If literature is the bread, then cinema is the wine of imagination.
Proven to be the world’s first international Book to Film festival, Cinelibri is an extraordinary annual event, inspired by the interaction of arts – cinema and literature, in particular. It is held in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo, Stara Zagora and other cities every autumn, and showcases the best examples of films connected to literary works, both contemporary and classic. Cinelibri is an extremely important, independent platform for high-quality European film productions and co-productions and it is the most rapidly growing film festival in Bulgaria. Every year Cinelibri welcomes world-renowned filmmakers, actors, screenwriters and audiovisual professionals, along with affirmed European film professionals and journalists to present films from the program.
The Official Competition includes 10 to 20 films from the last 18 months judged by a prestigious international jury composed of a President and Members (including famous producers, directors, writers, screenwriters, actors, film composers). The Cinelibri statuette for Best Feature Film is handed to the relevant film director or producer, for their skillful “interpretation” of a literary work into the language of cinema.
Alongside Best Feature Film, the festival also presents awards in the following categories: Best Short Film, Best Documentary and Best Costume Design in Bulgarian Contemporary Cinema. Traditionally, the festival also bestows a Cinelibri Lifetime Achievement Award to creators in the field of cinema, literature, and script adaptation.
Aside from the official selection of competing films, Cinelibri also shows outstanding films out of competition in The Main Program, which highlights a wide range of film works such as adaptations, biopics, films created by writing directors, original scripts authored by writers, films inspired by novels, poems, theater plays, graphic novels, films with a subject somehow related to literature
All the selected titles are national and international premieres. They are presented in prestigious movie theaters and art spaces in major Bulgarian cities, alongside the literary works which inspired the filmmakers.
The Parallel Program of Cinelibri includes several film sections: classics and retrospectives; contemporary European productions and co-productions based on books; biopics of renowned authors, poets and playwrights; milestone documentaries and short films; animation; children’s films; young adults movies; engaged cinema; celebration of jubilees and tributes to prominent directors and screenwriters.
From the very beginning, Cinelibri has been an attractive scene for a number of educational modules such as lectures, panel discussions with visiting experts, masterclasses, workshops and various free events with the participation of special guests of the festival and professional modules such as industry meetings and pitching sessions.
Sustainable and diversity-respectful events focus on issues related to the environment, gender-equality, and social inclusion by collaborating with a wide range of specialized NGOs. The meetings with established European creators and talented young professionals, as well as all the accompanying events with dignified speakers and guests aim to promote Europe’s cultural heritage and contemporary European cinema and literature. Cinelibri is an independent forum, organized and upheld by devoted professionals, with clear vision and selection procedures open to international guests and media. Furthermore, the festival maintains a yearlong activity with numerous events in cooperation with schools and universities, decentralized screenings, regular distribution of European films, international meetings and interactions.
The mission of the festival is to disseminate European cultural values, share experience and promote both the unfading classics and latest achievements of contemporary art by seeking new perspectives on topical and universal themes. The forum aims to provide access to European culture and tradition in a modern, attractive and influential manner. Combining artistic techniques and resources of cinema, literature, theater performances, classical music and visual arts. Cinelibri adheres to the strategy of supporting the interaction of arts and promoting intercultural dialogues, while facilitating access to non-commercial European cinema. The festival maintains long-lasting partnerships with all embassies, diplomats and cultural institutes in Bulgaria and abroad, co-operates with a number of European cultural organizations, incl. production companies, art associations and funds, industry professionals, film festivals etc.