ARTE URBANA COLLECTIF is an artistic collective based in Sofia, Bulgaria. The collective was created in 2016 by Ralitsa Assenova and Dimitar Uzunov who later were joined by other artists and cultural managers. The collective organizes various cultural events such as festivals, theatre productions, workshops, masterclasses and other educational forums in Bulgaria. It aims to create an international artistic and cultural dynamic in the country. Arte Urbana Collectif runs three big annual events: Meetings of Young European Cinema in Sofia, festival dedicated to the first films and the young audience, Theatre of Wonder, festival for art and science, and Summer Scriptwriting Base, an immersive learning experience for artists and creative content makers from all over the world, held in various rural locations in Bulgaria.
Arte Urbana Collectif is a partner of several international projects such as CURIOUS (linking theatre and science), European Short Pitch (for production of short-movies) and WOMED (online platform for women filmmakers). We are supported by important institutions such as Creative Europe and Erasmus programmes of the EU, Sofia municipality and its cultural program, National Cultural Fund, Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, French Institute in Bulgaria and the Embassy of France in Bulgaria, Espaço Camões Sofia and the Embassy of Portugal in Bulgaria, Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, British Council, the Bulgarian National Film Archive, etc.
Arte Urbana Collectif has been coordinating the programs for cinema education CinEd and Le Cinéma, cent ans de jeunesse for Bulgaria since 2017 and has organized several projects for the Cultural program of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Commission 2018 and Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019.
Ralitsa Assenova - co-founder
Graduated from the Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 in theatre and cinema studies and from the University of Bologna, where she wrote a research paper on the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini. She has specialized in European cultural projects. For the past seven years, she has been lead organizer and director of the platform Meetings of Young European Cinema and initiator of the Cinema in School programme of Arte Urbana Collectif. Coordinator of Bulgaria for the international projects CinEd, Le Cinéma, cent ans de jeunesse, Young Filmmakers Portray Their Cities etc. She is currently a PhD student at the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, Bulgaria in the field of film education.
Dimitar Uzunov - co-founder
Holds a MA in Applied Theatre Studies from University Paris 8 and a MS degree in Geology from University of Sofia. He also studied acting, theatre directing and theatre management in Brooklyn College (City University of New York). In 2008 he founded Famille Mundi theatre company in Paris in which he has worked with artists from more than 20 countries. Dimitar Uzunov and Famille Mundi received twice the label Young Talent of Paris delivered by Paris Municipality. Dimitar is also director of Summer Scriptwriting Base, an immersive international summer school. He is the founder of the platform Theatre & Science and coordinator for Bulgaria of the European project CURIOUS, linking artists with scientists. Dimitar is a director of Theatre of Wonder – Bulgaria, festival for art and science.
Dimitar Uzunov has directed and acted in many theatre productions in France, USA and Bulgaria. He regularly teaches workshops (creative storytelling, digital storytelling, pitching, public speaking and theatre creation).
Paraskevi (Evi) Karageorgou - film expert
Evi is a film critic, producer and filmmaker specialized in cinema education programmes for children. Before her return to Bulgaria in 2019, Evi was part of the Doc Society documentary production company team in London, where she worked on developing a methodology for school education via the power of documentary film. Before London, she was in Slovenia producing “Eye on Film Youth Film Festival”, which included an extensive selection of international films and a rich accompanying programme of workshops, and masterclasses for children and young people. In Bulgaria, she has worked with the Liason office of the European Parliament in Bulgaria, the Media Literacy Coalition and other NGOs in the country. Currently, Evi is part of a few Arte Urbana projects, such as shooting a film about the cinema education programme in the Dermantsi village and “My place in cinema”, a cinema education programme for empowering girls and young women.
