11-14 March 2010
7 th e d i t i o n
Feature Film Projects
Art Fest
NU Boyana Film Studios Award
5000 EUR provided from Nu Boyana Film Studios
Synchro Film, Video & Audio (Vienna) Award
5000 EUR provided in Post Production Services
LVT Sofia Post Production Award
2000 EUR provided in Laser Subtitling Services
Kasia Roslaniec – BABY BLUES
Miroslav Momcilovic – DIVORCED
Sasha Damjanovski – KALABALAK
George Ovashvili – LETHARGY
Hristian Nochev – THE DEEPEST SCAR
Alvaro Brechner – THREE VULTURES
Ella Vakkasova – ARAL
Zornitsa Sofia – ESTROGEN
Matteo Oleotto – MY NEPHEW THE IDIOT
Ivan Marinovic – PASQUA
34 Lefteris Charitos – TINY DANCERS
42 Eric Nazarian – MUSIC FOR STRANGERS 44 Shimon Shai – PARADISE
Riki Shelach – HELENA
Kiril Stankov – KRAPETZ 54 Ognjen Isailovic, Dane Komljen, Damir Romanov, Senka
Domanovic, Ognjen Glavonic, Milica Tomovic and Ivan Pecikoza – OCTOBER
Stanislav Evstatiev, Svilen Dimitrov – SHE'S A STONE
Nickolai Iliev – STEPHI
Bojina Panayotova – THE DEBUTANTE
Antoniy Donchev – THE WOMAN OF MY LIFE
Kaloyan Nachev – THE GOLDEN APPLE
Svetoslav Doychinov – DREAMLAND Inc.
Kasia Roslaniec
Written by
Kasia Roslaniec
Kasia Roslaniec Producer
Kasia Roslaniec
Kasia Roslaniec, born in 1980, graduated from the Warsaw Film School in 2006,
and Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in 2008. She also has a
Masters of Marketing from the University of Gdansk, 2004. She participated
in the Script Laboratory and The Polish Filmmakers Association. Katarzyna
Roslaniec was also a member of the 1-2 Warsaw Film Festival Jury for 2009.
During her studies in Gdansk she was working in the news room TVP (Panorama).
After that she started to direct and produce video clips (2003-2004). In 2004
she was head of production of the first episode of the TV series called Engineer
Walczak. It was a criminal comedy based in the 70s. The series include 5
episodes, 70 minutes each and got a few awards.
In 2004 she moved to Warsaw to study in the Warsaw Film School. In 2006 she
made her first short film – Mall Girls, with a financial support of the school
and Polish Film Institute. After that she started to cooperate with WFDIF Film
Company with 60 years of tradition and experience and one of the biggest
producers in Poland. They produced Kasia’s long feature debut Mall Girls. Their
cooperation still exists today.
For her 30 minute long diploma film Galerianki (Mall Girls), created in 2006,
Kasia received various awards, among them were: The Special Award in the
Polish Film Festival, Gdynia and the Jury Special Award in the International Film
Festival in Aubagne, France. One and a half years later, the full length Mall Girls
was made as her feature film debut.
The film Mall Girls has received various awards:
Grand Prix, Koszalin Debut Festival, 2009
Best Actress Debut (Ania Karczmarczyk), Koszalin Debut Festival, 2009
Best Director’s Debut, The International Film Festival – Era New Horizon, Wroclaw,
Best Director’s Debut, Gdynia Polish Feature Film Festival, 2009
Best Director’s Debut, Film Festival Cottbus, Germany, 2009
Best Actress Debut (Ania Karczmarczyk), Film Festival Cottbus, Germany, 2009
The film was also presented in the official selection of:
Toronto International Film Festival, 2009
Bangkok International Film Festival, 2009
Mall Girls had its theatrical premier on September 25th 2009 and remained a
number one box office hit for over three weeks, with almost 600,000 viewers.
It was awarded The Golden Ticket, taking 5th place at the Polish box office for
KaSIa Roslaniec
Al. Wojska Polskiego 46/48 m. 21
01-554 Warszawa, Poland
Mobile: + 48 509 193 003
Fax: + 48 552 728 360
[email protected]
NATALIA is a seventeen year-old mom, living with her mother. She
had her son, ANTOS, because she felt like having a kid. She wanted
to have a baby, because it's cool to have a baby, her own little man,
for whom she can buy designers clothes. Also all the young stars,
like Britney Spears, the sister of Britney Spears and Nicole Richie
have kids now. Natalia feels superior to her girlfriends because her
problems are more important than some math test. By why did
Natalia really have Antos? Maybe the answer is in the internet blogs
where teenagers write about their dreams. They want to have a
child so that somebody finally really loves them. And so that they
have somebody to love... The father of Antos is KUBA, with whom
Natalia breaks-up in the first scene of the film. Natalia is not sure
if she loves Kuba – and vice versa, so perhaps it's good to split.
