The most successful Bulgarian sitcom entitled "Third-Floor Clinic" made a comeback 10 years after its first season was shown in 2000. Even though it did not manage to become one of the final nominated movies, Bulgaria's "The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner" with Director Stephan Komandarev made it to the second phase in the race for the best foreign-language film Oscar. However, the movie won the audience award at the 21st international film fest in Valancienne, France.
The movie "Eastern Plays" of Bulgarian director Kamen Kalev won the grand prize at the "Premier Plans" Film Festival in Angers, France. In July, it also won the award for Best Movie for 2009 at the Bulgarian Film Academy ceremony. Bulgaria's National Film Center put forth "Eastern Plays" as the Bulgarian nomination for the US Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Several films receiving awards at one of the major international crossroads for the short form, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, were shown at the Goethe Institute in Sofia in February.
The 14th edition of the Sofia International Film Festival in March presented almost 100 feature, 30 documentary and over 50 short films, in a variety of thematic festival categories. In addition to the traditional programs running in Plovdiv and Burgas, the festival also visited over 10 other Bulgarian cities, including Blagoevgrad, Stara Zagora, Ruse, Sliven, Gabrovo, Haskovo, Kardzhali and Lovech.
The producer of "Dzift", the best Bulgarian movie for 2008, Matey Konstantinov, received the special award for best foreign film from the film fest in Salerno, Italy. The 17-year-old student at the French Language High School in Sofia, Yulian Spasov, was the first Bulgarian teenager to have made a feature film. Spasov has single-handedly written, directed and shot a 100-minute film, entitled "Teenday 3."
Another Bulgarian high-school student, Veselin Cholakov, was the Audience Winner for 2010 in the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in Seattle, USA. The 8th edition of the International Film Festival for professional short films up to 45 min in length, "In The Palace", held in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Balchik, brought together filmmakers from 44 countries.
A summer art-cinema was opened in July at the garden of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, presenting theater plays during the day, as well as concerts and Bulgarian movies free of charge in the evenings.
It was announced in July that popular British actor Leslie Grantham will be starring in "The English Neighbor", the newest sitcom of the Bulgarian National Television, based on the book with the same name by Bulgarian author and script-writer Mihail Veshim.
The most anticipated Bulgarian movie for 2010 "Mission London" of Director Dimitar Mitovski broke film records in the country and turned the most profitable Bulgarian movie ever made. French top model Laetitia Casta and Danish actor Thure Lindhardt arrived to Bulgaria to participate in the new movie of Bulgarian director Kamen Kalev, "The Island," which also features Bulgarian actors Boyka Velkova, Rusi Chanev, and Mihail Mutafov.
The 18th edition of the International Film Festival "Love Is Folly" was held in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Varna. It presented more movies than previous years and was enjoyed by more than 600 official guests.
Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Varna also hosted the 29th edition of the festival for Bulgarian feature film "Golden Rose" in October. "Lipsett Diaries", a film by Bulgarian filmmaker Theodore Ushev, was suggested by Canada's National Film Board for the 2011 Oscars nominations in the category for Best Animated Film.
The Bulgarian capital Sofia hosted its first ever independent film festival named So!Independent, which presented hit movies from the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals. The Bulgarian ski resort Bansko hosted the 10th International festival of the Mountaineers Cinema in November.
Bulgarian film director Svetoslav Ovcharov became the star of the 34th edition of the prestigious International Film Festival held in Cairo, Egypt, in December. His movie "Voice Over" took the Best Director Award and the International Federation of Film Critics FIPRESCI award at on of the most important and emblematic film events in the world.
Spanish prominent singer, Concha Buika, a contemporary world music star who brings flamenco and jazz together with her smoky voice, had a concert in Sofia in April. Legendary American song-writer and musician Bob Dylan has his first Bulgarian concert in Sofia in June. Popular Spanish singer Julio Iglesias staged a concert in Bulgaria in October, as part of his "Starry Night" tour. World famous jazz singer Natalie Cole performed for the first time in Bulgaria in July.
Two important and much-loved Bulgarian folk music festivals – Pirin Sings and the Gela village gathering – took place in July. The London Bulgarian Choir had its second ever tour of Bulgaria in August.
The third edition of the summer music festival Spirit of Burgas was held in August and it presented various Bulgarian and international musicians, like The Prodigy, Apollo 440, Unkle, Gorillaz Sound System, Serj Tankian, System of a Down, Steve Harley, Gracity Co, D2, Ostava, Acoustic Trio 3000, Ruth Koleva, Wikeda and Review.
