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For Sofia

For Sofia
Sofia is a city with an ancient history, which can be identified by the numerous cultural and historical monuments in its centre. In its thousand-year existence, it was inhabited by various tribes who left marks of their life and lifestyle in its today archaeological underground. Here, different ethnic groups – Bulgarians, Turks, Armenians, and Jews historically lived together. They brought in their added touch to the image of the City, and their religious temples are among the City’s prominent landmarks.Today, refugees from near and distant countries reshape the City’s urban areas where they create their new settlement. Traditionally, the people of Sofia are tolerant to newcomers. They welcome exotic cultures, and become accustomed to the tang and flavour of previously unknown cuisines. Being one of the most ancient capitals in Europe, but significantly smaller in comparison with other European Cosmopolis, Sofia has its specific atmosphere in which the rare blend of European and Oriental characteristics creates a unique magic that captivates one’s heart forever.

Sofia has a long tradition in the field of cinema. Filmmakers who live here have received not only national, but also international experience and recognition in film production. This fact may be traced to the numerous film awards won over the years. These, and the cultural infrastructure of the City and its strategy for the long-term development in the field of culture, and partly in film, are irrefutable arguments that earned Sofia the title “City of Film” of UNESCO.

The historical monuments from different epochs had their impact on the creative mood in the City, which in turn inspired many young people to choose a profession in the arts. The synergy between history and present day is the unique contribution of Sofia to the network of creative cities of UNESCO.

On the other hand, the history of Bulgarian cinema starts in Sofia. The screening of the first Bulgarian film took place here 100 years ago. The first Bulgarian movie theatres have opened doors in Sofia, and the biggest film studios in the Balkans were built around the City in the 60s of the 20th Century. Each year, Sofia hosts internationally renowned film festivals and film events. The National Academy of Film Arts and the National Film Archive in Sofia are members of prestigious international institutions – CILECT and FIAF. But most importantly, the film industry is recognised as one of the strategic factors for a sustainable development of the City.

Although Sofia has long been considered the city of cinema in Bulgaria, the title granted by UNESCO will further offer her the opportunity to acquire useful experience from other countries that are part of the Network. This important endeavour for international cooperation between cities will encourage Bulgarian artists and managers who work in the area of film to develop strategic plans for the future that include developing a film infrastructure in line with new technologies. The exchange of ideas and resources will support the processes of growth, and will create new opportunities for joint projects and initiatives for a beneficial cooperation between cities.

By becoming part of the network of UNESCO, Sofia will promote the Bulgarian film and its creators around the world, and will secure favourable prospects for younger generations to be better informed and prepared to interact with luminaries from the world of film, and perhaps the chance to participate with them in joint creative projects.

Sofia creative city cinema UNESCO

On 01.12.2014, Sofia joins the network of creative cities of UNESCO, and was awarded the title "City of Film". The certificate was presented by the Director General of the International Organisation Mrs. Irina Bokova, the Mayor of Sofia Mrs. Yordanka Fandoukova


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The site is funded by the programme "Culture" of Sofia Municipality