Diana Dobreva is a leading Bulgarian film and stage actress, stage director at Ivan Vazov National Theatre. Her films and stagings were presented in Paris, London, New York, Moscow, Vienna, Rome, Zurich, Berlin, Rotterdam, Avignon, Monaco, Strasbourg, Karlovy Vary, Warsaw, St Petersburg, Linz, Bratislava, Skopje, Priština, Budva, Adana, Antalya. Her theatre productions received many national and international awards such as Le Prix Coup de Coeur for Best Production at the Festival in Avignon, France, Askeer Award for Best Director and Best Bulgarian Production; the top award for Best Production at Skupi International Theatre Festival, Skopje, etc.

She received the Golden Rose Award for Best Leading Actress at Golden Rose Festival of Bulgarian Feature Film for her role in Monkeys in Winter; Best Actress Award of the Bulgarian National Film Center for her roles in Warden of the Dead and Monkeys in Winter. Leading actress in international film coproduction made by Italy, Germany, France.


Director of goEast Festival of Central and Eastern European Film

Heleen Gerritsen (b. 1978, the Netherlands) studied Slavonic Languages and Economics in Amsterdam and St. Petersburg. Since 2003 lives in Germany. After a post-graduate course in film production, she started working freelance for film festivals and production companies in Germany, The Netherlands, Russia and Switzerland. In 2009 she produced her first feature length documentary, a trilogy for Dutch television. In 2013 Heleen founded her own production company Serious Directions in Berlin and continued producing documentaries, fiction and shorts. From 2014 to 2016 Heleen was festival director of the European film festival dokumentART in Neubrandenburg, Germany. Since October 2017 she is the director of goEast Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, which is organized by the German Film Institute. Heleen is a member of the German Film Classification Board of Film- und Medienbewertung (FBW).


ILIAN DJEVELEKOV was born in 1966 in Plovdiv. He has an MA degree in Film and TV Directing from NATFA, Sofia. In 2001, together with Matey Konstantinov and Georgi Dimitrov, Ilian founded Miramar Film production company, where he directed and produced hundreds of TV commercials and several documentaries. He is producer of a number of Bulgarian films and co-productions, including Zift winner of Golden Rose 2008.

Ilian’s first feature film, LOVE.NET (2011) ranks among the top ten of all-time grossing movies in Bulgaria and had its international premiere at the Moscow IFF. He received the Best Director Award from the Bulgarian Film Academy, among many others.

His sophomore feature film, Omnipresent (2017), same as his debut picture, is based on his original idea. The film had a successful run at the box office after winning the Golden Rose top prize for Best Picture, Best Actor and Actress, the Critics’ and the Audience Awards.


Rudi Teichmann (b. 1955 in Wiesbaden, Western Germany) is a German producer; studied chemical engineering and visual communication. Founded B & T Film GmbH production company in 1991, producing European and German audiovisual product for the German and international markets, larger-than-life stories that can touch audiences beyond linguistic and cultural borders. Producer of more than 20 films such as Max Manus (2008, Norway/Germany, dirs. Joachim Roenning, Espen Sandberg), 7 times Norwegian film award winner; 1,2 million theatrical tickets sold in Norway; Norway’s contender for best foreign-language film at the Oscars; sold to more than 60 territories worldwide, and Two Lives (Zwei Leben, 2013, Germany/Norway, dir. Georg Maas), multiple festival awards; Germany’s contender for best foreign-language film at the Oscars 2014 (final 9 shortlisted); German Film Awards 2014: Best Feature (Bronze), Best Edit; sold to more than 75 territories worldwide. Member of: German Film Academy. European Film Academy, L'Académie franco-allemande du cinéma (Franco-German Film Academy) and the Association of Independent German Producers (VdFP).


Wojciech Todorow—a cinematographer but also a director and screenwriter of many feature films, documentaries, and television series. Born in Poland, he lived and worked in Bulgaria till the mid-1990’s. He completed his cinematography studies at the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia as well as the Lodz Film School. He debuted alongside Krasimir Krumov with the film Exitus. He received the Kodak Award for his cinematography on Wagner.

Currently, living and working in Poland, he has collaborated with such directors as Agnieszka Holland, Filip Bajon, Magdalena and Piotr Lazarkiewicz, Jan Jakub Kolski, Jakub Miszczak. In 2012 he was awarded at the Sopot Film Festival for his cinematography on film The Happiest Man (Najweselszy czlowiek). He is a member of the Polish Society of Cinematographers, as well as a lecturer at the AMA Film Academy in Cracow.





