This year marks 110 years since The Balkan Wars (1912-1913). The Bulgarian National Film Archive (BNFA) will commemorate the event with a digital restoration of the film The Balkan War (1913, dir. Alexander Ivanov Zhekov). The film is a unique visual document of this important European military conflict. The presentation will include original audio commentary by film historian Petar Kardjilov and new original music.
The world premiere screening of this restoration will be held in BNFA’s cinema ‘Odeon’ on Tuesday 13 December 2022 as part of ACE’s A Season of Classic Films. The event will be recorded and uploaded on BNFA’s YouTube channel for free online access until 31 December.
The Balkan War / Балканската Война [Balkanskata Voyna] | Bulgaria, 1913, 55’, non-fiction
Director-Cinematography: Alexander Ivanov Zhekov. Producer: unknown. Physical characteristics of first release: 35mm, 55’, B&W, silent, Bulgarian intertitles. Film copy screened during A Season of Classic Films: Restoration premiere. DCP 2K (for cinema screening) and ProRes (online). 55’, B&W, silent, Bulgarian intertitles. Subtitles: English. Copyright: Bulgarian National Film Archive.
In the course of the First World War, Europe has gradually established means and methods in filming military actions. In 1912-1913, when this film was shot, footage of direct combat was rare.
As film historian Petar Kardjilov notes, “Only a few films in Bulgaria’s film making are said to be legendary. One of them is The Balkan War. It is a well preserved and unique cinema document of military conflict of recent European history. The Balkan War was one of the first large-scale armed conflicts after the beginning of the cinema age. It was a media event and film played its important part.”
* Free cinema screening: Tuesday 13 December 2022 at 18:00. Free tickets can be picked up at the ticket office of the Odeon cinema on the day of the screening.
* Free worldwide online premiere: The event will be recorded and uploaded on BNFA’s YouTube channel.
A Season of Classic Films: Celebrating film heritage across Europe
A Season of Classics Films is a series of free film screenings and parallel activities across Europe designed to attract younger audiences to our shared cinematic cultural heritage. The programme looks to raise awareness of the work of European film archives, connecting the public with cinema history and the significance of film preservation. Most of the films are premiere digital restorations and some screenings include live performances and educational interactive sessions. All films are available with English subtitles. Additionally, French or other subtitles are in some cases available. This is an initiative of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the support of the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme.
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION DES CINÉMATHÈQUES EUROPÉENNES (ACE)
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 members are non-profit institutions committed to the FIAF Code of Ethics.