Citizens and guests of the Bulgarian capital enjoyed for three nights Leo Delibes' opera "Lakme", which was staged in the park of the G.S.Rakovski National Military Academy in September. The Grammy Award-winning singer Angelique Kidjo, known as "Africa's premier diva", had her first concert in Bulgaria in October.
More than 15,000 people gathered to see the legendary German rock band Scorpions live for the last time at the band's farewell concert in Sofia in October. Legendary composer and Deep Purple co-founder, Jon Lord, had his second concert in Bulgaria in October. Just like the previous concert, held in 2009, the performance was together with Sofia's Philharmonic Orchestra and the musicians from the Bulgarian band Te (They).
Peco de Lucia, the legendary flamenco musician, ended his European tour with a concert in the Bulgarian capital in December. One of the most popular gospel groups in America, Harlem Gospel Choir, had its second concert in Sofia, presenting gospel hymns, as well as popular music, mostly songs by Michael Jaclkson.
French composer Yann Tiersen performed in Bulgaria for the first time in December. The London Philharmonic Orchestra performed for the first time in the Bulgarian capital in December. The concert was part of the orchestra's short tour of South-East Europe. The Kings of Swing, Glenn Miller Orchestra, arrived to Bulgaria once again to stage two concerts in Sofia and in the Black Sea city of Varna in December.
Voters selected Bulgarian pop singer Miro to represent the country at the 2010 Eurovision contest with his song "Angel Si Ti" (You Are an Angel). Unfortunately, he could not qualify for the second round of the contest.
The voice of the young Bulgarian singer Radka Varimezova was featured in the soundtrack of the top Hollywood blockbuster Avatar. Her voice appears in the culmination of the movie, singing in the Na'vi language that was made up especially for the movie.
The music of the Argentinean movie El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret of Their Eyes), winner of the Oscar for Foreign Film, was performed by the Bulgarian symphonic orchestra SIF 309, which was founded by prominent pianist Victor Chuchkov and managed by his wife Elena Chuchkova, also a piano player.
Sonya Yoncheva, a 28-year-old Bulgarian soprano, took the top prize in the prestigious Operalia competition founded and concluded by the Spanish tenor Placido Domingo. The prize is widely considered to be a launching pad into an opera career not only for the winners of the top prizes, but also for the 40 contestants who participated in the weeklong event, held this year at Milan's famed La Scala opera house.
Bulgarian piano player Evgeni Bozhanov won the second prize in the renown Queen Elizabeth Music Contest in Belgium in May. Bulgaria organized a charity concert for Haiti in Sofia in May. The concert was set to raise money for the re-building of the National cinema-theater "Triumph" in Haiti after it was destroyed by the devastating earthquake at the beginning of 2010.
The Sofia Rocks 2010 Sonisphere Festival gathered some of the world's most emblematic metal and rock bands - Metallica, Slayer, Rammstein, Megadeth, Anthrax, Manowar, Alice in Chains and Stone Sour.
The most popular Bulgarian folk song, "Izlel e Delyo Haidutin", sung most famously by Valya Balkanska, was used in National Geographic's documentary movie "Restrepo", which shows the life of American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Bulgaria celebrated 120th anniversary since the establishment of operatic art in the country with a series of events. Bulgaria joined the new music festival for children called "Love Music Festival", which was on tour in Scotland in November. It brought together artists from Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Mali, Sweden, Turkey and the UK.
The new DVD and Blue-ray entitled "The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria", filmed last June at a gig starring Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, reached double platinum status in France and Australia,and gold in several countries. The gig was recorded at the Sofia Rocks 2010 Sonisphere Festival.
Bulgaria's National Theater the emblematic play "Hashove" (roughly translated as "exiles") by Ivan Vazov to the Bulgarian diaspora in the Romanian capital Bucharest on the occasion of Liberation Day, March 1.
Bulgarian students form the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts (NATFIZ) participated in the World Festival of Theater Schools in Lima, Peru.
Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov launched in January the exhibit titled "On the Path of History," which was dedicated to the ancient Bulgarian capitals. Famous American painter and world-renowned master of pop art, Hunt Slonem, arrived to Sofia in April to personally open two exhibits in the Bulgarian capital.
The Bulgarian "Bells", built during the communist era and associated mostly with it, rang again after the official opening ceremony in Sofia in June. Bulgaria's National Art Gallery opened in July an exhibition dedicated to the 120th birthday of one of the most renowned Bulgarian artists, Nikola Tanev. The exhibition featured a total of 150 works of the artist, including one of the 28 paintings which was stolen from his museum house in Sofia in 1999 and was recovered in 2010 as it was brought to the National Art Gallery by a collector who acquired it in London.
Bulgaria's National Art Gallery in Sofia presented the full collection of 74 bronze sculptures by the French impressionist Edgar Degas.
