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Palace For The People

DirectorBoris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
ProducerMartichka Bozhilova – Agitprop; Filmtank, ICON Production
WriterBoris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
CameraBoris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
EditorEma Konstantinova
SoundMomchil Bozhkov
ScreeningThursday 7 November | 14:30 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag + Masterclass
Friday 8 November | 17:30 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag
Length76 min
SectionDocumentaries Open Debates / Focus: Bulgarian New Voices / Focus: Europe, 30 Years After the Berlin Wall

An exciting cinematic tour through five impressive palaces from socialist times in Eastern Europe. Screenings will be followed by Q&A with the director Boris Missirkov who will give a masterclass on Thursday 7 November.


Until the 20th century, ordinary people didn’t have access to palaces. This was given to them with the arrival of communist ideology when collective good was the major state policy, to remind people there was an ultimate power and brighter future. Here are the stories of the most emblematic buildings that witnessed historical turbulences in Eastern Europe in the second half of the century. The National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Moscow State University, Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Palace of Serbia in Belgrade, Palace of the Republic in Berlin are unique architectural creatures constructed with a lot of courage, as well as a bit of lunacy by the local authorities. Each one is the tallest, the largest, has the biggest clock on Earth, or the most advanced technology of its time. Now that socialism is over, it’s time to go back and reveal their hidden secrets. A snapshot of the palaces today seen through the eyes of their architects, former and current directors, and people who took care of them.

Director’s bio

The creative duo Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov are internationally acclaimed Bulgarian cinematographers, directors, visual artists and photographers. They are also the authors of visual campaigns, full-length documentaries, videos and short films, as well as ideologists and founders of AGITPROP Production Company and co-founders of Bulgarian Photographic Association. DOP of the most successful AGITPROP’s films, among which: Georgi and the Butterflies (Silver Wolf, IDFA 2004), The Mosquito Problem and other stories (Cannes 2007, Grierson Award for Best documentary, The Times BFI London Film Festival), Corridor #8 (Berlinale 2008 – Forum, Independent Ecumenical Jury Award) and The Boy, Who Was a King (Toronto IFF, London FF 2011). DOP of the first original Bulgarian productions for HBO, documentaries Concrete Pharaohs and Paradise Hotel (Golden Magnolia for Best Doc; Thessaloniki 2010 – Best Doc), Dad Made Dirty Movies (Visions du Reel, Switzerland) etc. Authors of the first original Bulgarian content for National Geographic Channel, Explore Bulgaria (Season 1-3, 2014-2016). Producers (together with Martichka Bozhilova) of “15” – the first Bulgarian omnibus film. Authors of The Ladino Ladies’ Club (coproduction Bulgaria/USA, 2015), screened at IDFA and Warsaw FF. Renowned visual artists and photographers that have been presented in solo shows as well as major photography and contemporary art exhibitions in Europe and the USA.

Festivals & Awards (selection)

DOK Leipzig, 2018 – International Premiere | Sofia International Film Festival, 2019 – Documentary Competition | Seattle International Film Festival, 2019 | Sarajevo Film Festival, 2019 – Documentary Competition