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Portrait Pathways - Photography Contest






Strongly believing in the power of experimentation and synergy between various arts, in 2021, with its second edition, the International Portrait Film Festival (IPFF) creates a competition module for photographic portraits. The experiment will be open to photography projects by professionals and amateurs from around the world. The selected best photo portraits will be part of an exhibition during the festival events of IPFF 2021.

One of all the selected photographs will be awarded as a winner and will become a starting point for experimental transformations - in a virtual art incubator it will be an inspiration for subsequent discussions and creations in various arts and fields.


Portrait of a lady (a portrait from another historical time, past or future)

Portrait of a lady on fire (a queer portrait)

Portrait in sepia (a monochrome or black&white portrait)

The picture of Dorian Gray (a very beautiful portrait or a portrait-grotesque)

Portrait of the artist as a young man (a surreal portrait)

Self-portrait with ear and pipe (a self-portrait of the photographer)

Prize summary: 
Cash prize - the awarded photographer receives a cash prize - 50% of the prize fund.
Prizes Details: 

Selection and evaluation

From all the submitted applications, the IPFF team and the jury of the contest will select the best 24 photos, which will be published on the platforms of the festival and will participate in an exhibition (digital & print versions) within the second edition of IPFF in November 2021.

The jury of the competition will distinguish ONE best work from the selected photographs.

Awards and prizes

The best work is given the opportunity to participate in a creative incubator "Portrait Pathways". The creative incubator is a virtual space that allows artists and photography lovers, through their comments, to share impressions, opinions, as well as to generate narratives, whose starting point is this one selected photograph. The aim of the process is an enriching accumulation of ideas, outlining a new, longer and unexpected life of the work, as well as popularizing the artist within a different context.

Cash prize - the awarded photographer also receives a cash prize - 50% of the prize fund. The prize fund is formed by the paid participation fees. The amount raised is distributed as follows:
50% for a prize for the best work;
50% for costs and development of the photo contest.

All authors of selected photographs will receive a specialized digital diploma.

Contact & Links: 

International Portrait FIlm Festival Open Call 2021





IPFF is on the path towards its second edition in 2021. Once again, we will celebrate short portrait cinema, independent filmmaking and art which explores, educates and transforms.

A portrait is an image heavy with meaning. Multilayered and multifaceted, it has a visual, psychological, material, emotional and spiritual dimension.

Unravelled in art, the painted, the literary, the photographic portrait is often perceived by the human mind as a still frozen in time. But, in fact, it has already undergone a transformation. From its true origin, through the consciousness that revives the brush, the quill and the lens, to the semblance that begins its life on the canvas and on the page. Imitation and repetition, but with endless potential for future metamorphoses.

The film portrait, too, is captured in time. It is not motionless - literally and metaphorically. The cinematographic portrait is a soul in the form of light encountering the canvas of the white screen. The portrait is a trace. And a sign. A secret. A reverie.


The portrait is the focus of the films that will be screened at IPFF. We are looking for portrait films that have already been completed, as well as such that will be created with the concrete idea of 'portrait'. Of a person. A group of people. An object. Something invisible, but substantial. Of the self. Or of something else.


IPFF aspires to bring together artists and viewers who sincerely long for enrichment with art, intellectual discussion and an experience of cinema through a new prism - that of the portrait film.


IPFF is a hybrid event and platform. A symbiosis of intriguing live encounters and memorable virtual experiences. The interweaving of portrait cinema from around the world and debates, lectures and masterclasses.


IPFF is for those profoundly needing art and excitement. And for the ones in search of their catharsis. For the unafraid to stare at the screen even when it is empty. For those hungry for experimental viewpoints. For those forever in love with cinema, caught in its loop.


IPFF welcomes a wide spectre of films and filmmakers: students, professionals, from low budget to big-scale productions, alternative and independent films by individuals and by collectives or institutions.

Prizes Details: 

The awarded films in each category are determined by an international jury of professionals with impressive accomplishments in their respected fields: film practitioners, academics, film critics, culturologists, authors, journalists. Presenting their different points of view, they distinguish the best films among the Official Selection of the festival (read more on the IPFF website).