Everything would be fine, but MARZENA, Natalia's mom, decides to
go abroad to work, which looks like a heroic gesture. Firstly, leaving
the flat to Natalia and Kuba gives them a chance to lead a normal
life. Secondly, Marzena wants to earn money, because there's never
enough money when you have a child. One can't resist, though, to
suspect that in fact Marzena escapes responsibility. Marzena was
seventeen herself when she had Natalia and now she wants to have
a life, or perhaps take a rest. Kuba, without asking Natalia or his
parents for permission, moves in to live with his girlfriend and his
son. Taking care of them is part of his code of honour (“I have to
support my family, the wife, the son and the mother. Don't tell me
about white gold, tell me how to feed them, it's my honour, it's the
word I gave to God...” - goes the song we hear in the background.
The daily struggle of two kids who have their own kid commences.
Natalia starts being jealous of Antos, who was supposed to belong
only to herself, and to love her more than anything else in this
world. Kuba, confused and rejected, gets in touch with Natalia's
mom, who, as it turns out, didn't leave the country. He completely
opens up in her presence. Kuba at first seeks a mother in her, but
then he realises she's also a woman. And she doesn't mind. Being
a mother gives Natalia the power to keep fighting. She visits an
advertising agency and tries to put Antos into commercials. At the
agency Natalia meets MARTYNA, a girl who lives here and there,
but currently doesn't have a place to stay. Natalia invites her to
stay with her and her son. Shortly afterwards Martyna becomes
Natalia's passport to another world, which has more to offer than
just porridge you have to cook for your kid.
director’s notes
Baby blues is a feeling of sadness that some women have for
a short period after they have had a baby, caused by hormonal
changes and also collision of expectations and reality. Uninitiated
people associate this name with a music genre focused on topics
like: love, jealousy, fidelity or loneliness. Moreover, not long ago,
CD’s with baby blues music, prepared especially for little babies,
appeared on the market.
create a real hero on the screen. The picture of the film is fully
realistic. Lack of metaphors and allegories is crucial. Camera
depicts the real world of my heroine. Cruelly follows Natalia’s
each step. Long shots from behind somebody’s back, from the
side and from time to time “face to face”. The camera pictures
perfectly Natalia’s own space. It registers posters of pop stars
above the bed, scribbled notebooks and a collection of dolls. In
one scene Natalia puts Antos among those dolls and it’s hard to
recognize if he’s a toy or a human being. When we look around
in Natalia’s apartment we already know, that this is a playground
for a child. Then again, we have difficulties to distinguish who
is an adult here and who is a child. All of them, Natalia, Kuba
and Martyna are children. Antos in their hands is like a firebomb.
Camera does not create anxiety, just emphasizes it. The film will
be made in a TV format 4:3, which doesn’t hide anything from
above or beyond. It exposes everything that the lens registers.
Very general and wide frames, which define emptiness, will be a
counterpoint for shots “following” Natalia.
Grey, sad settlements of blocks of flats, where the longest one
runs along the whole street – the grey, boring school. Teenagers
leave these places and go to the centre of the city to walk on
colourful streets, in shopping centers or just to sit on benches.
Centers of big cities like Warsaw, Berlin or maybe Sofia? Under
the dirty snowy cover, big cities look similar…just like teenagers,
who can’t make any close bonds. They are very poor and
observe the world emotionally, through the monitor screen,
sitting next to each other and glued to their mobile phones.
They deceive themselves in artificial relationships, gaining more
and more friends on Facebook. Love became a product with
a service manual accessible on the Internet. But the need of
genuine closeness lasts, because it’s natural and atavistic. The
easiest way to fill this emptiness by is having a baby. A child
is trendier than a puppy. Although Antos is an actual product of
fashion and public consent for having children at a young age
(MTV broadcasting the program “16 and pregnant” and young
pop stars having lots of children), we cannot deny that Natalia
truly loves her son:
“When I look into your eyes, I can see my own,
Although I don’t know what’s good or bad yet,
My Eden is where your heart’s beating rhythm
One smile makes me love my life more.”
The main means of expression in the film is fresh acting. There
will be no professional actors, because in this age no one can
be a professional actor. I am also not interested in teenagers
who have gained some experience playing in TV series or
advertisements. I am not looking for young people who would
like to be a movie star one day. I will find my heroes on the, socalled “street”. The main criterion will be the truth. Some people
just have the truth in themselves and some do not. I believe that
only this truth, naturalness and own personality, which is not
borrowed from the TV screen, gives somebody the charisma to
Natalia is roller-skating and pushing the trolley simultaneously.
Kuba while listening to Hip Hop music is having fun on a
skateboard. In a minute both of them are arguing who has to
hold Antos on the rink. They argue about everything. In the
second part of the movie, when Martyna replaces Kuba, there
are nightclubs, fashionable shops and ecstasy pills in addition.
All that gives a dynamic tempo to the movie, full of sadden
impulses and excitement, because Natalia, against all odds, still
wants to be worthy of being called “mother”. Only the things that
she cannot understand terrify her:
“I don’t know the world and how it works
They live the lie here, you’ll learn soon
Cause they say the truth when it costs nothing.”
… Natalia breaks down a few times, which disturbs the rhythm of
the film. The picture slows down and then again, the sudden and
unexpected impulse comes. Unexpected, because a teenager’s
psyche is unpredictable.
The quoted text is a part of a song called “My Son”, written by
one of the most popular polish rap singers “O.S.T.R.”, especially
for the film.
