Svetoslav Stoyanov is a co-founder of and a co-partner in Portokal Film Production Company whose documentaries and shorts were awarded by the European Film Academy, Bulgarian Film Academy and by such international festivals as those held in Clermont-Ferrand, Bilbao’s Zinebi, Brest, Krakow, Yerevan, Venice Biennale, etc.
His documentary debut The Last Black Sea Pirates received Golden Rhyton Award and three Bulgarian Film Academy Awards, competing at over 30 international documentary film festivals such as the prestigious HotDocs, Dok Leiptzig and Vision du Reel.
Since 2015, he is programmer of the Documentary Competition of IFF Sofia.
Angel Gescheff was born in Plovdiv, in 1962. He graduated from the National High School of Stage and Film Design (Plovdiv, 1981) and was awarded MA by the Faculty of Graphic Design, V.I. Surikov Moscow State Academic Art Institute (1993). In 1993–1995 he worked for Moscow Studio, Russian Academy of Fine Arts; in 1998, was appointed Creative Director of A & Y Studio, Beijing, China, After 23 years in China, he came home in 2015 to establish AG-Art Project Foundation and Arsenal of Art Gallery in Plovdiv.
Presently, the Arsenal of Art Gallery is among the most popular art venues in his native city, where exhibitions, book launches, ‘an evening with’ events are held, weekly jazz sessions are given, art workshops for children are conducted, short and indie films are screened, small theatre forms are performed, etc.
Over 30 solo exhibitions of his artworks were on display; he took part in a number of joint art exhibitions in Bulgaria, Germany, China, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, etc. Winner of the Faith Award for Best Graphic Artwork at Traditions and Modernity International Festival of Fine Arts 2008, Moscow.
MARIA AVERINA is a writer/director born in Moscow, in 1978. She graduated from the National Lyceum for Ancient Languages and Cultures, Sofia and studied Slavic Studies at the University of Sofia; awarded a MA in Film and Television Arts by the Royal Holloway, University of London. Her debut feature-length documentary, From Cremona to Cremona, was selected for DokuFest, Bellaria International Film Festival and others and won Best Documentary Award by the Bulgarian Film Academy.
Maria worked for a non-governmental organization specialised in teaching parentless children in film skills. In 2010 she received the Award for Directorial Short Debut by the Bulgarian Film Academy for her film Late Home, produced by Agitprop. Maria is alumna of Sarajevo Talent Campus 2010 and Berlinale Talent Campus 2013. Her films include also the acclaimed shorts Who’s That City and Flooded.
VELISLAVA GOSPODINOVA is an animation director based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her short animation films The Lighthouse (2009), The Blood (2012) and Firebird (2017) have been awarded prestigious awards and screened in the official selections of numerous international film festivals. She works commercially as a freelance art director, storyboard artist and animator. Currently, Velislava is a PhD student and a lecturer in the Department of Cinema, Advertising and Show Business, New Bulgarian University.
Dr. Nadezhda Marinchevska is a Professor in the Institute of Art Studies – BAS. She was a long-term lecturer in the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts and in the New Bulgarian University. Author of the books: ‘Bulgarian Animation 1915–1995’(2001), ‘Frames of Imagination. Aesthetics of Animation Techniques’ (2005) and ‘Animation Hybrids’ (2015). She has won the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers’ Award for Film theory (2006) and the Bulgarian Film Academy’s Award for Film criticism (2014). She has been a member of various international FIPRESCI juries.