An open-air photo exhibit called "Bulgaria in Brilliance", dedicated to the history of Christianity in the Bulgarian lands and the Bulgarian contribution to the world cultural heritage, was opened in downtown Sofia in September.
Archaeological treasure from ancient Thrace found around the Bulgarian town of Kazanlak was agreed to be displayed in the Russian city of Tolyatti. Bulgaria's second largest city of Plovdiv became the host of an exhibit of works of Israel's top artists in October.
Unique illustrations by the prominent Spanish painter Salvador Dali were shown in the National Gallery of Foreign Art in Sofia. The exposition marked the beginning of the famous graphic collection Divine Comedy's global tour.
In March, Bulgaria's Culture Minister, Vezhdi Rashidov, was invited by the International Academy of Culture and Art in Moscow to receive a special award for lifetime artistic achievements. Bulgarian state leaders initiated the construction of a brand new top museum also known as the "Bulgarian Louvre." Yanko Apostolov, a Bulgarian architect, living in New York, was selected as winner in the public tender for the design of the new museum.
A bronze monument of the most prominent Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov was inaugurated at the Thorvaldsen square in the Italian capital Rome. Bulgaria's traditional Apollonia Festival of Arts was launched in August in the southern Black Sea resort town of Sozopol.
The first edition of the "London Festival of Bulgarian Culture" was held November 2-26 in London. Bulgarian-born artist Christo received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Goldene Henne Media Awards ceremony at the Friedrichstadt Palace in Berlin.
The world's first monument to late legendary rock singer Ronnie James Dio was unveiled in the Bulgarian "rock capital" Kavarna in October. More than 500 people, including Joey DeMaio from heavy metal greats Manowar and ex AC/DC and Dio drummer Simon Wright, honored the ceremony.
The Black Sea city of Burgas opened in November a monument of Petya Dubarova, a poetess that touches the hearts of Bulgarians to this day despite the fact that she left behind a single book of poems published posthumously.
Bulgaria's Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov announced he is planning to bring back the atmosphere of the demolished Sofia mausoleum of Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov, which was torn down in August 1999.
Chief Architect of Sofia, Petar Dikov, declared his intention to downsize and update the list of buildings in the Bulgarian capital that are listed as culture monuments.
Renowned Argentinean psychotherapist, psychodramatist and writer, Jorge Bucay, visited Bulgaria in June to take part in the "Plovdiv Reads" festival, held in Bulgaria's second largest city. German top investigative journalist Jurgen Roth arrived to Sofia in November to present the Bulgarian edition of his new book "Gangsterwirtschaft" ("Gangster Economy").
Bulgarian author Dimitar Nedkov and his two-volume novel "The Bulgarian's Sign" intrigued politicians, intellectuals, financial experts, journalists, literary critics, writers and magistrates in Bulgaria. The message of the book is that the Bulgarian nation must realize its contributions to the spiritual progress of the global civilization.
French political scientist and educator, Nadège Ragaru, published her book titled "Les temporalités feuilletées du présent. La Bulgarie vingt ans après 1989" on the Bulgarian transition period after the fall of the communist regime.
During three Sundays in a row, the "Tsar Ivan Shishman" street in downtown Sofia was closed for traffic in order to hold a street fair, organized by the Bulgarian capital's City Hall. Sofia residents and guests enjoyed a rich entertainment program, which included arts and crafts for children and adults, games, sports contests, concerts, art displays and drama performances.
Bulgaria's Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova signed an agreement for opening of a Regional Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage of Southeastern Europe in Sofia.
Bulgarian actress and film director Michelle Bonev stirred a huge scandal in Italy. Her movie, "Farewell to Mom" has been sold to Italy's state-owned TV company RAI for the price of EUR 1 and it also won an allegedly fabricated award at the Venice Film Festival. According to Italian media, her participation in the festival was sponsored by the Italian government under the influence of Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi, who is Bonev's friend.
Further, Italian media alleged that the participation of a 40-strong Bulgarian delegation at Venice led by the Minister of Culture Vezhdi Rashidov has also been covered by the Italian government. Some voices demanded the resignation of Italian Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi.
After collecting over 20,000 signatures against the eviction of the popular Sofia theater "Salza I Smiah," (Tears and Laughter) mediation was reached and the theater remained in its building "Slavianska Besseda" community center after all.
Many protests were organized in the second half of 2010 against the proposed reform, which aims at optimizing Bulgaria's state-funded theater system and reducing spending by introducing cuts and mergers of theater entities.
A number of Bulgarian film directors and producers left the annual Golden Rose film festival in the Black Sea city of Varna as a sign of protest against the government's failure to abide by legislative norms and refusal to duly support the Bulgarian cinema.