Tsvetana Maneva will receive the Sofia Prize of Sofia Municipality for her contribution to the art of cinema

"There are women who make things better... just by showing up. There are women who make things happen. And women who make us smile. There are women with charm, intellect and wisdom... There are women who change the world every day..."  These are the words of the Union of Artists in Bulgaria, expressing the universal admiration for the talent of actress Tsvetana Maneva. On 30 January, she will celebrate her 80th anniversary, and on 23 March, at the award ceremony of the 28th Sofia Film Fest, the actress will receive the Sofia Municipality Award in recognition of her contribution to the art of cinema.

Tsvetana Maneva's name is synonymous with professionalism, talent, charm, magnetism and respect. She is an actress, a teacher, a creator, a discoverer, a socially engaged person. Together with Nevena Kokanova and Katya Paskaleva, Tsvetana Maneva is among the greatest star actresses of Bulgarian cinema, with a huge contribution to the development and artistic excellence of Bulgarian theatre.

The dedication to art and the attraction to the stage are coded in her - she is the daughter of the famous Plovdiv drama actor Georgi Manev. Even as a schoolgirl she played in Valeri Petrov's play "When the Roses Dance". Although her path seems predetermined, she had some hesitation whether to devote her life to medicine.

In 1966, she graduated in acting at the VITIZ in the class of Professor Moises Benieš. But her great teacher in the profession was the director Luben Groys. "Everything I am, I learned it from him," - says Tsvetana Maneva. Many of her "star" roles are in productions of Luben Groys: Juliet, Nora, Albena, Medea, in Shakespeare's comedy "The Two Gentlemen of Verona", in the plays of Konstantin Iliev. The most important condition is to discover the heroine's problem, which should also become hers, and thus to reveal the thinking, speaking and acting of the character. This is the "healthy code" bequeathed by Luben Groys. 

Tsvetana Maneva's career began at the Plovdiv Drama Theatre, where she played until 1979, then joined the troupe of the “Tear and Laughter” Theatre and was part of it until 1991. She performed in productions of Theatre 199, Sfumato and the Youth Theatre, and had over 50 roles in cinema.  As a student she made her debut on the big screen with the role of Denitsa the Kuman in "Kaloyan" by Yuri Arnaudov and Dako Dakovsky. After her graduation Tsvetana Maneva returned to Plovdiv, where together with Todor Kolev, Russi Chanev, Katya Paskaleva, Marin Yanev, Elena Raynova, Ilka Zafirova, Stefan Mavrodiev, Anton Gorchev wrote the golden pages of the Plovdiv Theatre.

The actress received a great, well-deserved recognition in 1973 at the International Film Festival "Golden Rose" for the main role in the film by Binka Zhelyazkova "The Last Word". Then the Russian director Sergei Gerasimov said that the biggest discovery of the festival was the young Tsvetana Maneva. The film received first prize, and then entered the competition selection in Cannes. It was a fateful and happy year for the actress, because then she met her current husband and great actor Yavor Milushev in front of VITIZ. The two starred in “At the Beginning of the Day”, and Luben Groys staged “Two in the Cradle” especially for them. And wonderful roles and partnerships were charged. For her, the meetings with Ivan Andonov in "Tough Love", "Ladies Invite" and "Dreamers" are unforgettable, and extremely important is the work with Georgi Dyulgerov in "Measure for Measure".

In the 1970s Tsvetana Maneva was extremely active in cinema. She went from film to film. In 1982 she was vice-president of the Union of Artists in Bulgaria and became a People's Artist. She was elected deputy in three parliaments - 7th, 8th and 9th.

In addition to iconic Bulgarian films that have become classics, Tsvetana Maneva has also starred in foreign productions shot in Bulgaria, such as the French "The Birthmother's Brawl", the Serbian "Impure Blood", the Russian "Don Quixote Returns", the Italian "The Hunting Bag", the French-Canadian-Belgian "Versengétorix" directed by Regis Varnier, which opened the Sofia Film Fest in 2001.

Since 1995 Tsvetana Maneva has been the artistic director of the Varna Summer International Film Festival. The legendary French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere says about her: “She is an actress. In fact, she is a star. There is no way this woman could be anything else". Director Georgi Balabanov invited her to star in the film "The Petrov File", based on a screenplay by Carriere.

In 2003 Tsvetana Maneva began teaching at the NBU and was awarded the title "honorary professor". Since 1996, she has also taught acting to students at the theatre college, opened in 1991 and named after her favourite director, Luben Groys. Tsvetana Maneva wants to teach young people to believe in themselves, to be close to human virtues and to like themselves, because "how will they like you in the hall if you don't like yourself". It is the responsibility of the profession to meet the expectations of the audience.

At the Varna Festival in 2004 Tsvetana Maneva was awarded the Golden Rose for overall creativity. In the same year she was awarded the "Stara Planina" Order - first degree; she also received the "Ikar" Grand Prize of the Union of Artists in Bulgaria.

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