IPFF will award the best portrait creations with:

The grand prize IPFF 2021
- A trip to the IPFF festival days in Sofia in 2021
- specially made copper statuette
- digital laurels ‘Maya Award IPFF 2021’

Award for the most wonderful portrait creation in each category
- specially made copper statuette
- digital laurels ‘International Portrait Film Festival - Most Wonderful Film Award’

Audience Award - a favourite film chosen by the IPFF viewers
- specially made copper statuette
- digital laurels ‘International Portrait Film Festival - Audience Award’

IPFF also presents a special award for a Film Dedication about the contribution of a person or about a cause aiming towards a brighter and better world.
- specially made copper statuette
- digital laurels ‘International Portrait Film Festival - Film Dedication Award’

Digital laurels ‘International Portrait Film Festival - Official Selection’ for all selected films.

IPFF Virtual Library is a project we begin in 2021 - offering the opportunity for visibility of the work of each applying artist. Every author who submits a film and is interested in this offer can showcase their film with a trailer in the virtual library of IPFF, based in YouTube. In this way, the applicant artists will have another visible platform within the Internet space. The virtual library will be free and accessible to representatives of the film industry, film communities, researchers, cultural organizations, viewers.


Entry Fee:

Fee Detail: 
13-15 USD
Contact & Links: 

IAFF Golden Kuker Sofia 2021





THE INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FILM FESTIVAL (IAFF) GOLDEN KUKER - SOFIA, started its activity in October 2010 in Sofia and is the first festival of the art of animated films in Bulgaria since the new century. It is held every spring in May and is one of the most attractive cultural events in Bulgaria! The festival is a bridge between professionals from all over the world and succeeds in showing the best of Bulgarian and world animation, aiming to stimulate the creative expressions of animators from all over the world.


IAFF GOLDEN KUKER - SOFIA plays a key role in the animation industry because it is organized by animators who produce animated films themselves which are interesting for people of different generations. IAFF Golden Kuker - Sofia shows a high level of professional performance and a huge international participation with plenty of works of talented people from all over the world. During the festival and throughout the year, animators and audiences have the opportunity to attend professional master classes led by world-renowned directors and animators, exhibitions, seminars, round tables, presentations and impressive events related to the art of animation.


Each year the festival focuses on the preservation of the environment, a traveling festival is held in the country as well. It is organized by the animation studio ANIMART Ltd. and the Bulgarian Association of Independent Animation Artists (BAIAA) “Proiko Proikov “(Legendary Bulgarian animator) - a nonprofit organization. The Association was created and chaired by Ms. Nadezhda Slavova (animator, director and screenwriter of many animated films), she also created the festival as she its director. Festival guests from all over the world have the opportunity to participate in tourist trip destinations in order to see the sights of our beautiful and unique country Bulgaria. The grand prize is “GOLDEN KUKER”, the Special Prize is in the name of “Proko Proikov” and there are also other awards in different categories.


IAFF GOLDEN KUKER - SOFIA is supported by the National Film Center, the Sofia Municipal Council, Sofia Municipality, the National Culture Fund, the Bulgarian National Television, the Bulgarian National Radio, the American Embassy, the Czech Cultural Center, the Hungarian Cultural Center, the Polish Institute - Sofia, the French cultural institute and by business companies in Bulgaria, who became its partners.bravely rolled up her sleeves and together with her colleagues from BAICAA organised The International Animation Film Festival Golden Kuker-Sofia. She then became an Art Director of the festival and carried out its 1st edition.

Prize summary: 
Special Grand Prix physical prize and certificate

Entry Fee:

Fee Detail: 
Student Fee 10$, Standard Fee 15$. Special discounts for multiple films!
Contact & Links: 

+359 Gallery International Resident Program





International resident program

Gallery +359 is located in the building of a preserved water tower in Sofi­a, Bulgaria. It was designed in 1903 by the German engineer Franz Salbach, and the structure was finished in 1929. 27 meters tall, it was built at the highest point of the Lozenets district in So­fia (610.40 m), based on a French system for construction of water towers with reinforced concrete and brick masonry. The tower’s tank, now hosting various video and audio projects, has a volume of 100 cubic meters. In the past, apart from being a hydraulic structure, the architecture of the building permitted it to serve as a watchtower.

