From 22 to 30 June, the Young European Cinema Meetings Festival, organized by the associations "Arte Urbana Collective" and "Cinema", will be held in different places in Sofia - Odeon Cinema, Vlaykova Cinema, Slaveykov Hall of the French Institute, Czech Center and Goethe Institute. As in previous editions, again the focus will be on spreading the idea of ​​cinema in school and in the form of non-formal educational activities.

The festival program will once again feature bold contemporary feature and documentary films from different countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Russia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, France, etc.), as well as a special film education selection for students. And more: forum "Cinema at school", master classes, meetings with authors and discussions. You can see the full program on the festival website here. Watching this engrossing, sensitive documentary, the viewer is aware that if all children were blessed with such emotionally intelligent, infinitely patient teachers, conflicts would be mitigated through discussion, and John Lennon's "Imagine" statement would be our reality. .  This is a film that cannot leave any audience indifferent, especially the Bulgarian one, because Mr. Bachmann develops a special bond of trust and mutual affection with the children of Bulgarian origin in his class.

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The meetings will be opened on June 22 at 18:00 in the Odeon cinema with a Bulgarian premiere of the film "Mr. Bachmann's Classroom", winner of the special jury award from this year's edition of the Berlinale International Festival. “. In Stadtalendorf, a small German town with a complex history of both isolated and integrated foreigners, the genius teacher Dieter Bachmann offers his students the key to feeling at home. These twelve- to fourteen-year-olds come from twelve different nations, and some of them do not speak German well. This unusual setting requires an unusual approach - through music, Mr. Bachmann manages to create a curiosity about learning and open children's minds to "otherness". In his final year as a teacher before retiring, Mr. Bachmann inspired future citizens by developing their curiosity about the achievements of the world and a wide range of skills, cultures and views.

The opening film is part of the thematic section of the Brave Children Festival. Another highlight is the Slovenian classic "Valley of Peace", which won the Cannes Film Festival in 1957. In the film, two orphaned children during the war - the Slovenian boy Marko and the German girl Lotte, search together for the "Valley of Peace". . 


The Sisters thematic program brings together stories from Slovenia, Sweden, Italy and Spain to tell the adventures of young girls faced with various trials that they manage to survive, thanks to the power of friendship and trust between them. 



Another highlight of the program are several masterpieces by the legendary French director Agnes Varda, which reach the Bulgarian audience thanks to the French Institute in Bulgaria. Viewers of the festival will have the opportunity to see some of Varda's first films - the feature films "Fisherman's Village - La pointe courte" and "Cleo from 5 to 7", as well as lesser-known short documentaries of the author.


Agnes Varda is one of the pioneers of the French New Wave movement; she is interested in the daily lives of the people she meets in the neighborhoods of Paris ("Cleo from 5 to 7") or in the coastal Set ("Fisherman's Village"). It is important for Varda to capture a piece of reality, from the everyday situations of the places she visits and makes them part of her feature films, turning her work, mixing professional and non-professional actors into the trademark of her style.


The festival will also offer several special short programs: a panorama dedicated to contemporary Portuguese cinema; a selection presenting the trends in student short German cinema and also short films by young directors from Russia.


As part of the film education program, screenings for students will be held, as well as practical workshops. The selection of films dedicated to young viewers includes the first films in the history of cinema and experimental short films, part of the CinEd program, classics such as "Cleo from 5 to 7" and "The Little Saleswoman in the Sun", as well as contemporary films such as "Sing", "Swagger" and others. Each film will be followed by a discussion or workshop inspired by the films presented.


The forum "Cinema at School", which will be held for the third time during the festival at the French Institute, will again focus on cinema and other arts in the school context. In a series of thematic panels will be shared good practices from various initiatives coordinated by the association "Arte Urbana Collective", will be invited students and teachers from different parts of Bulgaria, with specific contexts to tell about their experience with "cinema at school" " from first person. 


And more: meetings and discussions with Bulgarian directors Slava Doycheva, Hristo Simenovov, Dimitar Dimitrov - Animator, as well as a master class with Ralitsa Petrova, which will be an occasion to get acquainted in depth with the work of Ralitsa, based on excerpts from her films and from films by authors who inspire her. The possibilities of the new platform of the program will be presented during the event WOMED, which the association "Arte Urbana Collective" coordinates for Bulgaria.

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