Sofia MENAR Film Festival makes Bulgarian audience familiar with the culture and traditions of the Islamic world. The programme of Sofia MENAR Film Festival presents the best of Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa cinema productions, including feature films, documentaries and short projects. A lot of accompanying events are organised within the frames of the festival. These events are particularly selected and bound up with the countries of this region, representing traditions and customs of the ethnic groups that inhabit its lands.

The festival is held every year in January. MENAR is organised by "Pozor" as one of a kind Balkans` largest cultural event representing Muslim world and its traditions.

With its nine editions from 2009 to 2017 the festival has presented more than 400 titles to the Bulgarian audience – film productions shot in Asia and Africa. Amongst the directors introduced in the festival are worldwide acclaimed names such as: Abbas Kiarostami, Majid Majidi, Umit Unal, Asghar Farhadi, Yousry Nasrallah, Hany Abu-Assad, Bahman Ghobadi, Reza Mir-Karimi, Pelin Esmer, Eran Riklis, Dervis Zaim, Huseyin Karabey, Nadir Mokneche...

During 2017 edition, the festival was attended by more than 10 000 people. The festival venues are the biggest art theatres in Sofia.

The term MENAR, for "Middle East and North Africa Region", is an acronym often used to cover an extensive area, stretching from Morocco to Iran, including the majority of both the Middle Eastern and Maghreb countries.

Menár /منار , pronounced also manár/ in Arabic language means lighthouse, light tower, guiding light. It is derivative from the Arabic word nur /نور/, meaning light. It has got into use into Bulgarian language, by means of Ottoman Turkish language by way of minare word, meaning the tower, which illuminates the path.

Rules & Terms

Eligible for entry are feature films, documentary films and short films released not earlier than January 1st, 2016. The films should be productions from Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa region or elsewhere, but concerning the Islamic culture.

ENGLISH SUBTITLES ARE OBLIGATORY!