The residency provides a working stay in Sofi­a from two weeks to a month, at the invitation of the gallery, to create a site-speci­c project for the Water tower space. The stay will be split in two parts, the speci­cs of which depend on the artistic practice of the resident - a research period and a production period. Within the Resident Program, the artist will make a presentation of his or hers work to the public and will draw up an exhibition plan. The date of the presentation will be decided according to the exhibition schedule and the artist’s possibility to stay. Gallery +359 will provide a studio, will cover the travel expenses, as well as production costs for the exhibition, as the budget will vary depending on the project. The artist will donate a work for the contemporary art collection of Gallery +359.

Provided for the artists:


travel expenses

working studio for the production period (if needed)

production expenses (up to 1500€)

curatorial and technical assistance

communication in relation to the event (design, printing, distribution of mediа)

Residency period:

June-July 2021: Research and Production period OR June-July 2021: Research period and additional production period before the exhibition

The application files must include the following:

Outline of a project proposal

CV (up to 4 pages)

Portfolio and/or publications with a selection of 3–5 relevant projects (PDF)

Candidates are requested to send their applications before  December 31, 2020 by email or Wetransfer to the following address:


Entry Fee:

Contact & Links: 






At Swimming Pool, Sofia
13 – 27 November 2019

Until 26 September

Swimming Pool invites you to participate in a two-weeks intense curatorial program to take place from 13 to 27 November 2019 in Sofia. The second edition of our curatorial school focuses on Collaborative Practices, a field of research, action and vision informed by recent changes in society towards new forms of political, economical, technological, ecological and cultural co-existence.

We invite anyone interested in curating and instituting – artists, curators, writers, university students, cultural workers, and professionals –, to take part in a program built on discussions, workshops and talks. Main purpose of the school is to enable learning from immediate experience; therefore, alongside our meetings, we will enter into a process of collaborative writing to examine the dynamics of our encounter. Also, we encourage everyone to participate with an own vision on the topics outlined in the open call that can be framed as fiction or exhibition draft, performative action or a theoretical inquiry; within the school we will have the chance to discuss and exchange so that we grow our tools and imaginary towards meaningful collaborations. 

Talks, workshops and collective encounters with 
Barby Asante, London / Luchezar Boyadjiev & ICA, Sofia / Grégory Castéra & Council, Paris / Dessislava Dimova, Sofia & Brussels / Lubomir Draganov, Sofia / Barbora Kleinhamplová & Institute for Anxiety, Prague / Dragos Olea & Apparatus 22, Bucharest / Lorenzo Sandoval & The Institute for Endotic Research, Berlin / Peter Sit & Apart Collective, Bratislava

Concept and program leader
Viktoria Draganova

120 euro 

With the support of Programa Kultura Sofia


Entry Fee:

Contact & Links: 

OPEN CALL: World of Co Artist Residency in Sofia, Bulgaria (April - November)






World of Co is independent multidisciplinary Artist Residency Program which give you the chance to taste the cultural diversity of Bulgaria and provokes your creativity.

Residents can develop ideas and experiment with different techniques while focusing on a personal project or collaborating with local and international creatives.The aim of the Residency is multileveled - from one side, bringing together international artists and creative people to Bulgaria to exhibit, collaborate, learn and share. From another side, to unveil a different perspective of one not-so-well-known country and its’ artistic potential.


Accommodation & Shared studio in one

Traditional craft workshops (carpet weaving and wood carving)

Introduction to Bulgarian art & culture: From traditional to contemporary art (series of lectures)

Bulgarian Chit-Chat language lessons

Weekly group meetings

Support with research and project execution

Artist's studio/Museum or gallery visit

Artists' talk – present your art to the local audience

Collective exhibition and the end of the stay

Sofia City Guide - a curated collection of contemporary galleries and museums, art stores, print shops and etc.

Monthly list of art and culture events in Sofia

Bulgarian SIM card


The residency apartment & studio are located in 140m² large space in the city center of Sofia. It has three individual bedrooms. The artists are accommodated in a private fully furnished room, around 15 sqm. The apartment has a fully equipped shared kitchen with oven, fridge, laundry machine, a shared bathroom, extra restroom, and Wi-Fi connection. There is also a shared living room to eat, talk and have fun together. The shared studio space is large open space, part of the same apartment. Equipped with desks, chairs, lamps, easels, including Wi-Fi and all utilities (water, heating, electricity).


Open for all kind of creatives, emerging and established artists, from all around the world.




Residency program with provided accommodation: 650€ per month

If you share the room with another artist the price is 500€ per month for each

Contact & Links: 


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