For the first time the festival has a competition program that aims to encourage young women directors in the field of documentary cinema. The special jury will announce the winner on September 13. The jury consists of:

Velislava Popova, editor-in-chief of Velislava is one of the first people in 2020 to support Sofia DocuMental's initiative and has a special attitude towards documentary cinema, especially when it comes to documentaries with a focus on freedom of speech. Velislava believes in the possibility of doing honest, responsible and dignified journalism in Bulgaria. As editor-in-chief, she continues and expands Dnevnik's mission to support culture and Bulgarian projects that have a meaningful impact on the environment in which we live.

Wolfgang Knöpfler, an Austrian producer who has worked with National Geographic, Netflix, and the BBC. He spent two years in Tanzania, 7 years in Great Britain and 6 years in Namibia. His focus is on natural history films that aim to change public attitudes and preserve biodiversity. As part of TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS he has produced over 20 films, including the award-winning "The Ivory Game" (original production of Netflix) and the National Geographic / Disney + production of "Sea of ​​Shadows" (part of Sofia DocuMental’s official selection for  2020).

Tanya Haurylchyk, camerawomen from Belarus. She graduated in cinematography in 2009 and documentary filmmaking in 2015. Initially, she gains experience in video journalism and gradually her work becomes involved in more in-depth and exciting personal human stories. Subsequently, the films she worked on have become part of some of the most prestigious international festivals: Berlinale, IDFA, Hot Docs. She is the DOP of the film “Courage”, part of this year’s Sofia DocuMental official selection.

Competition programme titles: 

“The Earth is Blue as an Orange - реж. Iryna Tsilyk

“Taming the Garden” - dir. Salome Jashi

“Silent Legacy” - dir. Petya Nakova

“Landscapes of Resistance” - dir.  Marta Popivoda

“Be My Voice” - dir. Nahid Persson

“Reconciliation” - dir. Marija Zidar

“The Rain Will Never Stop” - dir. Alina Horlova 

“The Other Side of the River” - dir. Antonia Kilian

“Colours of Tobi”  dir. Alexa Bakony