Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov are the creative duo behind some of the most frequently awarded and internationally acclaimed Bulgarian films of the last decade: The Lesson (2014), Glory (2016) and The Father (2019). Their partnership dates back to their student years at NATFA, Sofia, where they concurrently studied Directing under the tutelage of great Bulgarian directors Georgi Djulgerov and Ludmil Staikov, respectively. Petar and Kristina quickly discovered common sensitivity to the subjects, characters and style they wanted to explore through cinema. In 2009, they founded their production company Abraxas Film, which serves as a vehicle for their projects to this day.


Laszlo Kantor is a Hungarian film pro-ducer, born in Cluj, Romania. In 1997, he graduated in Film Photography and Directing from Budapest Drama and Film Academy. From 1999 to 2010, he was the CEO and producer of the Bu-dapest Filmstúdió, a studio of glorious past and tradition in Hungary. In 2001, he founded his own production com-pany, Új Budapest Filmstúdió and in 2004, Matrix Film. He has been a member of the Board of the European Film Academy. He has produced more than 20 films, including Abandoned (2001), The Beheaded Rooster (2008) and Val-an (2019); co-producer of A Letter to America and Mission London by Bulgarian directors Iglika Triffonova and Dimitar Mitovsky.


Petia Alexandrova is a Bulgarian film critic, historian and theoretician. She is an Associate Professor at the New Bulgarian University, Doctor of Arts, with hundreds of studies and publications in the fields of film criticism, theory and history. She published the books Pains of the Title. From a Word to a Cinematic Image(2006), Lost in Watching. Barriers to Audiovisual Media (2011), Transitional Stories about Culture and Communications (2015) and Short-form Films: Advantages and Challenges (2019).


Velizar Binev is a Bulgarian actor. He completed his studies at NATFA, Sofia, in 1991. He was invited in his capacity as an actor to the Satirical Theatre, Sofia, where he worked for eight years. His credits include a number of roles in TV and four Bulgarian and ninety Hollywood productions. He has been teaching Acting for a decade now.


Edvinas Pukšta is a film critic and freelance reporter. Member of the European Film Academy; an expert of the Selection Committee of the European Film Awards for the third consecutive year by invitation of the Board of the European Film Academy; evaluated Lithuanian film projects as a member of the Film Board at the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture (2008/12). After 15 years of programming, coordinating, scheduling for the Vilnius IFF, from the summer of 2018 watches films, scouts and advises for Tallinn Black Nights FF. A jury member at Cannes, Berlin, Busan, Wroclaw, Cluj-Napoca, Minsk, Pilsen, etc. Tens of his reviews, articles and reports were published in Lithuania.




Deyan Statulov is a Bulgarian film critic/writer. He studied TV and Film Studies and Screenwriting at NATFA. He has over 300 publications in the areas of film history and criticism. His credits include screenplays for TV shows; editor-in-chief of festival newsletters for IFF Sofia, Golden Rose and Golden Rhyton; director of programming for Picture House, Sofia (2013–2015); awarded a PhD degree (2015) for his thesis Censorship in Bulgarian Feature Film. Mechanisms of Functioning; an Asst. Prof. at the Institute of Art Studies, BAS, Sofia; publisher of Kinoto.bg; a commentator for Before Noon morning show, bTV; writer for Just Like in the Movies (bTV Cinema); bit parts in the feature films Snow, Glory and Love, Boyden.


Elena Telbis studied Acting for Drama Theatre at NATFA under the tutorship of Prof. Ivaylo Hristov. She has played over ten lead roles at Ivan Vazov National Theatre, Sofia, Theatre 199, Azarian Theatre, Youth Theatre in productions staged by Yavor Gardev, Galin Stoev, Tedi Moskov, Ivaylo Hristov, Ivan Urumov, Desislava Shpatova, Nikolai Poliakov. Memorable are her characters in the films The Time Is Ours, Bad Girl and German Lessons. Golden Rose for Best Actress Award for the lead role in Losers (dir. Ivaylo Hristov); Icarus for Best Supporting Actress (Jana by Yaroslava Pulinovich; dir. Yavor Gardev, National Theatre); The Bestest NATFA Award 2013.


Hristo Simeonov is a Bulgarian film director and screenwriter. Hе is a Berlinale and Sarajevo Talent Campus alumni. His short fiction films have screened at international festivals such as Clermont-Ferrand, Palm Springs, Tampere, Krakow, Bilbao, Dresden, Cottbus, Kiev, Odense, Trieste, Thessaloniki, Vienna, etc. He holds three Golden Rose Awards from the BFFF in Varna for his shorts The Son (2015), Dimo’s Forest (2018) and Nina (2019). His debut short film The Son won also the Main Short Film Prize at IFF Cottbus 2016, Best Short Film Prize at the Bulgarian Film Academy Awards 2016 and other 15 awards. Currently, he develops his debut feature film.