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OKO Film Festival announces the program of the opening ceremony

In less than a month, the opening of the IV edition of the OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival will take place in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. On October 1, we will welcome our guests in the Rainbow Plaza hall and start the celebration of ethnographic documentary, fiction and experimental films together!

Opening Schedule

17:00–17:30 – Meeting guests, cocktail reception, exhibition of war-themed works by leading Ukrainian photographers.

17:30–18:00 – Opening ceremony, welcome speeches, concert program, musical surprise by the guests from Ukraine.

18:00–19:40 – Film Life to the Limit, a minute of silence.

19:40–20:00 – Auction, treats from Ukrainian Bessarabia.

The Opening Film

Life to the Limit (dir. Pavlo Peleshok) is a documentary covering the period from the Revolution of Dignity to the full-scale war. Successful Ukrainian film producers took weapons to defend the country and cameras to capture the terrible reality.

Veterans Pavlo and Yurko assembled a mosaic of causes and impacts that entailed the current Russian-Ukrainian war from the end of 2013 to the present day, from the fragments of their memories and their film archive. The authors joined the frontline voluntarily, had been to the hot spots of Donbas, and created a homemade drone called “Furia” named after one of the best aerial reconnaissance units. All the while they continued working to show the world the truth about the horrific war that became possible in the 21st century.

he director of OKO, Tetiana Staneva, described her impressions after watching the film. “I paused the film several times to cry, I was experiencing flashbacks and was physically feeling sick of the pain. I don't know how our viewers will watch it without stopping. The film is a video tutorial on the war in Ukraine. The director has done a titanic amount of work and collected incredible archival footage into one story, through which we see the causes and consequences of the war from the winter of 2014 until February 24, 2022. The film also showed the lies of Russia in progression, which made everyone think: how could we and the whole world have been so naive? The question remained, though: how would the film be perceived by the people of Bulgaria? We were worried that it would not be understood, so we “tested” it on our friends in Bulgaria, and their verdict was: “Every Bulgarian should see this film! It is a vaccination against lies and ignorance!””

Furthermore, we would like to add that the translation of our opening film was carried out as part of a semester-long study of Eva Kyorova, a student of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” under the supervision of Dr. Rayna Kamberova. For the second year in a row, we have been cooperating with this university and providing the Bulgarian audience with high-quality translations of the films from our film festival program.

Photo Exhibition

At our event, you will have a chance to take a look at the works of leading Ukrainian photographers and war correspondents who capture the realities of today, exploring the most painful issues and often risking their own lives. OKO visitors will see photos by Kostiantyn and Vlada Liberov, Serhii Mykhalchuk and Oleksandr Baron.


As usual, OKO will bring a piece of Ukraine and Bessarabia to Bulgaria. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase unique items related to the present day of our country, such as flags signed by Ukraine's top military leadership, military items from the front line from our soldiers and photographs by prominent correspondents. We will also present souvenirs made by talented wives of the militaries. We'll donate all the money raised at the auction to the 88th Separate Marine Battalion, which consists mainly of ethnic Bulgarians and is based in Bolhrad (Odesa region), the birthplace of the OKO Film Festival.

Address: Rainbow Plaza, Atanas Dukov 29 str., Sofia, Bulgaria

Entry is by invitation and pre-registration:

Learn more about the event:

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