Miroslav Momcilovic
Written by
Miroslav Momcilovic
Miroslav Momcilovic was born in Belgrade in 1969. He graduated in dramaturgy from
the Belgrade Faculty of Drama Arts (FDU). He is the author of two realized theatre
plays, Belgrade On Its Knees, directed by Egon Savin, and Life From The Beginning,
directed by Stefan Sablic.
Nedeljko Despotovic
Production Brigada
Wait For Me And I Will Not Return, Writer / Director
The Best Screenplay award-IBIS and award FIPRESCI jury of critics at EXIT Cinema City Film and Media Festival in Novi Sad
The Best Screenplay award, award for best actor in a leading role to Milos Samolov, award FIPRESCI jury of critics and Audience award at SOFEST in Sopot
Best screenplay, FIPRESCI at film festival in Vrnjacka Banja
Best Actress Milica Mihajlovic, Best actor Gordan Kicic, Best actress in
supporting role Jelana Djokic, Best actor in supporting role Petar Bozovic, Special prize for actress Mirjana Karanovic, Prize Zika Milenkovic and Radmila Savicevic for actor Petar Bozovic and award FIPRESCI jury of critics at film
festival in Nis
Annual FIPRESCI awards to Miroslav Momcilovic for the screenplay and Milos Samolov for the lead male role
Seven And A Half, Writer / Director
Four "Golden Mimosas" (best screenplay, best photography, best costume, best sound) Herceg Novi Film Festival; First prize for the best screenplay
Award for contribution to the festival at the Screenplay Festival in Vrnjacka Banja; Film Actors’ Meetings in Nis, the Emperor Konstantin award for best actor
in a leading role to Milan Gutovic, best actress in supporting role to Mira Stupica, FIPRESCI award for best actor to Nenad Jezdic
Traditional audience award of magazine TV Novosti
Gorki List Creativity award to Miroslav Momcilovic
YU FIPRESCI award to Miroslav Momcilovic for the best domestic film
Azzeddine Meddour award for the best debutant at the 13th Tetouan
International Mediterranean Film Festival
Best debutant film award to Miroslav Momcilovic at the 6th Roma
Independent Film Festival
Second prize for the production Brigada at the 36th SOFEST Film Festival
Gandijeva 148a, lokal 84
11070 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel/Fax: + 381 11 227 4245
[email protected]
The whole story is told from a child's point of view. We can
see the little girl Vida only when she is asleep. Vida is only two
years old, and her parents don't love each other any more. She
sees, hears and soaks up the grim atmosphere of the apartment
she shares with her parents and her small pet bunny. The
parents rarely speak to each other, and when they do, it would
be better if they didn’t. Vida, on the other hand, doesn't speak
at all, while everybody else speaks to her: parents, parent's
friends, grandparents, neighbours... She watches TV, she listens
to music, she scribbles on the walls, she eats lime plaster
and she doesn't sleep well. Vida's silence makes her parents
even more frustrated. She witnesses a series of tragi-comic
situations typical for a divorce: the parents accuse each other,
the grandparents, too... When they are alone with their daughter,
both mother and father take turns in opening their heart to
Vida. As if this is not enough, organic food preachers and Bible
salesmen knock on the door at the most unpleasant moments.
One day, Vida's blind great-grandmother arrives to feel and
hear her great-granddaughter. No one wants to hurt the senior
member of the family, they haven't told her about the divorce,
making the situation even more difficult. Vida's parents hide their
director’s notes
This is a film about divorce. When I went to school, we had
just one kid in the class whose parents were divorced. Now, in
my daughter's kindergarten, five out of twelve children are from
broken marriages. The traditional model of marriage is becoming
obsolete, and there is no new, better model to replace it. The
children are the greatest casualties of their parent's alienation.
Divorce is an extremely painful experience for every man and
woman, but they can find comfort in friends, therapists, travels...
They have access to instruments that can help them ease the
pain of this difficult period in life. The child, on the other hand,
has no escape route, no one for a soothing conversation, it can't
go on a shopping spree, or take up a sport. I have no interest
in showing the point of view of a man or a woman as they go
through a stressful divorce. I focus on the child. The child is the
only and absolute witness of all spoken and unspoken words
and harmful actions. When the family dissolves, the child is the
only true and completely innocent victim, left without the natural
environment for growing up. That is the discourse of this film.
tears. Vida doesn't hide her tears, she doesn't cry at all. Finally,
Dad packs his things and goes. This is not the first time he's
packing, but this time it's for real. Forever. Vida watches through
the window as her father leaves the home. Then, she starts to
play with her bunny. Mom cries. The bunny looks at Vida. Vida
starts to sing. At first, she sings in a low voice, then her voice
gets stronger and stronger.
Adrian Sitaru
Written by
Adrian Sitaru
Adrian Sitaru
Ada Solomon
After studying Film Directing in Bucharest, Adrian made the short film Waves
(2007) which won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival as well as
the prize for Best Short at the Sarajevo Film Festival, Namur, Dresden, Aspen
and another 22 awards. Waves was also selected in the Official Competition of
Sundance 2008.
