The creativity and the personality of Mikhail Bulgakov never ceases to attract the attention of readers around the world. Bulgakov is one of those bright, mysterious and inscrutable figures of world art history, which, along with the names of Hoffman, Goethe, Gogol, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Borges provokes contradictory judgments, confounds with resistance to perspicacity and leads to uncertain premonitions. It was the huge interest in the writer and his work that pushed the idea of creating the M. Bulgakov Creative Fund and the organization of the International Bulgakov Festival of Arts, which was established in 2002 in the city where the writer was born and grew up.
The International Bulgakov Festival of Arts – an event which attracts to Kiev not only literary critics from near and far abroad, not only theatergoers from around the world, where dozens of works premiere every year written by our fellow countryman, but also by a huge audience of readers and spectators who worship Bulgakov’s works. The festival program puts up for display the most famous theatrical productions based on M. Bulgakov’s works, film programs, artistic and photo exhibitions, musical evenings, and educational conferences. The president and art director of the festival is People’s Artist of Ukraine Anatoly Khostikoyev. The director and artistic director of the Kiev Academic Drama Theater in Podol is People’s Artist of Ukraine Vitaly Malakhov.
During the 2002 festival, theater fans for the first time had a unique opportunity to see on the Ukrainian stage the world premiere of the performance of the American theater from Los Angeles ZooDistrict, “Dog’s Heart.”
In September-December 2003, a festival tour took place featuring the play “Lay Down the Word ‘Eternity'” based on M. Bulgakov’s works in Kiev, Vinnitsa, Slavutich, Vyshgorod, Chernigov and White Church in partnership with “Art Against Drug Addiction and AIDS.” In March 2003, the directorate of the Bulgakov Festival financed the restoration of the grave of the mother of Mikhail Afanasievich.
In July 2004, during the III M. Bulgakov Festival of Arts, for the first time chapters of the novel “Master and Margarita” were read in the Visitor’s Courtyard in Podol. To a large extent, the unusual construction of the auditorium and the decoration of the scenic space in the inner garden of the old Visitor’s Courtyard premises contributed to the success and creation of the unique atmosphere for theatrical readings, according to many guests and specialists.
In 2005, the festival was devoted to the works “White Guard” and “Days of Turbin”. The center of the festival was the stage of the Vistior’s Courtyard in Podol, part of the events took place in the halls of the Kiev Drama Theater in Podol, the National Academic Drama Theater named after I. Franko, and the theater “Suzir’ya”.
In 2006, it was 400 years since the publication of the first part of Don Quixote. In honor of this, a performance based on M. Bulgakov’s adaptation of “Don Quixote” was created and presented to the public at the International Bulgakov Festival of Arts.
In 2007, the festival was held on the 16th, 17th, 19th, 29th and 31st of October and was timed to the inauguration of the monument to the Master on the Andreevsky Descent near the entrance to the memorial museum “Turbins’ House”. The title of the festival in 2007 were the words uttered by Margarita’s Master in the farewell scene with Woland: “THE FOUND ETERNAL HOUSE”.
On September 29th, 30th, and October 1st in 2008 Kiev hosted the VII International M. Bulgakov Festival of Arts. Annually the festival announces a single theme for readings and the entire festival. In 2008, this theme was a complex layer of relationships between “Author and Theater.” The works “Molierian”, “Holy Kabbalah”, “Crimson Island”, “Theatrical Novel”, etc. were considered. Actors from Ukraine, Russia, the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Poland took part in the Bulgakov readings.A number of film presentations and other projects accompanying the festival were held.