“Danail Chirpansky” ISTF received a quality stamp from the European Festivals Association

“Danail Chirpansky” International Student Theater Festival received the EFFE quality label. After only its second edition, the forum has been endorsed by the European Festivals Association (EFA) because of its successful implementation so far, the diversity of program participants, the connection with the local community, the innovative approaches to its funding and the inspirational goals.

EFFE (Europe for festivals, Festivals for Europe) is European quality label for significant art festivals, which shows their place in the world of arts and their indivisible relationship with society on a local and international level. “Festivals are powerful tools for creating contacts between people. The participation of the audience, the social cohesion and the sustainability that the fest events are achieving is remarkable. Art-related festivals are engines for artistic creativity, productions and mobility of people, both within and outside Europe. “, explains the organisation.

The EFFE community is strong partner of festival organizers, as over 2000 festival are registered on the site FestivalFinder.eu. Every year over 600 festival events are held in Bulgaria. For the period 2019-2020, only 16 of them received the European quality label. Among the established and proven during the years festivals, awarded in this programming period, is ISTF “Danail Chirpansky”.

The only international theater festival in Bulgaria, only for theatrical academies, impressed the European organization with its colorful program, including artists from different countries – in 2017 and 2019, students from Russia, England, Spain, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Poland and Bulgaria took part in the festival program. The festival supports developing artists and provides opportunities for them to create and to be represented on an international stage.

Besides the main competition program, which includes performances from various theatrical academies, the festival also has an accompanying one, which includes workshops, lectures, discussions, concerts and exhibitions. In this way, besides the knowledge and skills they can implement in their future career, students are also given a great opportunity for informal contacts that give rise to new acquaintances, friendships and future projects. One of the distinctive features of the festival is the obligatory condition for the participants to be present in all festival days. The practice shows that a large part of the festivals in Europe and in the world do not provide their participants a full stay, and with that they restrict the possibility of cultural exchange for the participants.

According to the European Festival Association, ISTF “Danail Chirpansky” has an important role in local society, facilitating access and increasing interest in culture, and attracting a diverse audience. 

The innovative approaches to the financing of the festival, in the face of the match “Actors against Beroe” and other initiatives for accumulation of funds, also impressed the jury of the EFFE.

These and more other qualities and principles of the festival, appreciated by the European Festival Association, turn the ISTF “Danail Chirpansky” into a sustainable project that develops every year. The third edition of the festival will be in the autumn of 2020 in Stara Zagora.