Ada Solomon
Hi Film Productions
Adrian Sitaru finished his first feature film in 2008, Hooked, selected in Venice
Days at the International Film Festival of Venice 2008 and Toronto International
Fim Festival 2008 and was awarded in festivals like Palm Springs, Thessaloniki,
Mons, Buneos Aires and Estoril.
In 2009 he shot 2 short films The Pekingese and The Cage (selected in
Berlin International Film Festival – Forum section and being awarded the DAAD
He is now preparing his next feature For Love with Best Intentions a project
which allowed him to participate at the CINEFONDATION Cannes Residence
and BINGER Filmlab.
179, Traian St.
024043 Bucharest, Romania
Tel/Fax: + 40 21 252 48 66
[email protected]
What do you do when you understand that you have started
losing? Losing someone dear, losing an object that you care
for and losing self-confidence. How is one able to cope with
the avalanche of information around? People, family, friends,
acquaintances, professionals or just good-will passers by are
bombing you with controversial opinions on your dilemma. And
finally you are left alone in taking the decision. That's basically
what For Love With Best Intentions is about.
We are following the whole ordeal Alex is going through. In
addition he is an emotional, quite neurotic character for whom
quick decisions affecting his beloved ones are too much to
handle during these mad 5 days of his life.
His quite calm existence is perturbed in a quiet late morning
by a phone call announcing that his mother has had a cerebral
attack. She seems fine – the father says but... she is almost 500
km away, she can't talk for the moment... What's to be done?
Jump in a train & go there – And so it starts, this speed chase
in between the people around having the best intentions & Alex
who is unable to pick up the good from bad, to accumulate
this amount of information coming from all around, the time
is either too long (until he gets there) & too short (to make his
mind up).
Arriving at the hospital does not make things better – here, there
are other people competing in their best intentions – mainly
director’s notes
It is a film about ignorance, about the paranoia that can be
developed by people because of an unsafe health system, and
about how bad decisions, based on distrust, can be taken. For
Love with Best Intentions you can kill your dearest ones without
even realizing it. Who’s guilty? No one, it seems, because you
only meant good, and the physicians are more than kind when
the patient is a family friend, but sometimes over-care can be as
harmful as futility. The story should pose us the question: "How
many times did we mean good, and did wrong instead? How
many times did we become impetuous, and did good wading
through slaughter?"
The story is inspired by a recent personal experience that could
have ended tragically. Wishing to do the best for my mom, who
was in the hospital after a stroke, I fed her with healthy food, but
that food generated fat in her blood, a dangerous thing for her
illness. I was scared by the fact that my very good intentions
and love didn’t help at all in this kind of situation. This story is
about the character who tries to help and who, till the end, goes
different doctors.
The atmosphere is burlesque, a kind of human zoo as comical
as dramatic, full of unexpected characters & situations.
The friends are not different from this Global Absurd Theatre.
And our Hero should react properly in all this chaos. He is doing
slalom in between all the opinions & reactions, but he is going
more & more crazy & of course is also making mistakes – For
Love With Best Intentions.
Apparently this black comedy "road movie inside a hospital"
is having a happy ending. But in reality the paranoia the main
character develops is much worse than the little accident his
mother experienced.
The alert tone & the funny situations as well as the touch of
almost fantastic apparitions in the story are finally giving a feel
good movie with a punch in the stomach.
A film that is entertaining but at the same time dramatic, a film
that is not offering solutions as much as raising questions of
the nowadays society – a world where we are communicating
(virtually a lot, but the word of mouth is still the most powerful),
talking non-stop as much as in the end we are unable to hear or
we just don't want to hear anymore.
through a change that may be unnoticeable at a first glance.
He turns into an anxious person and understands that paranoia
is just a matter of proportions, he becomes more sensitive
towards ill people and he lives "in their shoes". He realizes
that in front of death he is alone, and that a happy ending
depends more on luck than on human help; he feels trapped
by his indecisions and realizes that everything is random. But
maybe the only hope in such a situation is that you can see
life differently, and this may help you live in a more beautiful
The visual approach will be POV, like in my previous feature
Hooked. I am aware that it’s hard to build a story on a POV of
all characters who interact with the main character. Also it is
very hard to do this and to understand the feelings of the main
character without a voice over. But it’s a challenge I am willing
to take and I am determined to turn it from a weakness into a
strength that will enhance the power of the story.
Sasha C. Damjanovski
Written by
Sasha C. Damjanovski
Sasha C. Damjanovski
Sasha C.
Dance With Me, 82', drama, opens in UK cinemas April 2010
Green Pages, 17', futuristic comedy
Best Director Award, Portobello Film Festival, 2007
Best Cinematography Award, Phil Mash, Chicago Short Film Festival 2006
The Appointment, 10', drama
Commissioned by UK government, the film has had a 40-cinema release in the UK
Hoppy, 20', a dark comedy
LATE at the OFFICE, 14', thriller
Gecko, 4pm, 15', drama
Waltz, 8', musical drama
M.'s Little Nightmare, 1', dance/drama film
Fi Fi Field, 3', dance film
This is Fenland, 15', dance film
Mene, 8', dance film
Battlepiece for Three Dancers, 3', dance film
Sasha also writes and directs communication and promotional films (over
100 productions to date). To view samples visit www.orev.co.uk. Sasha has
several other projects in development, including feature film projects Dreamer
AD 2050, A Name for Madness, Death Inc., Opal and Anu, short drama film
Defining Fay and short dance film Boxes.
