About the Festival

Rhodope International Documentary Film Fest (RIFE), set in the beautiful Bulgarian mountain town of Smolyan is continuing the tradition of the earlier Festival for young filmmakers, held in same town in the 80’s and the beginning of the 90‘s which was one of the most emblematic film events in socialist Bulgaria.
RIFE is focused on documentary cinema made by young artists. The idea for the festival came as an answer to the need of filmmakers to exhibit their work, have a place where they can improve their abilities, learn more in their areas of interest, and hear the opinion of high-profile international film professionals in their line of work.
One of the main objectives of RIFE is to create a productive environment, where artists with diverse professional background will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and find similar-minded individuals, but also create lasting creative teams. With that goal in mind, the festival will provide series of workshops and informative and educational programs that could be helpful for the film industry in Bulgaria on a larger scale. The workshops, seminars, and programs are the key to the success of the festival, as they are going to help the participants to obtain new skills and knowledge, which is one of its main objectives. This will hopefully give Bulgarian cinema a fresh boost in its artistic development.
RIFE’s first edition will take place in Smolyan between the 16th and the 20th of September 2021 and will contain two international film competition programs: International feature film documentary competition and International short and medium documentary film competition. The slogan of the short and medium section is “When Love is a Social Problem”.
This particular subject will be discussed in a special seminar with Bulgarian and international high-profile experts in the fields of Psychology, Social Sciences, and Film Industry.
A special workshop by the prominent German documentary filmmaker Andres Veiel will take place during the festival and will gather film students from Germany, Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.
An important part of RIFE’s charm lays in the open-air screenings which will be held at the beautiful city square. The festival will follow strictly the anti-epidemic rules.
А professional international jury will decide the awards for the best short and medium film and the best feature documentary film, while the audience will have the opportunity to vote for an Audience award.
More information will follow soon on our website.