The 12th edition of the International Short Film Festival "In The Palace" kicked off on Saturday in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Balchik.
Nearly 1,000 films from around the world will be shown during the week-long event, including China-Russia animation "A little pond by the great wall," which opens the festival.
Furthermore, two new contests will be held for the first time during the festival -- a Black Sea Competition with participants from countries in the region, and children's competition, Valentina Bozhichkova, the festival manager, said at the opening ceremony.
In addition, 18 spotlight programs, dedicated to various topics, and events such as Filmer Forge, an integrated audio-visual training program, will take place in parallel with the festival, Bozhichkova said.
Established in 2003, the festival aims to present the contemporary film art in Bulgaria, Europe and the World, organizers said, contributing to its development and creating favorable environment and platform for young filmmakers and established professionals.
"The most interesting for us are the artists that we find, and they receive worldwide fame thereafter, because for us the most important is this festival to be a stepping stone and to seek the undiscovered, not to repeat successful models from other festivals," Tsanko Vasilev, Festival Director and founder of the festival told Xinhua.
The festival also features a qualified market for short films and projects, not only a competitive show with a jury and participants, he said.
"Since 2005, we started to work for people who make short films, to be more successful; to seek new financing models; to explore new distribution models; to seek new digital forms in order to promote and market their products, and cut costs," Vasilev said.