A Season of Classic Films: Summer Daydream – A Selection of Vintage Bulgarian Short Films

The Bulgarian National Film Archive (BNFA) joins the second edition of A Season of Classic Films with a compilation of early Bulgarian films, entitled “Summer Daydream: A Selection of Vintage Bulgarian Short Films”. BNFA offers four archival treasures (1926-1940) which present life in Bulgaria during the interwar period with a pinch of humour. The programme will be screened on Thursday 17 June at 19:00 EEST (Sofia time) / 18:00 (Paris time) at the film archive’s Odeon movie theatre and the event will be simultaneously streamed via BNFA’s YouTube channel, with an introduction by film expert Rosen Spasov. The live musical accompaniment will be provided by violinist Boyana Zhelyazkova and pianist Yasen Obretenov. After the live stream event, the programme will remain available until the end of June.

Watch Summer Daydream: A Selection of Vintage Bulgarian Short Films

The special free screening and the restoration of A Holiday Dream are made possible thanks to A Season of Classic Films, an initiative of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the financial support of the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme. Twenty-two film institutions from all over Europe, including the Bulgarian National Film Archive, are taking part this year in A Season of Classic Films. The initiative offers free access to restored European films, connecting the public with cinema history and the preservation of film heritage.

Курортен сън (A holiday dream) | 1926, 12’, B&W, fiction.

Dir: Panayot Kenkov, Prod: Kenkov Film, With: Petya Popova, Katya Rusevska, Peter Nikolov, Panayot Kenkov, Mara Andreeva, Hristo Avdjiev, Hristo Zagorov.

This is the first feature film directed by Bulgarian photographer and cinema pioneer, Panayot Kenkov. Kenkov developed his own film-developing process, served as producer, director and distributor, and established Bulgaria’s first official film club. In A Holiday Dream, Kenkov uses his hometown Varna as the backdrop for the misadventures of his protagonist. The young rentier Zhezhi leads a secluded life on his estate. His daily routine is interrupted by the arrival of a letter from Varna: his cousin invites him to spend the summer at the seaside. Zhezhi is lost in a reverie about his future adventures, falls asleep, and has his holiday dream…

Нашето море (Our sea) | 1929, 16’, B&W, documentary. Dir/Prod: Kiril Petrov.

The film takes viewers on a boat trip along the Bulgarian side of the Black Sea coast with stops in the ports of Sozopol, Nessebar and Pomorie, revealing the natural landmarks and beautiful landscapes of the seaside towns. From the salt pans in Pomorie to the sea baths and the various activities vacationers partake in, Our Sea nurtures the love of the Black Sea coast and it is the earliest preserved example of a Bulgarian film using cartoon animation.

Избор на Царица на лъдженския плаж (Queen of the Beach Contest at the Lujene Beach) | 1940, 7’, B&W, silent, documentary. Dir: Spas Totev.

At the summer baths in the village of Lujene (today a district of Velingrad) a competition for “Queen of the Beach” is held. In addition, high-diving and other recreational activities are shown.

Пийте само шуменско пиво (Enjoy Shumensko Pivo). 1940, 14’, B&W, silent, advertisement. Dir: Spas Totev.

A commercial film for the Bulgarian beer, Shumensko pivo.

  • Local screening: Odeon Cinema in Sofia, Bulgaria. (max. number of participants to ensure health safety regulations: 80. The audience can pick up their free tickets at the box office upon arrival).





The Association of European Cinematheques (Association des Cinémathèques Européennes – ACE) is an affiliation of 49 European national and regional film archives. Its role is to safeguard the European film heritage and make the rich audiovisual records collected and preserved by the various film archives accessible to the public. ACE is a regional branch of FIAF (Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film/ International Federation of Film Archives).


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