Today “Soleil” gradually became one of the most significant regional cultural events that reflects Bulgaria’s membership in the international Francophone movement.

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Today "Soleil” gradually became one of the most significant regional cultural events that reflects Bulgaria's membership in the international Francophone movement.

More about the festival .


The first edition of the International Francophone festival “Soleil” was in 2011. Then, within 3 days, the participants from the Kingdom of Belgium, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria set a serious cultural project, that over the years developed to unexpectedly large scale.

In 2013, at the third festival, the participants were already from 7 countries.

From 2014 till now, the festival has hosted 12 participating countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Kingdom of Belgium, Greece, Georgia, Portugal, Lebanon, Kingdom of Morocco, Romania, Republic of North Macedonia, France and Bulgaria.

Today “Soleil” gradually became one of the most significant regional cultural events that reflects Bulgaria’s membership in the international Francophone movement.

The festival is an elitist cultural event where different peoples meet, united by the cause of Francophone values. It is also an opportunity to show part of the historical and cultural wealth of Bulgaria to our guests and participants.



It is no coincidence that the town of Sozopol was chosen as the venue for the International Francophone Festival “Soleil”. A commercial and cultural center on the Black Sea coast for more than 2 700 years, its history and traditions are reason enough for festival participants to feel at home here for 12 years now.

The program of the festival covers all the iconic places in the wonderful Sozopol.

The festival always opens and closes on the same dates, June 3 and June 8. The opening traditionally marks the start of the summer tourist season.

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  1. Exhibitions

Exhibitions carry a particular importance in the festival program, as they give artists from different nations the opportunity to present their work and draw inspiration from the environment, the atmosphere and the people they interact with.

To date, a total of 59 exhibitions have been presented within all editions of the festival.

  1. Concerts

Over the years more than 200 musicians of high class, different countries and different styles – jazz, classical, pop and ethnic, have been among the festival participants.

Among the most prominent guests are “Mikhail Yosifov Sextet”, “Sentimental Swingers”, Angel Zaberski, Georgi Petrov, Dimitar Karamfilov, Stoyan Yankulov – Stundji, Yordanka Hristova, Miro, Zhana Bergendorff, Christiana Louisou, Tony Dimitrova, Vasil Petrov, Silvia Katsarova, Burgas City Brass Orchestra, Bulgarian Navy Brass Orchestra, “Pedro Negrescu Jazz Trio”, Rafael Butaro, Bogdan Mihailescu, Yanka Jarosevici, Lucia Neagoe, Ralitsa Irimia, Leona Varvarichi, Zornitsa Ilarionova, Constanten Gaznie, Music class at the Roman languages “G.S. Rakovski” high school Burgas.

  1. Cinema

During each year the festival an “Evening cinema with a glass of wine” is organized. With the help of various embassies, a variety of interesting documentaries, feature films and science movies were presented to the audience and guests. For the last 11 editions, a total of 60 films have been shown, most of them awarded at various international festivals.

  1. International plein-air workshop

This module is our pride. Every year, the organizers of the festival invite 20 artists from different countries, all of them accommodated in the “Green Life Resort” complex, our general sponsor.

From 31 May to 08 June the painters have to create 2 paintings each with a size of 100/80 cm, acrylic or oil. The paintings remain the property of the “Soleil” Foundation. It organizes at a later stage exhibitions of these works in Bulgaria and abroad. To date, more than 160 artists have participated with over 300 works, presented among others in galleries in Bulgaria, Paris, Prague etc.

  1. Conferences

The festival provides an opportunity for business meetings on various topics between the official guests and local authorities, scientists, specialists. The main speaker was the late President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev.

  1. Culinary journeys

Traditionally, each embassy presents its national cuisine to the guests of the festival. Over the years Moroccan and Lebanese specialties were served, as well as Azerbaijani tea and wine, Belgian beer and chocolate, Georgian cognac and wine, French champagne, Macedonian brandy. For each edition a continuous support by high-quality Bulgarian wines is guaranteed.


