International Portrait Film Festival (IPFF) welcomes films featuring images and characters, telling stories, cracking the surface of perceptions and reaching the core.

A portrait is an image heavy with meaning. Multilayered and multifaceted, it has a visual, psychological, material, emotional and spiritual dimension.

Unravelled in art, the painted, the literary, the photographic portrait is often perceived by the human mind as a still frozen in time. But, in fact, it has already undergone a transformation. From its true origin, through the consciousness that revives the brush, the quill and the lens, to the semblance that begins its life on the canvas and on the page. Imitation and repetition, but with endless potential for future metamorphoses.

The film portrait, too, is captured in time. It is not motionless - literally and metaphorically. The cinematographic portrait is a soul in the form of light encountering the canvas of the white screen. The portrait is a trace. And a sign. A secret. A reverie.

IPFF launches its first edition in 2020 with confidence in the ability of the portrait film to move, affect, educate, transform.


The portrait is the focus of the films that will be screened at IPFF. We are looking for portrait films that have already been completed, as well as such that will be created with the concrete idea of 'portrait'. Of a person. A group of people. An object. Something invisible, but substantial. Of the self. Or of something else.


The categories in which the candidate films fall are not determined by genre (comedy, drama, horror, etc.), type of film (fiction, documentary), but by the type of portrait that is at the center of the work. All genres are allowed as long as the conceptual and content core of the film is a portrait.


IPFF aspires is to bring together artists and viewers who sincerely long for enrichment with art, intellectual discussion and an experience of cinema through a new prism - that of the portrait film.


IPFF is a hybrid event. A symbiosis of intriguing live encounters and memorable virtual experiences. The interweaving of portrait cinema from around the world, debates, lectures, master classes.


IPFF is for those profoundly needing art and excitement. And for the ones in search of their catharsis. For the unafraid to stare at the screen even when it is empty. The hungry - for experimental viewpoints. For those forever in love with cinema, caught in its loop.


IPFF welcomes all kinds of films and filmmakers, students, professionals, low budget, small scale, big-budget, cosmic scale, alternative and independent films by individuals and by collectives.

The awarded films in each category are determined by an international jury of professionals with a variety of alternative points of view working in a colourful palette of fields – filmmaking as practice, film theory, academia, film criticism, journalism, culturology.

IPFF will award the best portrait creations with:

Most Wonderful Film Award in each category - a special custom-made plastic

Digital laurels ‘International Portrait Film Festival - Most Wonderful Film Award’ in each category

Digital laurels ‘International Portrait Film Festival – Official Selection’ for all selected films

Audience Award – a favourite project chosen by the viewers in the online edition of IPFF

We know how important it is to filmmakers to get feedback and a critical look at their projects. So, the IPFF team will engage in providing short feedback for the films whose creators request it (in the form you complete there is a question about it). In that case, we will communicate individually with every applicant. The feedback will be provided in the month of January 2021.

More soon!

The submitted films can be productions of independent directors, individual artists and institutional authors - film academies, film centres, film companies, distribution companies, collectives, creative associations, etc.

Up to 3 film submissions by an individual artist are allowed. Up to 5 film submissions by institutional entities are allowed.

The competition programme includes selected films that are to be screened live and online.

1. Time and place - dates, locations, spaces
The festival is held in Bulgaria, in the cities Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna and online, in the period 15 - 25 November 2020.

Main location - Sofia – competition programme and accompanying programme of the festival - 20-22 November.

Other locations - Plovdiv and Varna - screenings of selected films - 23-25 November.

Online screenings and events – 15-25 November.

2. Conditions for participation

2.1 Deadlines for submission
- Earlybird deadline - 25.05 - 30.06.2020
- Regular deadline - 01.07 - 31.08.2020
- Late deadline - 01.09 - 11.10.2020
- Notifying and announcing the selected films - 26.10.2020

2.2 Film duration
Maximum accepted film duration is 30 minutes.

2.3 Time when the films were made
The festival accepts films made after 1.01.2010.

2.4 File formats
- Submission formats – popular digital formats - MP4, AVI, MOV, MKV or any other format that is accepted by

- Selected films formats - BluRay, DCP, H264, МР4. After a film is selected to be part of the official festival programme, the organiser will contact each author in order to determine the exact technical requirements regarding the screening of their film.

