Irena Ivanova, better known by her pen name Rene Karabash, was born in Lovech, Bulgaria, in 1989 and is a writer, theatre director and actress. As a writer, she has published a book of poetry, a novel in 2018, for which she was awarded the Bulgarian Elias Canetti Prize, and a short story collection in 2021. For her role in the film Bezbog (2016), she was decorated at numerous film festivals, including Locarno and Sarajevo. As a director, she has directed Blue Eyes, Black Hair by Marguerite Duras and The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, among others. She is the founder of Rabbit Hole, an academy for authors from the worlds of literature, film and theatre.