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206 Films from 59 Countries Are to Compete at the XVIII International Red Cross and Health Film Festival

The organizers of the XVIII International Red Cross and Health Film Festival entitled "Aggression-Humanity-Cinema" announced interesting details about its programme at a press conference today.

The Festival will be opened by its patron - the Vice President Mrs. Iliana Yotova at an official ceremony on 13thJune at 7 pm, in Hall 1 at the Festival and Congress Centre - Varna. The films, included in the cinema forum are to be screened from 13th to 21st June in Halls 1, 2 and 5 at FCC - Varna, Varna Municipality and Radio Varna.

Besides the messages conveyed from the screen, the main focus of the programme is the emblematic for the festival Discussion Forum, where prominent public figures including Solomon Passy, Maria Gabriel, Tatiyana Doncheva, Prof. Ivo Hristov, Assoc. Prof. Haralan Aleksandrov are going to present their views on the present day, united under the theme of "Aggression, Humanity, Cinema". Representatives of Radio Varna, where the discussions are going to take place from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm every day, have explained that this year all meetings will be broadcast directly online in all social networks, which will enable people from all over the world to watch them. The documentary "Pope Francis: A Man of His Word" will be screened after the festival official opening.

The actress Dorotea Toncheva is the Chairperson of the International Jury that will evaluate the films, and its members are the actor Velislav Pavlov, director Ilian Dzhevelekov, Prof. Violetka Tacheva, PhD, from the Department of Slavic Languages and Communications at MU-Varna, and the director and producer Mr. Armağan Pekkaya.

This year the film programme and the accompanying events are extremely variegated. In the competition programme the audience will be able to see 206 films from 59 countries, situated on 5 continents. The organizers presented a brief overview - 114 films applied for participation in 2014, in 2017 - 1860, and this year 3067 films have expressed a desire to join the competition. The final film selection was done by the Chairperson of the Selection Committee Prof. Temelko Temelkov.

On 14th June, a Poetry Round Table "The Present Day - Aggression and Humanity" is to be held at the Library of MU-Varna, which will bring together people with a special affinity for poetry. The main actors will be Prof. Zlatimir Kolarov, Assoc. Prof. Dobrin Paskalev, Prof. Krasimir Metodiev and Assoc. Prof. Yonko Yonkov, who are going to present their works of art. Before the beginning of the poetic discussion, the participants will be able to see the film "Triptych for Dimitar Dimov", with screenwriters - Prof. Zlatimir Kolarov and Ms. Anna Svitkova, and director - Ms. Valentina Fidanova - Kolarova. The exhibition "Hippocrates and Pegasus", which interprets the topic of the phenomenon "physician - a man of art" in the Bulgarian history from the Renaissance to the present day, including an impressive number of intellectuals and artists, was opened on 4th June at MU-Varna.

14th June is also the World Blood Donor Day, and in this connection a blood donation campaign "Donate Blood, Get a Ticket and Autograph" is to be conducted at the entrance of the Sea Garden. A breakthrough wearable artificial vision device designed to assist people who are blind or visually impaired will be presented on the same day in the Blue Salon of the Sea Casino - Varna.

On 15th June at 4:30 pm at the Concert Studio of Radio Varna, there will be a screening of the film "To Revoke the Predestinated", telling the fate of the Bulgarian citizens affected by the rare hereditary disease, Transthyretin Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (TTR-FAP), and its significance in Bulgaria as an endemic country.

On 16th June at 4:30 pm at Radio Varna, there will be screenings and discussions dedicated to the Lifeguard Service. Dr. Stathis Avramidis is going to present the film dedicated to Lucas Bistarakis, considered the "father" of professional water lifeguarding in Greece. Representatives of MU-Varna will present the film "The Teacher" by the director Genoveva Donkova, in memory of Lavrenti Silov, the Doyen of the Bulgarian water lifeguarding.

On 17th June, at Hall 5 of FCC, there will be screening of the film, directed by Iva Martinova "Against the Streamline" - a film by Medical University - Varna, dedicated to 135 years of the Varna Medical Society. Special guests will be the members of the team that have organised the anniversary celebration.

From 14th to 16th June, at 9:00 pm at the entrance of the Sea Garden, there will also be an open-air Summer Cinema with screenings of short films from all over the world.

The cinema forum continues until 17th June, when the prize-winning films are to be awarded. The accompanying panorama programme of humane films continues with free screenings at the Plenary Hall of the Municipality of Varna till 21st June.

The International Red Cross and Health Film Festival is held as a biennial, and between each of the editions an Autumn Academy is being held, which deals with urgent issues related to aggression and humanity in our society.


                                                                                                                                                         Veronika Stoyanova