Valentin Ganev

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Valentin Ganev in the monospectacle The Contrabass.

Valentin Ganev is one of the prominent Bulgarian actors having performed both in theater and films. He was born in Rousse on April 7, 1956. The unique atmosphere in the city, partially rendered by the numerous buildings of cultural significance and the bohemian attitude of the locals to art, influenced his perception of the world and the professional path he took later in life.

When he was 10, the family moved to the capital city of Sofia where Valentin Ganev graduated from the English High School. He was later admitted to the National Academy of Theater and Film Arts. While still there, in 1977 he transferred to the Moscow All-Union State Institute of Cinematography to study Acting under the mentorship of Sergei Bondarchuk, who was considered to be an exceptional actor, director, screenwriter and theater teacher.

He returned to Bulgaria in 1981 and started an active acting career with performances at Boyan Danovski Drama Theater in the small town of Pernik. In 1987 and 1988 he was part of the troupe at Tear and Laughter Sofia theater. The next two years he spent at Sofia Theater, then from 1990 to 1995 he was part of Small City Theater behind the Canal and since then he’s been working at Ivan Vazov National Theater in Sofia. He has also performed in other theaters, such as 199 Theater in Ingmar Bergman’s Sarabande.

The total number of performances in which he has so far participated exceeds 70 and include Butterfly Cage, Pygmalion, Sour Cherry Orchard, King Lear, Hamlet and Bulgarians in Exile. One of his most well-known performances is the mono-spectacle The Contrabass which was played over 250 times in Bulgaria. He has also staged several theater productions including Manlio Santanelli’s The Queen Mother and John Mortimer’s The Trial.

In 1998 Valentin Ganev won the Askeer for Best Actor and in 2016 the Icarus Award of the Union of Artists in Bulgaria for Supporting Male Role for his character Nikola Geshev in Geo by Hristo Karastoyanov.

Since 1967 he has taken part in a number of Bulgarian and foreign movies, in which he has partnered not only with famous Bulgarian actors, but also international ones such as Val Kilmer and Christian Slater. His recent film appearances include Bubble Gum and The King of Belgium.

From his interviews we get an idea of a man dedicated to art who nurtures deep respect for the profession, his colleagues and teachers. Despite his success he strives to be an earthly man, to focus on art, to gain more experience on stage and to become ever better as an actor.

You can learn more about Valentin Ganev and his opinions from a few more interviews, which we came across on the Internet, namely, the Homo Ludens Foundation, Sofia Live, Bulgarian National Radio and Bulgarian National Television websites.


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