NATFA-EMPACT Artistic Residency “Water: Memory & Movement” – 26 August – 6 September 2023, Sozopol, Bulgaria



NATFA-EMPACT Artistic Residency “Water: Memory & Movement”

26 August – 6 September 2023, Sozopol, Bulgaria

In cooperation with the Apollonia Festival of the Arts





NATFA’s residency is part of EMPACT project and aims to facilitate the creation of new artworks that creatively respond to the wider themes of empathy and sustainability through the promotion of mobility of artists within Europe. We are looking for diverse creative models of thinking, researching, making and acting that imaginatively engage with current urgencies – environmental, socio-political and/or cultural.  We invite applicants to explore critical questions and processes in order to produce sense and make work, involving human and non-human agents and parameters with the capacity to endorse care and empathy within our lived worlds.

NATFA’s residency (26 August – 6 September 2023) will be on the theme “Water: Memory & Movement” and will be held in the city of Sozopol, Bulgaria at the Black Sea. We expect the residents to create a performative story, focusing on artists’ own resilience and sustainability, and combining traditional with innovative ideas and materials. We expect actors, dancers, theatre directors, choreographers, scenographers, and other performing art professionals to apply.

During their stay, residents will have the opportunity to explore Sozopol’s cultural heritage, get inspired by the beauty of the sea, rivers and mountains in the surrounding areas, and get to know the local artistic communities and the local lifestyle. Residents will have the opportunity to visit the Apollonia Festival’s events of their choice free of charge.



Sozopol is one of the oldest cities on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, located 35 km from Burgas airport. It is established in 610 BC as a Hellenic colony of Miletus Greeks named Apollonia Pontica. It is one of the country’s most popular seaside resorts. The impressive architecture and archaeology, old pretty wooden houses in the Old City, traces of ancient civilizations, diverse cultural and artistic programs, romantic atmosphere, beautiful sea cost and nature, are a great source of creativity. In Sozopol, everything is pretty close – you can walk to the city center (which is the old town) and along the coast.

See the best things to see and do in Sozopol here:

Residents will have the opportunity to attend the annual Apollonia Festival of the Arts in Sozopol, which has the reputation for presenting annually the best of the Bulgarian and foreign arts and is one of the most prestigious events in Bulgaria. During an intensive 10 days period, the festival offers music and theatre premieres, poetry reading, promotion of new books, street art events, concerts, and many other cultural events. There are also masterclasses in various disciplines – singing, piano, jazz improvisation, and acting. Every year the festival includes a panorama of Bulgarian films, including documentary films.



The call is open to creative persons of all fields, and backgrounds, working in any creative area and in any medium. Applicants must be above the age of 21. Artists will be asked to state a preferred choice of residency venue.

Eligible applicants are individuals who are taxpayers in one of the project consortium countries, except Bulgaria (Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, and Spain).

The international jury consists of members from each partner institution. The selection criteria include originality, feasibility, and overall artistic quality of the proposals. Successful candidates are provided the space and critical context to push forward exciting artworks and thinking models of re-learning to co-exist in empathetic environments and to produce sophisticated ecologies of shared futures.



During the residency, the resident will be expected to work on a performative story and deliver a two-hour presentation about their artistic practice/result to the public. Selected artworks will be shown in an exhibition at the Vorres Museum (Athens).



Travel, accommodation, subsistence: NATFA (through EMPACT project) will cover:

  • Travel to and from Sozopol (up to 800 EUR), the use of trains is encouraged, when possible, to limit emissions, flights are economy class only – receipts to be provided. The nearest airport to Sozopol is Burgas airport.
  • Accommodation (for the residency period – 12 nights max.) is arranged by NATFA at the educational and sports rehabilitation hotel “Azure”, Sozopol:
  • Per diem for the 10 days residence, including small production costs (up to 1000 EUR).


Disclaimer: Outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, swimming, and weather conditions while part of the residence may involve a degree of risk. The organisers cannot be held responsible for any injuries or losses that may occur during these activities. Health insurance (in addition to any other insurance individuals may choose) is required to be eligible to participate.

Intellectual property on the work, created during the residence (including images, videos, files, etc.), belongs to the respective artist but is expected to be provided to NATFA and EMPACT project free of charge for dissemination and communication purposes.



Candidates are asked to submit their CVs (up to 4 pages), portfolio of recent creative projects (up to 6 pages, including illustrations) and a short proposal for their project/relevant ongoing research that relates to the themes of empathy and sustainability and to the preferred residency host institution (up to 500 words).


Apply here:

Contact: Dr. Ekaterina Kuncheva:



The National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts “Kr. Sarafov ”(NATFA) is one of the most prestigious European and Bulgarian educational institutions in the field of stage and screen arts. We offer a wide range of modern and unique educational programs at bachelor, master and doctoral levels in the field of the screen and performing arts, theatre and film studies, as well as continuing education, postgraduate qualification and retraining. Our education and research work is closely connected with practical experiences for the students. We work in partnership with prestigious scientific, cultural, non-profit, production and business organizations on diverse national and international programs. We also cooperate actively with international universities and art academies.



The project is co-financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union under the Grant Agreement No: 101055903 – EMPACT – CREA-CULT-2021-COOP-2