If the film needs to be sent as a hardware copy, the shipping fee is to be paid by the applicant(s).

2.5 Language and subtitles
The festival’s working language is English. If an applying film is not in English, it is mandatory that it has embedded English subtitles.

For the films selected in the competition programme, the festival team will translate and produce subtitles in Bulgarian. In this case, the author must provide a timecode file in English.

For films in Bulgarian, if selected in the competition programme, it is mandatory to provide a copy with embedded subtitles in English.

2.6 Materials from the authors of selected films
The authors of films selected in the competition programme must send video and/or photo material (trailer - up to 3 minutes, poster, film stills/screenshots, other appropriate material, photos of the creators - director, cast, others if applicable), a brief presentation of the main production persons (director, cinematographer, producer, cast) and a list of the production team (credits).

When a film is selected to participate in the competition programme, IPFF is entitled to use the information (in the previous paragraph) provided by the film team for publicity and advertising purposes.

2.7 Copyright
The applicant party must have full authority to submit their film to IPFF and to own the copyright of the work, including all rights to the music used. IPFF is not responsible for any claims made by a third party regarding copyright and related rights.

The applicant party agrees that the films selected in the competition programme will be screened within the framework of the festival programme in the cities of Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna, as well as in the online edition of the festival.

The applicant party agrees that the films selected in the competition programme are kept in the archive of the festival.

2.8 Submission fees
- Earlybird deadline - 25.05 - 30.06.2020 - 10 USD
- Regular deadline - 01.07 - 31.08.2020 - 12 USD
- Late deadline - 01.09 - 11.10.2020 - 15 USD

Submission fees are not refundable.

2.9 Application procedure/platforms and notification
The application will be considered accepted upon the cumulative fulfilment of the following conditions:
- the applicant has completed all the fields required by the relevant platform;
- the applicant has paid the relevant participation fee.

When submitting a film, the applicant agrees, in the event that the film is selected in the competition programme, to give IPFF permission to download a copy or to provide a link to access the film outside/beyond the application platform. The copy or link provided will only be used for access by festival jury members.

3. Categories
The categories are 6:

- Film portrait
- Film self-portrait
- Collective portrait
- Alternative portrait
- Portrait in motion
- Portrait-of-a-film

4. Awards
The awarded films in each category are determined by an authoritative international jury.

Most Wonderful Film Award in each category - a special custom-made plastic

Digital laurels ‘International Portrait Film Festival - Most Wonderful Film Award’ in each category

Digital laurels ‘International Portrait Film Festival – Official Selection’ for all selected films

Audience Award – a favourite project chosen by the viewers in the online edition of IPFF

5. Festival organiser
Portret Films Ltd.

6. Funding
IPFF is an independent film festival that is funded and financed by Portret Films Ltd. and by submission fees from applicants. IPFF does not take advantage of any public resources, national funds or EU funds.

By submitting an application through the FilmFreeway platform, the applicant agrees to all the conditions in this RULES AND TERMS section regarding participation in IPFF.

Overall Rating
  • The topic of these special festivals is very welcome and I was very happy to be able to speak to them. I very much hope that it will continue and I wish you every success!

    December 2020
  • Great Festival! Excellent communication and friendliness.
    Very happy to have participated with my short film "The Sunday of Gilda M." in the online selection 'For the peculiar-eyed Selection'. Heartfelt thanks to all the staff !

    December 2020
  • Thank you for selecting my small film to peculiar eyed selection. All communication and online festival went well!

    December 2020
  • Great communication, nice vibe. Wish I could have made the trip to Bulgaria!

    December 2020
  • Great communication and super cool idea! Thank you for showing our film, it was a pleasure and an honor. Keep up the good work and we wish you a lot of editions to come!

    December 2020