XVIII International Festival 2019




The International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films was established in 1965. Organized by the Bulgarian Red Cross, with the assistance of the Bulgarian state institutions under the auspices of highly prestigious international organizations like the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of Red Cross, the World Health Organization and UNESCO, this remarkable forum of the seventh art was given at the time the highest film festival "A" category, as a recognition of its importance worldwide. Unfortunately, in 1991 the Festival was interrupted for more than two decades.
In 2014, with the joint initiative of the National Council of the Bulgarian Red Cross, headed by its President Acad. Hristo Grigorov, d.h.c., the Medical University of Varna headed by its Rector Prof. Krsimir Ivanov,MD, PhD, DSc and Ilko Raev, the Bulgarian Red Cross District Council Chairman and member of the National Council of the Bulgarian Red Cross, the International Festival of Red Cross and Health films was restored. Its three regular editions and the two Academies held since its restoration have unambiguously proved that its authority as an international film event is continuously growing:
In 2014, at the fifteenth edition of the Festival, the participating film productions were 125 from 20 countries;
In 2015, at the sixteenth edition, there were 145 films from 25 countries;
In 2017, at the seventeenth edition, the films were 201, and the countries 49;
More than 3000 films from 118 countries from all the continents applied for selection for the forthcoming eighteenth edition of the festival; 206 of them from 59 countries will be screened in its program.
These figures are proving something more, too: the world is not simply continuing to show interest to the idea of the Festival’s motto  – “Through Humanity to Peace and Friendship”, but it more and more actively stands behind it. 
To announce their acclaim to this idea by taking part in the Festival events, are more than 150 official guests this year – eminent Bulgarian actors and film directors, scriptwriters, producers, film critics, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ representatives, members of the Bulgarian Red Cross National Council and regional directors, Red Cross and Red Crescent delegations and representatives from European countries, distinguished  public figures, leading experts in medicine, psychology, sociology, law, well known writers and journalists, foreign filmmakers, presenting their work at the festival. 
Besides the screen messages, an important accent in the program is the already turned to be emblematic for the festival Discussions Forum, giving platform for revealing topical items of the present, on the theme “Aggression-Humanity-Cinema”.
The International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films has been intended as, and is affirmed more and more as a forum, where people with common views get the opportunity to gather and through various means of expression stand up for the idea of humanity.
Recognition of its public and artistic significance is the fact that since its restoration in 2014 the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films has invariably been held under the patronage of the Vice-president of the Republic of Bulgaria.