Iosseliani (Georgia), Jean-Claude Carriere, Agnes Varda, Siegfried and Jacques Dorfmann (France), Assumpta Serna (Spain), Bent Hamer and Unni Straume (Norway), Jafar Panahi and Babak Payami (Iran), Jerry Schatzberg, Michael Wadleigh and Lech Kowalski (USA), Jos Stelling (the Netherlands), Mika Kaurismaki (Finland), Friðrik Þór Friðriksson (Iceland), Lone Scherfig (Denmark), Kornel Mundruczo (Hungary), Goran Markovic, Goran Paskaljević, Radivoje Andric, Dusan Milic, Srđan Karanović and Srđan Dragojević (Serbia) and many others.
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. Since its creation the director of the festival has been Stefan Kitanov.

International Festival of Ethnographic Film Sofia

Тhe first edition of the Festival of ethnographic film in Sofia was in November 2010 and back then it was organised under the name Festival of Ethnographic and Anthropological Film. The program then was focused on the fieldwork of the French filmmaker and anthropologist Jean Rouch and special guest to the FEAF 2010 was the visual anthropologist professor Asen Balikci. A year later, in December 2011 in the Conference hall of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” was held the second edition of the visual anthropology forum – FEAF 2011 with emphasis on the Balkans. During these two years the festival was transformed into a collective place of scientists, researchers, documentarists and students who work in the area of ethnographic film, humanities and visual studies.
In 2012 the festival has changed its name to the International Festival of Ethnographic Film – Sofia (IFEFs) and it is going to have a new format – besides the presentation of ethnographic films it will also include workshops, presentations, discussions, lectures, photographic exhibitions and will be held in several locations across Sofia, Bulgaria.
At the present moment the Festival does not feature any competitions and is organized for promotional and educational purposes.

International Puppet Festival

Founded in 1946 by Mara Penkova, who used her own meager resources to fund the troupe in those lean post-war years, the first Bulgarian puppet theater quickly succeeded in capturing the public’s attention. Only two years later, the troupe was awarded a state subsidy and became the first officially-recognized professional state theater in Bulgaria. Since its founding, the puppet theater has staged more than 300 plays.

The theater’s first international appearance took place in Bucharest in 1958, and only a mere two years later, the troupe received an award for “Originality and Imagination” at the Second Annual International Puppetry Festival in Bucharest for its adaptation of Sergey Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”, directed by Atanas Ilkov and Nikolina Georgieva.
The 1960s were the theater’s golden era, characterized by highly successful performances that spread the theater’s reputation for high-caliber and wildly popular puppet productions throughout the world, from Cuba to the U.S. and Canada, and from Western Europe to as far away as Japan. For example, the theater’s productions of “King Marko” (1967) and “Pinocchio” (1968) were featured in Edinburgh’s prestigious theater festival; “The Watchmaker” (1965) was also noted for its striking visuals. Not limiting itself to children’s repertoire, the puppet theater also has performed classics from the general theatrical canon, such as “The Misanthrope” (1968), “The Decameron” (1972), “The Tempest” (1987), and “Macbeth” (1996). The theater’s adaptation of the cult classic “Ragazza” was sold-out weeks in advance of its opening. The theater also successfully staged the legendary shadow-puppet plays “Carnival of Animals” and “Pictures at an Exhibition” (1997). Finally, the theater is famous for the unflagging popularity of its “The Princess and the Pea”, which has had an unbelievably successful run of more than thirty years!
To date, the puppet theater has staged more than 300 different plays.

Festival Piano Extravaganza

The Festival, organized by the Piano Extravaganza Foundation, was held for the first time in October 2011, thus fulfilling an old dream of Maestro Ludmil Angelov, Founder and Artistic Director of Piano Extravaganza. The main purpose of the Festival is to restore the world’s musical heritage by promoting works of high artistic value by composers who are little known or who have been overshadowed by the most famous and universally acclaimed geniuses of classical music.
The ambition of the organizers is to turn the festival into an annual event in Sofia that will attract a Bulgarian and international audience of classical music lovers looking for something different, offering them a truly unique program of concerts. The main emphasis in the Festival’s program policy is on music for piano, the most universal musical instrument, which will appear in all concerts. Over the course of a week, music lovers will be able to enjoy piano recitals, chamber concerts and song evenings, thanks also to the excellent acoustics of the elegant hall at the Military Club in Sofia.
The musicians invited to perform at the Festival are internationally acclaimed artists with recognized craftsmanship in the field of rarely performed repertoire, or just innovative performers that wish to explore such a repertoire. The selection of the artistic team for each edition of the festival is done by Ludmil Angelov, who has got an important experience as an Artistic Director of Toledo International Music Festival since 1994 up to the present time. Amongst the artists that have been contacted and expressed their consent to take part in the future editions of the Festival are some of the best Bulgarian and foreign musicians with strong affinity towards the unusual repertoire.
A cultural tourism program is also organized for the international audience of the Festival. This will give visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy a week of musical treats and, at the same time, to discover Bulgaria’s fascinating cultural and historical heritage, natural sites, food and wine.
Last, but not least, Piano Extravaganza supports the candidature of Sofia for European Capital of Culture 2019, joining our Festival’s creative forces to the ones of the city of Sofia with an aim to celebrate the cultural ties that link Bulgaria to Europe and bring people from different countries into contact with each other’s culture, promoting mutual understanding and giving new vitality to European cultural life.

Open air galleries

Period of the exhibitions: March-November, annually.
A series of exhibitions created by Sofia Municipality to the Outdoor Galleries in front of the National Theatre “Ivan Vazov” and “The Lovers Bridge” close to the National Palace of Culture.
Sofia has another cultural space. It is easily accessible in the immediate urban environment in the city center, free and provoking to stop for a bit in your daily route. They appear both in Central Park, where there is an opportunity to present twenty-four works of art, and also to  the “Lovers bridge” close to the National Palace of Culture.