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National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts “Krastyo Sarafov”

Contact Info
+359 02 923 1351
Ulitsa Georgi S. Rakovski, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Sofia
  • Posted 2 years ago

The Krastyo Sarafov National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts is a higher education institution headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. It is Bulgaria’s first university dedicated to theatre and cinematic arts. It was established in 1948 and is the country’s sole public and state-run institution of its sort.

Every year, the Academy admits roughly 120 new students, including 20 overseas students. It is housed in three neighboring buildings in downtown Sofia: a Training Drama Theatre (since 1957), a Training Puppet Theatre (since 1966), a cinema and video hall, an educational audiovisual center, and an academic information center with 60,000 volumes of Bulgarian and worldwide literature. In Studentski grad, NATFA offers a student dormitory.


Bulgaria’s political, economic, and social life changed after the Second World War. Higher education became free, allowing more young people to seek careers in theater. The number of theaters has also expanded, necessitating the hiring of additional performers and directors. The Academy began as a two-year temporary drama school at the Ivan Vazov National Theater. As a result of the Bulgarian press raising the notion of establishing a higher theater school, it became the first Bulgarian State Higher Theater School in 1948.

In its initial class, 22 students were enrolled in acting and 9 in directing, and two years later, 16 fresh students were admitted in theatrical studies. Initially, all courses were four years long, but this was eventually increased to five years for directors and theatrical critics. The first seventeen professors at the institution were well-known theatrical artists and critics. The number of instructors has grown over time, and the curriculum has improved.

Dimitar Mitov, a well-known novelist, publicist, literary and theatrical critic, was named the first Rector. The school was originally located at 43 Vasil Levski Boulevard (previously Tolbuhin Boulevard), however the facility proved insufficient to accommodate all of its pupils. The institution was named after the famous Bulgarian artist Krastyo Sarafov in 1951 to honor the 75th anniversary of his birth, and it was renamed Krastyo Sarafov Higher Institute of Theater Arts in 1954.

In 1955, the Institute was given a new home at 108A Rakovski Street, which was custom-built for it. It provided superior learning chances due to its three stages and higher audience size. One of the Institute’s core sections, the Training Drama Theater, was established in 1957. There are 430 seats in the amphitheater hall.

The Institute first offered a puppetry acting training in 1962. A decade later, puppet theater direction was introduced. Nikolina Georgieva directed and wrote The Carnival of the Animals, which was performed in 1966 at the school’s Training Puppet Theater to the music of Camille Saint-Saens. It is situated at 20 Stefan Karadja Street and contains a 100-seat hall. In 1973, the Institute’s curriculum was expanded to include additional subjects such as filmmaking and cinematography.

The institution was renamed Krastyo Sarafov National Academy for Theater and Film Arts on August 1, 1995.

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