London, United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 7973 883 687
[email protected]
IGOR is coming back home for a visit, a first since he left home,
20 years ago, to live in a big European city. He now has a big
job, a non-Macedonian wife, two children and a settled Western
Back in Macedonia, JANA and KOLE, Igor’s parents, are so
excited by the visit, they go into an overdrive to prepare –
cleaning, washing, cooking. In short, everyone is very stressed
– Igor, at the airport, waiting for his plane, and his parents back
home, waiting for their son and the family they’ve never met.
We quickly learn that Igor has lots of issues with his origins
and an unresolved conflict – is he a Macedonian, or some
un-identified breed, an internationalist with no deep sense of
belonging to any country. To make things worse, the Macedonia
Igor left in 1990, is not the Macedonia he finds today.
Everything happens during this visit – the clash of cultures
(“we don't smoke in front of the children” vs. “I brought you
up smoking at the table and there’s nothing wrong with you”);
Jana’s paranoia about the grandchildren (“something is wrong,
I can tell, she’s looking at me funny”), the endless criticisms
director’s notes
An occupational immigrant, an outsider in two worlds, I’ve lived
in the UK for 20 years and to get to a point where I want to make
a film in and about Macedonia has been a very strange journey,
indeed. The UK was a strange new home and I wanted to get
to know it and fit in, but with the collapse of Yugoslavia my old
home saw some strange and dramatic changes, too. Hence,
my journey became one of constant re-defining of some pretty
fundamental ideals – identity and belonging, for example. Queue
in – Kalabalak. I finally feel ready to speak about this journey,
much encouraged by the knowledge that I'm not alone. All my
international friends in London, and millions of immigrants all
around the world are asking the same questions I do, trying
to make sense of the modern world and their own place in it.
We’re all trying to give a form to the chaos of conflicting feelings
towards the homelands we have left and the new ones we may
have found.
Kalabalak means chaos in Macedonian. And indeed Macedonia
is a chaos. But chaos is not always a negative word. The
dictionary defines it as “a state of extreme confusion and
disorder”, but also as “the disordered state of matter before the
creation of the Cosmos”. This is what I'm excited to explore –
chaos as a confusion that gives birth to something, leads to the
rise of clear ideas and defined forms. That's my vision of the
film. Chaos as the place of promise, the zero point from which
order can begin to take shape. Macedonia is a chaos of ideas,
new and old. iPhones share the streets with donkey carts,
ingenious scientific inventions with archaic healing customs.
So, perhaps inevitably for me, Kalabalak is a film dealing with
the contrasts, playing with odd parings of characters and
attitudes, of inspiring, deep insight about life against primitive or
shortsighted habits, big passionate, generous hearts and petty,
narrow minds.
Kalabalak is also a film of unexpected rhythms. Macedonian
traditional music is unique with its irregular rhythmic structures
(7/8, 9/8 even 11/8). It also heavily features the rubato, which
appears to be a complete absence of rhythmic order (sic). So the
film isn't just about exploring clashes of culture or generations.
It's not a pretty poem to the colours of the Macedonian sun, or
of Igor for not teaching his kids Macedonian, the silliness of
having to translate between his parents and family even from
the toilet. Also, he re-connects with old friends, many of
whom seem to have changed, becoming “too-religious”, “toocapitalist”, “just boring”; but some still count very much, such
as a girl he always loved in secret and now seems available.
And so, Igor is on a comical and painful journey of dealing with
everything he hates and trying to re-discover what he may still
love about Macedonia. On the other hand, his wife, Laura, is
on a journey of her own. After the initial cultural shock, she is
completely falling in love with everyone and everything. Having
charmed everybody, she can't understand what Igor’s problem
is? This place is great! So much warmth! So much love! And
the mountains are just awesome! To Igor’s horror, she decides
they should build a summerhouse here. Then, one day, his boss
and lover, CHLOE, flies in, and Igor has to really face facts and
finally start resolving all the issues.
Kalabalak is a funny film about serious questions. What is
home? What makes us belong? Why belong at all?
the flavours of Macedonian food. Kalabalak is a Concerto for
Man and Chaotic Orchestra! A journey through disorder to the
birth of self-knowledge, a mad riff session of Man addressing
issues of identity and belonging. These unexpected rhythms,
sometimes mad, sometimes rubato will be reflected in the
scene structures, the varied shooting style, the production
design, the editing – in every aspect of the film, not only the
Kalabalak is a comedy. Laughter means defiance, but it also
means hope. The humour in the film comes from contrasting
characters and situations, scenes with miss-matched
desires and expectations. Jana’s love and concern for her
grandchildren's wellbeing, for example, aren't funny, they're
natural, but her inability to see how exaggerated concern can be
counter-productive is hilarious and sad in equal measure. The
film is also an embrace. An embrace of homecoming, renewed
love, forgiveness, acceptance. Thus, the scene between Igor
and his father, in the third act, is a pivotal moment of the film.
