International Portrait Film Festival

IPFF // International Portrait Film Festival

1st edition

Nov 15 - Nov 25, 2021
Sofia, Bulgaria

Open Call Open to Public Competitive Market Special Fees

Festival type Real Venue Festival
Types of films Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Hybrids, Music video, Narrative fiction, Student
Film length
Genre Action, Adventure, Alternative, Art, Avantgarde, B-Movie, Biography, Burlesque, Classics, Comedy, Comedy drama, Crime, Culture, Dance, Dark comedy, Drama, Dramedy, Environmental, Fantastic, Fantasy, Film noir, Foreign, Health, Hip Hop, History, Horror, Human rights, Independent, LGBT, Live Action, Medical, Melodrama, Mockumentary, Musical, Mystery, Nature, Parody, Post modern, Realism, Religious, Road Trip, Romance, Romantic comedy, Satire, Science, Science fiction, Silent movie, Social issues, Spiritual, Sports, Surreal, Thriller, Transgender, Underground, Urban, War, Western

Mission / description 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 (feature, 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 film by individuals and collectives.


Awards and prizes

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 all films whose creators request it via email along with their submission. In that case, we will communicate individually with the applicant. Depending on the number of films we receive and on those who would like feedback, it will be provided between the end of November and the middle of December 2020.

More soon!
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