Vth Film Festival "V Obektiva"

student film festival, supported by Asenovgrad municipality

visit festival website
recieved short films
officialy nominated films
mentions on TV, radio, online
people attended
films students accommodated
position executive producer
i did team management, design, pr, film directors seeking
project done in June 2015
festival owned by Angel Marinov & supported by Asenovgrad Municipality
official festival jury Svetoslav Draganov, Kamelia Petrova, Martin Iliev, Valery Jordanov & Deyan Bararev
special guest Atanas Marinov - producer of Hombre (2015)
thanks to Kalin Dimitrov, Yordan Agov, Angel Ivanov, Margarita Kostova, Blagovest Zlatkov, Ivaylo Donchev & Diana Dimitrova

Since 2011, there is an annual film festival, that is held in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria. The festival is targeted to students and works only within the short films range, out the organizers project full length films out of competition and invite their creators on stage. Since its second edition, it's officially supported by the Municipality of Asenovgrad.

The curious thing is that cinema in this town misses. It's considerably small, but even smaller towns have cinema halls. That's why the film festival there, is a significant event - it's the only moment, when people can watch new and quality films. In 2014, they invited Kinematograf to participate with its own short films program, also out of the competition program. Our teams worked together very well. In 2015, the festival's founder Angel Marinov, proposed us to manage the whole organization for the 2015 edition, because he went to work in Prague for the Bulgarian Culture Institute.

And that was a real challenge for us. We had rich experience in events management, but not so much to organize three days film festival, including accommodation of nearly 15 directors, collection of films for competition, jury evaluation, PR campaign, etc.

Even being small scaled, the festival was one of the central public events in the town's year culture program. So we had to do it professionally and do it better as much as possible, considering that we were operating within the same tight budget as the past editions. I'll try to tell the main points of the festival, so you can feel the Big Picture.

The collection of films was a two level process. The first was spreading posters in the three cinema universities in Bulgaria. The second was the advertisements in Facebook. Both ways were redirecting to the website, where the directors had to register and send the film online. Free of charge.

The PR campaign was not something incredible, but it was effective. It was on three levels - Facebook, conventional media and physical ads. The conventional media, included participation in several radio and TV shows. The physical ads were posters and flyers through the whole city.

Accomodation of 15 people is not such a big deal, but meanwhile it has it's own specifics and challenges. These 15 were the selected ones to compete for the festival awards. The first was that we didn't want just to place them in some concrete hotel (the only type of hotel through the town), but to create atmosphere and to stimulate them to know each other, that's why we reserved a 2 story house with a huge veranda in one of the near villages. We dealt with the food, and the comfort for everyone (including a family with 2 children and a baby), creating environment for non-formal discussions among directors and the jury which was our biggest success, because this will make them better.

The logistics are not an issue to mention, but we had an astounding luck. Exactly the day before, there was a storm and the only road between Asenovgrad and Lyaskovo was closed due to landslide. There was a huge hole, the rest space was allowing only pedestrians to pass. On top of everything we had to manage the movement of all the guests and our team (that's more than 20 people) through the 7km between the village and the town for four days, with two cars and transfer (crossing) on the landslide. It was a nice adventure, I admit, but it also proved that no matter how much you plan, there is always a chance of something to turn upside down all of your well planned bullet points. Like my father often says: Life is what happens while you plan.

The Program was for three festival days. The first one - projection of the full length Hombre and a discussion on stage with its producer. The second one was the most intense - the competitive selection of short films. All the students had their minutes on stage to present themselves and their films. The third day was a specially crafted short films selection with the best stories from all over the world for the last several years, you can imagine what level of inspiration and emotional impact we produced over the people.

The Special guest was the producer of Hombre - Atanas Marinov. An incredible man, full of stories, with rich experience, who we had the chance to touch. He produces not only films, but some of the most famous TV shows in Bulgaria. He gave useful advises not only to the students, but to our team and myself. It was an honor for me to know this guy.

The Role of the Public was a key part of the whole Picture. One of the five awards was an award from the Public, so the viewers had to vote to decide who wins. We organized well this process. It took 15min to collect all and count nearly 100 votes.

The Jury meanwhile was taking the final decision who is going to win. They took the decision earlier, but till the end there were fluctuations, because all the films deserved somehow an award. 5 members chosen by Kinematograf Media - all of them professionals and proved themselves through the years. 2015's edition was rich in films and it was hard to choose which one was the best. But they did it, and in my opinion they did it perfectly.

The Awards! Finely crafted to perfection, by the sculptor Ivan Novakov, well spirited with the sense of cinema, they were definitely the icing of the festival, accepted with honor by every one of the 5 film directors.