The deep embrace that says more than words ever could. As
a director, I want to build to this defining moment little by little,
through moments of deep, unspoken understanding, emotion
contained in the eyes of a friend or in the sound of the mountain
in the early morning.
Ultimately, Kalabalak is a story of modern immigration. Igor
is neither an old-style gastarbeiter nor a political exile. Not all
immigrants live in cultural ghettos and fight assimilation by
bullying their children with old traditions. Igor is well integrated
into the culture of his host country, he even married locally.
And he’s not the only one, of course. “Not all Polish women
are baby-sitters” says a Polish friend in London. Thus, Igor is
one of those immigrants who are unafraid to embrace their new
homeland, but they also never forget their origins. Therein lies
yet another chaos of conflicting impulses, tragic and comical.
Why does a particular drumbeat send my heart racing? Why
does the smell of sarma bring tears to my eyes when I know
it’s not free range and it's bad for my cholesterol? Igor knows
that nation does not equal home, so he wonders what is
patriotism… What does it mean to belong? Why belong at all?
George Ovashvili
Roelof Jan Minneboo &
George Ovashvili
George Ovashvili
Keti Galdavadze
Guillaume de Seille
George Ovashvili studied at the Georgia Institute of Cinema and Theatre (1996)
then at the New York Film Academy and Universal Studios in Hollywood (2006).
He has directed several shorts, in particular Eye Level (Zgvis Donidan), awarded
at the Berlinale and the Odense International Festival, and Wagonette. The
Other Bank (Gagma Napiri) is his debut on the big screen as director.
Keti Galdavadze
Guillaume de Seille
Bastra Films
Arizona Films
The Other Bank (Gagma Napiri)
Eye Level (Zgvis Donidan), short
Wagonette, short
38, Paliashvili Street
0162 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel: + 995 32 22 47 40
Fax: + 995 32 91 29 45
[email protected]
5, bd. Barbes, 75018 Paris, France
Tel: + 33 9 54 52 55 72
[email protected]
Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Georgians were able to
elect the first president – Zviad Gamsakhurdia. His presidency
turned out rather brief. In 1991 his opponents succeeded in
overthrowing him and as a result Gamsakhurdia was forced
into exile. The political chaos that followed the coup d’etat
pushed Georgia into a civil war followed by a war in Abkhazia.
In 1992 Gamsakhurdia and his supporters re-appeared in
western Georgia and he continued to promote himself as the
legitimate president of Georgia. He was still recognized as such
by many. Clashes between pro and anti Gamsakhurdia forces
continued throughout 1992 and 1993 and Gamsakhurdia’s
supporters managed some progress but were rapidly driven
out by the governmental forces. These events forced him into
his second exile. Our story begins here... Accompanied by a
prime minister and a handful of security people he finds shelter
in the mountains though he is often forced to change the place
of his location. The main reason for this is the information
on the phantom chasers that allegedly were sent on mission
to annihilate him. The invisible threat is a big psychological
burden to the ex-president. It looks like the chasers are
deliberately pushing him either to commit suicide or to be
killed by one of his associates. In addition, they also manage
to manipulate him into believing that an armed group of his
supporters still wait for his re-appearance to give another try
and restore his presidency. Winter in the Georgian mountains
is severe. After exhausting wandering from place to place and
a number of spectacular adventures the ex-president and his
supporters manage to find the alleged location of the armed
group of his supporters but it turns out that they are already
gone. It perishes Gamsakhurdia’s last hope. He understands
that this is the trap and the end of his wandering. From now on
he is the one who has to make the decision what to do next…
Zviad Gamsakhurdia died in circumstances that are still unclear.
His body was found with a single bullet wound into the head. A
variety of reasons have been given for his death, which is still
controversial and remains unresolved.
director’s notes
A feature film with the working title “Lethargy” will be my second fulllength film. It is based on events that took place in Georgia at the end
of 1993. The film however will not be a true-to-life rendition of these
facts, nor will it be a documentary. The story told in the screenplay
is typical for the countries that sought independence in the wake of
the decline of the Soviet Union: internal conflicts led to conflict: coup
d’etats, civil wars, ethnic conflicts, death, poverty, cold and hunger
were common in those days. In "The Passenger" I will not try to clarify
who was right or wrong, nor will I take anyone’s side. The film will
attempt to tell the story of a very interesting period in Georgian history
although the actual events haven’t yet been laid down in written
history. My film will not be an attempt to be a definitive history either.
Giannini has been considered.
The main character in Lethargy is a loner and the film is as much
about his physical travels as it is about his inner journey. In this
respect there are similarities with the protagonist in my first film
“The Other Bank.” The unnamed country is in turmoil. The President
has returned from exile in order to regain power with the help of the
majority of the people. Reality is however different from what he had
expected. His followers have apparently given up their struggle. The
President faces the enemy with only his Prime Minister and a small
circle of devoted guards. The enemy seems to be intent on avoiding
the killing of the President because they fear this will elevate him to
hero status. The enemy chooses to employ psychological warfare.
They try to create a situation of hopelessness in which the President
– they hope – will ultimately be morally annihilated: fleeing abroad
once more or even suicide. This situation is the background for the
film. The protagonist has a hard road to travel, on which he faces both
physical and psychological barriers. The drama lies also in the fact
that an elected leader can be forgotten by the people who elected him.