ALEK POPOV (b. Sofia, Bulgaria, 1966) is one of the leading contemporary Bulgarian writers, working not only as a novelist but also as dramatist, essayist and short-story writer. His hugely successful first novel, the comic satire Mission London, based on his experiences as Bulgarian cultural attaché in London, has been translated in sixteen languages. The book was filmed in 2010, becoming the most popular Bulgarian film since the revolution of 1990 and being described by Variety as ‘a breakthrough phenomenon’. In 2011, the film won the Unbribable Award of Transparency International Croatia’s Culture against Corruption program at Motovun Film Festival.

Award-winning The Black Box, his second novel, has so far appeared in six languages, including English, and was a bestseller in German translation as well as the original Bulgarian edition. Palaveevi Sisters: In the Storm of History, his third novel, won the Helikon Award for best fiction book of 2013 and was translated in German and Serbian. The second part of the novel, The Palaveev Sisters: On the Road to the New World was released in 2017.

Over the years, Alek Popov has won many literary awards including the Elias Canetti Prize for his novel The Black Box, 2007; Helkon Award for best fiction book of the year, 2002, 2013; the Chudomir Award for satirical fiction; The Reading Man Prize; The Ivan Radoev National Prize for Drama, the U.K. contemporary Bulgarian novel contest of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, organized in cooperation with Peter Owen Publishers, etc. In 2012, Alek Popov was elected corresponding member of the Bulgarian Academy of Science in the field of arts.


Andronika Martonova (b. 1974) is a film critic, researcher and university teacher in Asian film. She is Assoc. Prof., PhD, Head of Screen Arts Department, Institute of Art Studies (www.artstudies.bg), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
She has authored numerous critical and research publications in the field of Asian film, world and Bulgarian film cultures. A her archival research is focused, among other things, on Bulgaria’s cross-cultural communication with the Far East in different historical periods: before World War II, under socialism and in the post-totalitarian period. Contributes for L`Europeo – Bulgaria, Glasove and ARTizanin.

A visiting lecturer at NATFA and the University of Sofia. Her main courses: Aesthetics and history of Asian film, Modern and contemporary visual culture of Asia and South, East and Southeast Asia in the focus of documentary film: discourse, historicity and interpretation.

In her capacity as a film critic she was a jury member at many international film festivals such as those held in Warsaw (Poland), Bangkok (Thailand), Brisbane (Australia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Bitola (Macedonia) as a FIPRESCI member. From NETPAC she was in the jury team in Kochin (India). In 2015 and 2016 she received a national nomination by the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers and Bulgarian Film Academy for Best Film Reviews Award. Other prizes: Best Book Award 2008 of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers for her The Hieroglyph of Cinema in the Theory and History of Cinema category; Prof. Marin Drinov Award 2009 by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the highest young researcher award; Special Mention 2011 for archival and film studies of Ikuo Hirayama Centre, Hirayama Ikuo Silk Road Museum, Japan.


PAVLE VUČKOVIĆ was born in 1982, in Belgrade, Serbia. Studied at the Film and TV Directing Department, Faculty of Dramatic Arts, University of Arts, Belgrade. Twice awarded at the Cinéfondation Competition, Cannes IFF for his short films Run Rabbit Run (2003) and Minus (2007). Run Rabbit Run screened at many international festivals such as those held in Busan, Cottbus, Mar del Plata, Kiev, Milano, etc.; it is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and was shown at the Pompidou Centre in Paris and in London Tate Modern. Apart from short films, he is making music videos, commercials and TV shows. His debut feature Panama had its world premiere at Cannes IFF 2015 in the Official Selection, Special Screenings section. Panama was sold to more than twelve territories around the world such as Germany, UK, South Korea, Japan, Ukraine, etc.


RAYA PEEVA studied Classical Acting at NATFA in the classes of Prof. Zdravko Mitkov (2014). Joined the company of the Youth Theatre in 2015. She has played Sasha in Chekhov’s Ivanov, dir. Stefan Mavrodiev; Molly in John Kolvenbach’s Love Song, dir. Andrew Wolkoff; The Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland (based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), dir. Anastasia Subeva; The Girl in Mark Bartlett’s Cock, dir. Staiko Murdjev; Polly in Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn, dir. Malin Krustev; Alice in Patrick Marber’s Closer, dir. Zdravko Mitkov, Vuzrazhdane Theatre, which own her Icarus 2012 theatre award for debut. Filmography: The Singing Shoes by Radoslav Spassov (2016), nominated for Best Female Lead Role (as Lea Ivanova); Pistol, Briefcase and Three Stinking Barrels by Georgi Kostov.