The origin of the Festival dates back to the year 1989 when the Ukrainian Festival of alternative non-state theatres was held in Lviv for the first time. These theatres were emerging on the wave of reconstructing processes in our country on the basis of theatre groups, schools etc.
The festival owns its existence to Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, Ukrainian Theatre Union, Lviv Regional Culture Administration, as well as Lviv «Voskresinnia» Theatre, which traditionally hosts the «Golden Lion» festival.
The Festival received its present name «Golden Lion» in 1992 when it became a full-fledged festival in Ukraine. The first festival was the festival of experiment in the theatre. The word «experiment» became a key word in the festival in 1994, which became the first festival of a youth experimental theatre. Since 1996 the motto of the festival is «Classics through experiment».
International Theatre Festival «Golden Lion» is a state festival which takes place every year in Lviv on the basis of Theatre «Voskresinnia» headed by Yaroslav Fedoryshyn. The Festival is a member of IETM and IFEA.
The Festival is collaborating with such European Festivals as «Bitef» (Serbia), «Contact» (Poland), Chekhov Festival (Russia), «Nitra» (Slovakia) and many others.
During the time of its existence the Festival hosted more than 4000 actors from Belarus, Turkmenistan, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Moldova, Serbia, Slovakia, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Russia, Germany, the USA, England, Georgia and other countries. A lot of famous actors and directors were participating in the festival: Ada Rohovtseva, Donatas Banionis, Rimas Tuminas, Roman Viktiuk, Daniel Olbryhskyi, Konstiantyn Raikin, Valentyna Talyzina, Bohdan Stupka, Hryhoriy Hladiy and a lot of foreign producers and theatre critics.
The Festival unites all tendencies of the artistic and theatrical progress. It is shaping a positive image of the city and of the whole country on the international theatrical arena. It also stimulates the development of the theatre in the region. The Festival helps the city to attract tourists to the city and to expose the best pieces of world culture to the audience of our country.