SOFIA PRIDE FILM FEST
Every year during the week of Sofia Pride we hold the SPFF where we screen the best movies international queer cinema has to offer.
Deystvie’s Legal Program is a service in support of the LGBTI community in Bulgaria. The Legal Program has existed since 2014, and since 2019, it provides legal protection and representation in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas and Veliko Tarnovo.
Deystvie’s Legal Program deals with advocacy before domestic and international courts for human rights violations of LGBTI people.
The main goal of Deystvie’s Legal Program is to lead strategic cases. Strategic cases are those whose objective is to change the legislation and thus improve the lives and condition of LGBTI people.
Deystvie’s team participated in the working group at the Ministry of Justice on the transposition of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
Deystvie provides specialized trainings for police officers from all over the country to identify and counter hate crimes against LGBTI people.
Deystvie also provides specialized trainings for lawyers for working on LGBTI cases and leading strategic cases.
We also advocate for legislative changes.
Projects that finance the activities of the Legal Program
funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme
The project’s aim is to improve the legal protection of LGBTI people in Bulgaria. The project’s specific objectives are: expanding the range of legal professionals ready to deal with LGBTI cases and improve their experience in this; providing opportunities to effectively address discrimination and other violations of LGBTI rights in a holistic manner, including legal advice, litigation, psychological support and media training; raising awareness among the LGBTI community about the possibilities for legal protection in cases of discrimination and other violations of their rights and increasing the number of reported cases; testing and disseminating the best practices of civil society organizations in strengthening the legal protection of LGBTI people throughout Europe.
National LGBTI Legal Program
implemented with financial support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism
It aims to create a National LGBTI Legal Program covering 5 regional cities – Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas and Veliko Tarnovo. The project will contribute to empowering the LGBTI community by providing the community with direct access to legal protection by specialists in the field of LGBTI rights. The filing of lawsuits leads to official national statistics and official coverage of an existing problem, which in turn will lead to a change in legislation and will improve the lives of LGBTI people in Bulgaria.
funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme
It aims to monitor the application of Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States and the CJEU’s judgment in the case of Adrian Coman (Coman; Case No. C-673/16). The Court has ruled that the Member States of the Union are obliged to respect same-sex marriages in other countries in order to protect their fundamental rights to freedom of movement and private and family life as EU citizens.
Our cases and
Visit us during visiting hours or contact us through the online form.
Deystvie’s Legal Program works and is accessible to all thanks to funding from projects, programs, donations and pro bono contributions of lawyers, jurists, interns and volunteers.
The use of the program is NOT subject to publicity, such is provided by Deystvie with the express consent of clients.
We led to a change in the practice of the State Agency for Refugees, on the basis of which refugee status is now
granted to individuals because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
We filed the case of Lilly Babulkova and Darina Koilova for recognition of their marriage concluded in England.
We have filed a case against the Center for Assisted Reproduction for refusing to fund the in vitro procedure of
a homosexual couple.
Thanks to the work of the team of Deystvie and Yavor Konov, we managed to add a new Article 22 to Ordinance No. 34 of 25 November 2005 on the procedure for payment from the state budget for the treatment of Bulgarian citizens for diseases outside the scope of compulsory health insurance.
This new article allows people living with HIV to receive
We won the case of Christina Palma and Mariama Diallo before the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, where the SAC recognized the right of a same-sex couple to live and reside in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria in exercising the right to free movement in the European Union valid for all EU citizens and their family members.
We won a case in which the Sofia District Court allowed a woman’s last name to be changed based on her same-sex marriage to another woman in Denmark.
We have numerous cases of trans people across the country for gender reassignment.
We have numerous cases for the recognition of marriages between homosexual people concluded abroad.
We have cases for issuance of Bulgarian birth certificates to children born to same-sex families abroad.
Deystvie’s Youth Program is aimed at empowering and providing support for LGBTI youth. The program is aimed at building leadership skills and personal development of LGBTI youth.
The program includes the organization of meetings and discussions on the problems of LGBTI youth, resources for inclusive LGBTI youth work, trainings to increase sensitivity around the problems of LGBTI youth, trainings for development of leadership skills.
L.E.A.D. is a tool for identifying and uniting LGBTI activists from the 6 largest cities in Bulgaria – Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Varna, Burgas, Veliko Tarnovo and Plovdiv. The project aims to raise awareness about the LGBTI movement, the rights of LGBTI people and LGBTI events and initiatives in Bulgaria. L.E.A.D. raises awareness and enables LGBTI activists to initiate and/or get involved in local LGBTI communities, to be part of the organization of events and initiatives in local LGBTI communities, thus actively living the change they need.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED AND WHY?
The L.E.A.D. project is for you if you live in Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Varna, Burgas, Veliko Tarnovo or Plovdiv and:
Nothing related to LGBTI people and their rights happens in the city where you live;
Events happen in the city where you live, but you feel strongly that you want to contribute as well;
You need more information about the LGBTI movement, rights and initiatives or you want to share what you know;
You want to be part of a strong and supportive community at the national level;
You strongly believe that LGBTI people have their place in Bulgaria, and you want to be part of the change that is happening in Bulgaria – here and now.