Nikola Nalbantov - set & video designer
Holds a MFA in Set Design: Visual Performance program from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia. Winner of Icarus Award for Scenography in 2010 for the set design of “The Wicked Man” from the Four Rooms Project. Winner together with Evgenia Serbeva in 2010 of a prize from the international competition “eDward – The Young Filmmaker’s Award” for the 3D movie “… Priceless …” In 2013, he is nominated, together with Elena Shopova, for the Icarus Award for Scenography for “Protext 5: On Time” visual environment. He has been set designer and video-artist of many theatre and dance performances – “Carnival.com”, “Jump”, “Madam Mishima”, “Pandora”. He is the set designer & videoartist of Arte Urbana Collectif’s productions “George Kaplan”, “The Long Way to the Stars”, “How to Become Einstein in One Hour?” and “The Synthetic Man”.
More at nikolanalbantov.com
Alexandrina Al-Djassem - coordinator
Passionate art lover, she became part of Arte Urbana in 2016. Alexandrina holds MSc in Genetics and she wins the Bulgarian FameLab competition in 2011. She has worked as a journalist in Bulgarian National Radio. She is looking passionately to reveal the beauty of science through the art. She loves to be surrounded from people making art and people passionate about science.
Alexandrina coordinates the platform Theatre & Science and Summer Scriptwriting Base.
Vladimir Bozhilov - science communicator & advisor
Dr. Vladimir Bozhilov holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy since 2014. He is currently Head Assistant Professor at the Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Physics at Sofia University, Bulgaria. Dr. Bozhilov is a Horizon 2020 National Contact Point for the “Science with and for Society” Programme (since 2017) and currently also serves as Public Relations Expert at the Bulgarian National Science Fund. Dr. Bozhilov’s main scientific interests are active galactic nuclei (AGN) – quasars and blazars at high redshift, cosmology, exoplanets and habitability. He teaches the M.Sc. Courses “Science communication in Astronomy” and “Practical Science Communication in Astronomy” in the innovative interdisciplinary Master program “Astronomy and Popularization of Astronomy” at the Faculty of Physics, University of Sofia.
Elena Gamalova - graphic designer & visual identity
Elena Gamalova has an impressive background working for global brands and institutions like Deborah Milano, Rouge Baiser, MTV, Christian Lacroix, Walt Disney, Pixar, Lucas Films, EMIS, CEIC. During her career so far, almost half of which she has spent in Paris, she contributed to the development of visual identities, design strategies, cross-channel promotional campaigns, packagings, industry reports, magazines, e-books, and all kinds of marketing, communication, event, and sales materials. Her work was featured in Packaging of the World, the Dieline, World Brand Design Society, Best of Branding. One of her latest packaging projects – is part of the 10 best and most appreciated projects of May 2020, on Packaging of the World – package design inspiration platform showcasing the best creative work worldwide. She is also A’ design Award Nominee for 2021.
Daniel Simeonov- pedagogical expert
Daniel Simeonov graduated Film Directing from NBU. Studied Philosophy in Sofia University and World cinema in University of Birkbeck, London. His bachelor thesis project is the short documentary Close; directed a couple of student films and TV commercials, film reviewer, collaborator for a couple of film festivals. His first solo photo exhibition Close to the Middle East was displayed at the Cinema House, Sofia. Currently is a teacher in the village of Dermantzi. He devotes his efforts to promote the necessity of more art curriculum and disciplines in Bulgarian education system, especially cinema. Аdherent collaborator of project CinEd – European Cinema Education for Youth for Bulgaria.
Tzveta Arnautska - photographer
Tzveta is currently a student in New Bulgarian University where she studies the crafts of cinema and television with intent to graduate as a director. Before that she’s also profiled as a photographer from her high school that specialises photography. She has been introduced with the art of cinema through the “Meeting of Young European Cinema” festival that took place in 2016. In 2017 she participated in the programme “Le Cinéma, cent ans de jeunesse”, where under the supervision of Ralitsa Assenova and Vassilena Bazharova, she and some of her classmates made a film, that was presented by them in the Cinémathèque française in Paris. Currently she is the official photographer of Arte Urbana Collectif.