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All events will be free of charge and accessible worldwide streamed via Zoom / and on our Facebook page @sofiadocumental and these of our partners.

Special events are at the core of the festival - they will make the connection between audience and filmmakers, journalists, human rights lawyers and activists. These meetings will present the films from a Bulgarian point of view aiming at setting up the beginning of a public forum for in-depth discussions on socio-political issues with quality international documentary cinema, where authors and audience talk openly about everything that matters to them.

Director Juliana Fanjul

10 December (Thursday)


6:00 p.m. Opening with the Mexican-Swiss production Radio Silence, promotional online screening

The first 100 who have registered for the event will have the opportunity to watch the film free of charge with a special promotional code, which will be sent out individually. Register here for the event.

7:30 p.m. Q&A with the director Juliana Fanjul

8:00 p.m. Discussion moderated by Irina Nedeva (Association of European Journalists), with special guests the journalists Silvia Belikova, Rosen Bosev and Polina Paunova

Radio Silence is part of the programme thanks to the support of the Swiss Embassy in Bulgaria

11 December (Friday)

18:00 Screening of the film "The Trial: Oleg Sentsov", from 18:00 until 24:00 on the 11 the December there will be an activated promotional code for viewers to watch the film free of charge here (with code sakharov2020 applied at the payment tab) (Available only in Bulgaria)

19:30 Discussion with the director of the film Askold Kurov, the Bulgarian director Javor Gardev and the Belarussian director and activist Andrey Kureichik. The topic of the discussion will be freedom of thought in cinema and its role in defending democratic values. The event is organised together with the European Parliament Liaison Office in Bulgaria.

Register for the discussion over here. The discussion will be available to watch from all over the world.

The topic of the discussion will be the freedom of thought in cinema and the role of art to defend democratic values. The event is dedicated to the European parliament's award on freedom of thought "Sakharov" (this year the laureate of the award is the democratic opposition in Belarus).

12 December (Saturday)

16:00 Discussion on the “Female Pleasure” with Svetla Baeva and Raya Raeva, authors of an illustrated book on sexual health for girls.

12 December (Saturday)

18:00 Q&A with the Bulgarian team part of the film crew of “Exemplary Behaviour”, the big winner at DokLeipzig 2019. The screenwriter Georgi Tenev and script editor Kalina Garelova will talk about crime, punishment and the way to redemption in addition to describing their experience on finishing a film whose director tragically passed away during filming. The event will be joined by a special guest, father Nikolay Georgiev, staurophore janitor and chaplain of the prison chapels in Bulgaria.

13 December (Sunday)

16:00 Q&A with the director of “Sea of Shadows” Richard Ladkani, a National Geographic Documentary Films production. Ladkani creates films, which alarm societies worldwide about climate change and the tragic consequences for nature provoked by harming human activity. Ladkani will join us together with his producer Wolgang Koepler, the discussion will be moderated by Milena Filcheva, Marketing Director Balkans, The Walt Disney Company Bulgaria. The event is organised in collaboration with National Geographic Bulgaria.

Event organised in partnership with National Geographic.

16 December (Wednesday)

18:30 p.m. Q&A with “The Russian Opposition” German producer Simone Baumann, who will talk about the tragic death of the director during the shooting of his next project, a film about the activities of Russian mercenaries in Africa. Baumann will share her experience on the responsibilities and challenges which producers face when they support brave and political documentary filmmaking.

14 December (Monday)

7:30 p.m. Q&A with the director of the film “Doctor, I am going to my grave”, Nikolina Barić, on health system and filmmaking in Croatia.

15 December (Tuesday)

7:00 p.m. Q&A with Aurelia Rouvie and Seamus Haley, directors of “Banksy Most Wanted”

17 December (Thursday)

7:00 p.m. Discussion with Lilia Dragoeva, Bilitis Foundation, and Simeon Vassilev, GLAS Foundation about the film “Marry Me, However”. Lilly and Simeon will talk about the film from a Bulgarian perspective and will share their knowledge and experience on the relation between sexual orientation, religion and public opinion on this topic. The event is part of Sofia LGBTI Community Fest 2020 (7-19 Dec) organised by Bilitis.

18 December (Friday)

6:00 p.m. Closing film with exclusive and unique in the programme online screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG” dedicated to Ruth Ginsburg, the legendary judge of the Supreme Court of the United States.

8:00 p.m. Online Q&A with the film’s directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen followed by a discussion with a special guest: Zdravka Kalaidzhieva, lawyer and former judge at the European Court of Human Rights. Moderator - Velislava Popova, DNEVNIK Editor-in-chief


With the support of National "Culture" Fund, the fesitval is organising a masterclass and workshop for young documentary filmmakers with project related to the freedom of thought and human rights. The masterclass will be led by Askold Kurov, director of the internationally awarded film "The Trial: The State of Russia vs. Oleg Sentsov".

The workshop is for selected participants, learn how to apply here (Deadline is 9 December).

Follow us at, Instagram and Facebook (@sofiadocumental) for updates on more events in the programme.

The festival is co-organised by the Balkan Documentary center together with Konrad Adenauer Foundation in official partnership with the Czech Center / Czech Embassy in Bulgaria with the support of the European parliament Liaison Office in Bulgaria; the Swiss Embassy in Bulgaria, the Austrian Embassy in Bulgaria and the German Embassy in Bulgaria.