The most significant point is that the film will be about a loner who
realizes that the whole world is against him. All these elements will
make “Lethargy” into an interesting mixture of psychological thriller
and psychological drama.
The main hero of the film is the unnamed President of the unnamed
country. During the film we follow him on his tragic journey through
his country and around his own mind. The president is an ordinary
man who is deeply affected by what happens to him. In the course of
his journey we will get closer to him and see a glimpse of his soul.
Among the possible candidates for the role, Italian actor Giancarlo
Though the topic is quite severe, my major goal as a director is to create
a special kind of mood, emotion and atmosphere. The story and the
visual components are equally important. Although the country is in
turmoil and the President’s journey is tough, I want it to take place in a
kind of paradise. There is visual beauty in the environment but there is
also unseen danger lurking behind this beauty. Every shot and every
scene will be compositionally refined. The storytelling is classical and
balanced. We have light and distinct colors, light-coloured costumes,
colourful autumn and white winter. I want to invite Iranian Shahriar
Assadi as a cameraman for the film. I worked with him on my first film
and I valued his input highly. Editing of the film will be done by South
Korean Sun Min Kim, who also edited "The Other Bank." I consider
Soso Bardanashivili as a composer for the film, who is a member of
my group. The screenplay will be written in collaboration with Dutch
screenwriter Roelof Jan Minneboo.
The shots will be quite long and with refined composition. There
will not be a single shake or jolt in the camera movement, no handheld shots only solid and balanced movement and framing. Every
scene, including even night shots, are to be full of colors and light.
The storytelling will be characterized by the same lightness and
transparency. The film is produced for viewers of any age. The film
has the ambition of being both art-house and more mainstream
at the same time. The dynamics of the storytelling will be largely
determined by the editing. The viewer will be more of an observer than
a participant of the film. The film will have minimal dialogue. I want
the President to be almost silent during the whole film. The storytelling
should be mainly visual. This corresponds with my principle personal
attitude towards cinema as can be seen in “The Other Bank.” Images
speak clearer than words.
The actual events took place in the mountains of Georgia, Upper
Samegrelo and Svaneti to be precise. I want to shoot the film in the
same place where the events it is based upon actually took place.
Music will be of major importance to the film. Like the use of camera
the use of music will be in contrast with the harshness of the action.
It will be as light and beautiful as the storytelling itself. I intend to use
Georgian folk music as a basis of the soundtrack.
Hristian Nochev
Written by
Hristian Nochev
Hristian Nochev
Georgi Cholakov
Pavlina Jeleva
Hristian Nochev graduated with an M.A. in Film and TV Directing in 1992 from the National
Academy for Theatre and Film Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria. He has gone on to direct a wide
range of film and television productions including Slavi’s Show, Music Idol, Beauty and the
Geek and Vote of Confidence.
Georgy Cholakov, Pavlina Jeleva
Camera! Curtain!, Director, mini series, 6 x 27'
Christmas Possible, Director, drama, 75'
The Golden Chest award of The Union of Bulgarian Film-makers
Frontier,Co-Director / Co-Writer, feature film, 102'
The Public’s award at the film festival in Namure, Belgium
The Public’s award at the film festival in Mamers, France
The Golden Rose award at the National Film Festival, Varna
16, Kapitan Andreev Str,
Sofia 1421, Bulgaria
Tel/Fax: + 359 2 9630 661
Mobile: + 359 888 627 357
+ 359 888 605 350
[email protected]
An old man is having a beautiful dream: it is summer, a heavenly
pool in the river. He, ANGEL, wearing a hat on his head. She,
MARIA, young, naked, with long blonde hair. Angel wakes up
from the freezing cold in the battered old watermill. The dream is
over. Memories rush in.
1906. Young Maria meets young Angel. He is hired as an errand
boy in the farm. She is the daughter of the master. Angel and
Maria are constantly together in the woods and on the river –
heaven on Earth.
1920. The two grow up and around that magical pool in the river
they feel their first love. The beautiful daughter of the master and
the infatuated, faithful horse groom. Then out of the blue – Maria
is leaving, she will study in Leipzig. In all her splendor she swims
in the pool for the last time. That night the farm is set on fire. She
is alone in her room surrounded by flames. Angel rescues Maria.
His head is terribly burned. The master gives him his personal
hat. Now Angel can stay with his hat on in the presence of the
1924. Hot summer. After the 1923 uprising Maria is back home.
Angel is burning with love but she tells him, “If you love me, don’t
love me.” In the farm arrives Fred who is actually Baron Friedrich
von Satz and he is Maria’s fiancee. Fred and Angel are fishing
together with bare hands. Accidentally Maria sees the horrifying
scars on Angel’s head. The landlord announces the engagement
of Maria and Fred. During the celebration one can hear everything
from Goethe to Mussolini and the other way around. 1933 is yet
to come. But it will…
director’s notes
The outside world is reality, the one that time is spinning inside
its wheel – the apocalyptical twentieth century. It is a time of
change in social structure and political systems, a time of the
bloodiest, most appalling wars. The world is charged with
violence, but it seems that this does not touch Angel, for him all
this is unnatural and illogical.