Rainbow Rays is a project aimed at empowering LGBTI youth to achieve quality change in local LGBTI communities (Sofia city and one more regional city) by strengthening their skills and their understanding of solidarity, active citizenship and social inclusion. The project is funded by the European Solidarity Corps.
Deystvie’s Health Program aims to raise awareness of sexual and mental health in the LGBTI community.
The sexual health and HIV prevention program started in 2017. The program is aimed at:
Providing information on prevention and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
Providing pro bono administrative and legal assistance for HIV-related cases
Facilitating dialogue between the MSM community and health authorities on issues related to prevention of and living with HIV
The mental health program of the Youth LGBT Organization Deystvie was founded in May 2019 as part of the project “Healthy, Brave and Proud: LGBTI Youth Mental Health Support Program”, supported by the Public Board of TELUS International in Bulgaria.
Raising awareness of mental health in the community through articles on the website
Providing free access to a psychotherapy group led by a psychologist working with the LGBTI community
Providing information about psychologists who are sensitive to the needs of the LGBTI community
The program was created in 2015. Its purpose is to give information about LGBT partnerships and families with or without kids. The program regularly organizes events, meetings and gives information about the rights of same-sex partners, gives consultations and takes on legal cases if there is a violation of partners’ rights and/or those of their children. It also communicates with institutions by organizing meetings and discussions and by giving official statements.
If you want to share your story, contact us...
If you have questions about your family, contact us...
The first Sofia Pride took place on 28 June 2008 under the slogan “Me and My Family”. The date was chosen as a gesture to the historic events in Stonewall, New York, which began on 28 June 1969. Since then, the local prides have taken place on the last Saturday of June. The first Pride was attended by about 150 people, and the anti-march consisted of about 100 far-right supporters. For security reasons, the route of the march was short, and persistent threats from far-right nationalist groups led to low attendance. The enhanced measures taken for the safety of participants were not in vain because the Pride was attacked by several hundred skinheads and nationalists who threw a Molotov cocktail. As a result, 88 people were arrested, including the BNS leader Boyan Rasate. Despite the problems, the event went down in history as an open and proud statement by the LGBT community in Bulgaria.
From 2008 until today, the march doubled in size every year and reached a record 7,000 people in 2019. We organized the arrival of the internationally recognized Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, as well as the Bulgarian singer Galena.
2019 | 7000
In 2019, Deystvie concluded donation contracts for Sofia Pride with internationally recognized companies such as Walltopia and Air Italy.
Deystvie was also the organizer of the Sofia Pride 2019 after party which took place on the roof of the Walltopia building and gathered over 1,000 people.
goal of the pride
According to Deystvie, the goal of Pride is to change the legislation of Bulgaria – inclusion of hate crimes against LGBTI people in the Criminal Code, recognition of the families of LGBTI people, regulation of the procedure for gender reassignment for trans people and legal ban on surgeries on intersex people. In order to achieve these changes, it is necessary for the legislator to see and recognize the LGBTI communities as a legitimate part of society – Bulgarian voters and taxpayers who have the need and the right to put their problems before the authorities and demand their solution.
Because no society and no politician would solve a problem for which it can easily pretend not to exist.
we do it
My happiness does not make anyone unhappy.
For my children. Because I want them to live in a country where all people are equal.
If it wasn’t for the first Pride, we would still be deep in the closet.
We expect Sofia Pride 2020 to reach the record 10 000 people and to receive an even bigger international support.
Stay tuned for more details soon.
Sofia Pride Film Fest is an annual film festival that lasts over a week around the Pride march in June and showcases the best of queer cinema from around a world. In a country, where LGBT topics are still taboo in media and queer visibility is practically non-existent in daily life, it is of extreme importance to us that LGBT people see their stories truthfully reflected on the big screen. Sharing stories and telling our own stories is the path to a wider acceptance, inclusion and strengthening of our community.
In 2016 and 2017, the festival had a full attendance.
Sofia Pride Film
Sofia Pride Film Fest is GROWING
In 2018 we had an international part in which the programme included productions from Bulgaria, Israel, Ireland, the USA, Taiwan, Russia and Romania, which are nominated and awarded at festivals such as Berlinale, San Sebastián, Toronto and Tribeca. For the first time, the festival showed two Bulgarian short films. Transfiguration was given the Jameson award at Sofia Film Fest 2018, while Whole is the first Bulgarian LGBTI-themed movie, sponsored by the National Film Center and selected from among 500 projects for development at the Berlinale Short Film Station in 2016.
Pitching lab for short movies from the Balkans
PRIDExPower was a 4-day lab for development of queer shorts from the Balkan region. The participants had the opportunity to work with their mentors and the SPFF jury. The selected 11 projects of aspiring young directors from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, and Serbia, competed for a “Best project” and “Best Bulgarian project” award.
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