Dear friends! 

The 11th edition of the Golden Linden International Film Festival is forthcoming, but the excitement of our work on it has not changed, nor has our endeavour for a more thorough and qualitative presentation of the European cinema. It is invaluable to have the recognition and love of the public, and it is on them we have focused our efforts to promote meaningful and worthy European cinema and introduce its new image. 

The fascination of each festival year lies in the selection of films, which is diverse and contingent solely upon the creative disposition and world-perception of the authors.

At this present edition of the festival we will be showing 50 films, and alongside such figures as Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Roman Polański and François Ozon, you will be able to make your own film discoveries among new names and exciting stories.

The festival places a strong emphasis on Bulgarian cinema – feature, documentary and short films – on account of the great interest for it. We can look forward to creative meetings with cinematographers, favourite actors and interesting accompanying cultural events.

I acknowledge my gratitude to Stara Zagora Municipality, to the Ministry of Culture and the National Film Centre for their support and recognition, as well as to all European embassies and cultural centres for their beneficial cooperation over the years. 

I believe that in these five festival days we will celebrate European cinema in the hospitable and beautiful town of Stara Zagora, because what else does the Golden Linden stand for if not love for the seventh art.

Magdalena Ralcheva,
Director of the Golden Linden International Film Festival


Dear residents of Stara Zagora and guests of our city,
Dear organizers and participants,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Stara Zagora – the city of poets, straight streets, linden trees, but also the city of the International Festival of New European Cinema.

The “Golden Linden” is a pearl in the crown of significant cultural events in our region and the country. For 10 years now, the festival team has been revealing the magic of cinema to numerous fans of the seventh art from near and far.

Systematically over the years, the “Golden Linden” has built and unfolded its potential – here, today, on the eve of its anniversary edition; it again carries the air of professionalism, mixed with the fascination of the new, the modern, the real. The halls will be once again full of excitement, anticipation, thunderous applause and awards. The red carpet this year will also welcome favourite Bulgarian and foreign actors, directors, screenwriters. Galleries and art spaces will come to life with the festival, because the rich accompanying program every year is more and more lavish, giving more and more knowledge and emotions.

The Stara Zagora Municipality remains a loyal partner. The city is pinned on the European film map in the best possible way. This is a source of pride, but also of responsibility and an inspiration to upgrade each of its editions together, so that the festival has it, so that the love for quality film production can have it.

To everyone who will be part of the Golden Linden International Film Festival this year – welcome to the city of Stara Zagora, open your senses and enjoy the selected masterpieces.

Good luck!

Zhivko Todorov,
Mayor of Stara Zagora Municipality


Stara Zagora is located in the central part of Bulgaria. With its 160,500 inhabitants, the city is among the largest in the country. They call it the City of the linden trees and the straight streets, of poets and artists, city – a phoenix which has risen from the ashes to take the path of its future.

Stara Zagora is a fast growing city, university center, with many science and cultural institutions, with a rich historical past and cultural heritage, with a history of eight millennium. City called by many names, each one bears the mark of a different era and an evidence of its antiquity and importance. In the beginning of the II century Marcus Ulpius Traianus built the ancient Augusta Traiana. Then the names of the city in the Middle Ages were – Beroe, Vereya, Irinopolis, Boruy, during the Ottoman rule – Eski Zagra and Bulgarian Zheleznik in the middle of the XIX century changed later to Stara Zagora. The history of the city and the region can be traced through the rich archives of the Regional Historical Museum, the Museum “Neolithic dwellings” that presents the best preserved dwellings in Europe from the 6<sup>th</sup> millennium BC, the old copper mines found so far in Europe (end of 5<sup>th</sup> millennium BC), the Roman Forum of Augusta Traiana, Memorial Complex “Defenders of Stara Zagora 1877” museum “Geo Milev”, Art Gallery, Museum of religions.

The cultural life of Stara Zagora has long traditions. The first provincial opera house has given the world the voices of Christina Morfova, Anna Tomova-Sintow, Sarah Mineva and presently one of the most famous and diverse opera singers of our time – Vesselina Katsarova. For many decades the performances of Drama and Puppet Theatre are real feasts not only for the local residents but also for tourists. The first provincial radio emission starts in Stara Zagora. The galleries, museums, libraries and theaters are centers of rich and intense cultural life, true spiritual centers, preserving the memory of time.

The great wealth of Stara Zagora are the “green” streets, extensive parks and gardens. H. B. Bishop Methodius Kusev initiated in 1885 the creation of the largest city park – “Ayazmoto Park” and over the years it has become one of the most famous and beautiful emblems of Stara Zagora.

Close to Stara Zagora, at the foot of the mountain of Sredna Gora is the famous resort Stara Zagora mineral baths. Its healing springs were used by the Thracians and Romans, evidence of which are the open baths built by them. Nearby is “The Holy Mother Step” – a natural phenomenon, visited all year round by many tourists and pilgrims.