The International francophone festival “Soleil” is organized by the privately owned “Soleil” foundation, whose activity is aimed at the promotion of Bulgarian culture and francophone values, as well as the realization of a numerous cultural projects.

The “Soleil” foundation general manager and Festival director is Mrs. Alexandrina Issaylova, a long-time journalist at the Bulgarian National Television and general manager of “Draka” art gallery for more than 30 years.

Active members of the “Soleil” foundation are:

  1. Mr. Slavcho BIBIN – organizational and international relations director;
  2. Mr. Nikola BIBIN – art director;
  3. Professor doctor Dimitar VESSELINOV – science and education director;
  4. Mr. Nikolay GERMANOV – international plein-air workshop commandant.



The main co-organizer of the festival is the municipality of Sozopol.

Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski”, National Art Gallery, Draka Gallery, State Agency “Archives”, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences – Scientific Archive also participate actively.

The diplomatic representations to Sofia that contributed to the festival are the “Wallonia-Brussels Delegation” Bucharest, the embassies of Albania, Azerbaijan, Greece, Georgia, the Kingdom of Belgium, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Morocco, Romania, the Republic of North Macedonia, and France.




General sponsor of all festival events is “Green Life Resort”.

Our other sponsors and partners are:
Bibendum, Fortex, AirFrance, Roprint, Rebrand, Porto Elea Restaurant, Paradise Bay Restaurant, Cavalier Hotel, Sea Sense Hotel, Paradise Bay Hotel, Santa Marina Complex



General media partner of the festival is the Bulgarian National Television.

A special media partner of “Soleil” is Nova News.

Apart from them, the events of the festival are covered by the Bulgarian National Radio, radio Focus, the “Filter”, “Gallery”, “Standard”, “Telegraph” newspapers.

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Over the last 12 years, many people from different nations, with different social status and professions have contributed to the development of the festival. This is the reason why the Board of the “Soleil” Foundation established two special awards – “Honorary Director of the Festival” and “For Special Merits”, that are annually presented as a sign of appreciation.

These awards are presented to people who, within each festival year, have contributed to the promotion of the event and the ideas of Francophonie, have attracted new participants and sponsors, have supported the program, and have dedicated their time and money to help make the festivals a real event.


So far, “HONORARY DIRECTOR OF THE FESTIVAL” award has been presented to:

  1. H.E. Marc Michelson, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium.
  2. H.E. Anton Pakuretsu, Ambassador of Romania.
  3. H.E. Latifa Akharbash, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco.
  4. H.E. Annick Van Kalster, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium.
  5. H.E. Suzan Mouzi, Ambassador of Lebanon.
  6. Mr. Svetoslav Glossov, Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Morocco.
  7. Mrs. Evgenia Popescu, Honorary Consul of Romania.
  8. H.E. Nargiz Gurbanova, Ambassador of Azerbaijan.
  9. H.E. Tamara Liluashvili, Ambassador of Georgia.
  10. H.E. Donika Hoxha, Ambassador of Albania.



“FOR SPECIAL MERITS” award has been presented to:

  1. Mrs. Vyara Ankova, General Director of Bulgarian National Television.
  2. Mr. Stefan Sharlopov, businessman.
  3. Mr. Panayot Reizi, Sozopol Municipality Mayor.
  4. Mr. Filip Harmandzhiev, businessman.
  5. Mrs. Krasimira Germanova, Sozopol Municipal Council Chairperson.
  6. Mr. Nikolay Pehlivanov, businessman.
  7. Prof. Dr. Dimitar Vesselinov, SU, “Kliment Ohridski”.
  8. Mrs. Pepa Zapryanova, teacher at G.S. Rakovski High School of Romance Languages, Burgas city.
  9. Mr. Dimitar Nedev, Director of the Sozopol Museum Center.
  10. Mr. Ivan Bakhchevanov, Director of the Sozopol Art gallery.
  11. Mr. Vasko Shutarov, Director of the North Macedonia Cultural Institute.
  12. Mr. Sasho Nasev, Director of the North Macedonia Cultural Institute.