The chronology of this battle is followed through Angel's angelic
eyes. All other protagonists – Maria, Fred, the father, Risto, Irina,
Mihov, Ivan and the rest – play their worthy parts in this bundle
of events, each of them has his own way, which is part of
Angel’s way, each breaking whatever illusions he had, depriving
him of the chances he had, cutting all his ways for escape and
as they are leaving this world, they leave to Angel only one thing
– the feeling of guilt.
And thus the circle closes the way the wheel of the watermill is
turning with Maria crucified on it.
ANGEL is one of those that are called men of nature, strong,
balanced, in peace with themselves. Angel is not handsome but
he is attractive, he has a wonderful body, one could say he is
chunky, but most importantly he radiates kindness.
MARIA is a rarity. Her beauty is magnetic. Her guilt is that she
has the talent to conquer, without a warning and without a limit,
any soul and any mind, and Angel’s heart, too, the talent to
“precipitate” happiness.
FRED is a German aristocrat and he resembles Angel in many
ways – both being open and straightforward, broadminded
and well intended. He is an older, handsome man with a fair
complexion, intelligent and very natural, which makes him
1934. We see Lotti, Maria’s daughter. The same pool, the same
forest. Angel makes for her a willow whistle and Lotti plays
“Black Beetle on a Blackthorn”. On her birthday the “Lacrimosa”
sounds in the silence of the night – Mozart’s only lament for the
past that’s lost and the future that’s impossible. Loti tells to her
kind Angel the tale of the frightful forest… But the forest here is
Bulgarian! Angel is already the manager of the farm. And Maria
has taken the place of her ill father.
1942. The war has started. Lotti has a one-month-old daughter,
Maria. The air is charged with tension.
1944. A police chase. Angel becomes the reason for the death
of young Ivan, the son of his cousin. While rescuing Maria again.
Fred is killed somewhere on the front line. Armed youngsters raid
the farm. Terrified, the master shoots himself. They take away
Maria. On the grave of Ivan and “in the name of the people” the new
masters want to sacrifice Angel to their thirst for vengeance.
1957. A new factory is under construction. Angel is standing
alone. In the distance – the tall elegant silhouette of Maria. In the
watermill they are together and there is also the old wardrobe with
Maria’s clothes…
1967. Old Angel is carrying the body of drowned Maria through
the winter forest to the frozen pool. Vision of a sizzling August.
In the pool – the younger Maria: “This is the peaceful forest, isn’t
it?!”... Angel gently places the dead body of Maria on the ground.
He deeply bows to her. Then slowly he rises. He throws his hat
into the water. He watches it attentively for a long while, how it
floats downstream and disappears.
amiable and attractive. It may seem that the story is about the
classical love triangle – but the strange thing is that at a certain
point the relationship becomes peculiarly harmonic, resembling
an idyllic family.
RISTO bears within himself the hostility provoked not so
much by his lower social status and the humiliation of being a
servant, as by the jealousy he feels towards the love between
Angel and Maria. He is the antithesis of Angel. He is the kind
that incessantly pokes his finger into the wound.
IRINA is seduction incorporated. God sends her to Angel,
but he doesn’t see this. If he had seen, this story would
have developed differently. Irina is soft and delicate; she has
absolutely no inclination to manipulate and to command.
THE MASTER is a man well tempered by hardships. Once he
had been a servant and nobody knows how he has raised his
fortune, but nobody knows either, what sins he is paying for
at the end. It could have been anything – brigandage, robbery,
murder, all this was sometimes called “making a living”. But all
this remains unraveled and nobody would like to poke his nose
where danger lurks and so it will never be known how the fire
A particular main character in this story is NATURE – all key
scenes which are the pillars of the narrative: the pool, the
river, the exceptional beauty of the scenery, the seasons which
completely change the look of things, the railroad station with
its picturesque appearance, the coziness of the farm, finally –
the horses, all this is the image that is deeply rooted in Angel’s
mind and which defines him. It is a way of life, which is the very
essence of him.
Aron Matyassy
Aron Matyassy
Ferenc Pusztai
Aron Matyassy is a film director, born in Budapest in 1978. He graduated from
the Film Directing Department of the Hungarian Academy of Drama and Film in
2005. Before that he studied at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Philosophy
Written by
Aron Matyassy
Ferenc Pusztai
KMH Film
May/June, short fiction
The Curse 1-4, short television serial
41st Hungarian Film Week: Main Prize in Section Television Drama
Lost Times, feature
40th Hungarian Film Week: Golden Reel Main Prize, Best Music, Student Jury Award
Cinefest '09, Miskolc: Special Prize by the Jury
CinePEcs '09: Cultural Capitol of Europe – Prize, Best Actress
Karlovy Vary IFF '09, East of the West Competition
Hungarian Film Critics’ Awards '10: Main Prize, Best Actress Prize
Montreal WFF '09: First Films World Competition
Chicago IFF '09, in Competition, New Directors Section
Warsaw Film Festival '09: in Competition, 1-2 Film Directors Section
Ghent Film Festival '09: in Competition
Mannheim-Heidelberg IFF '09: in Competition
Vancouver IFF '09, in Competition
Minus, short fiction
BuSho Festival '07 – Award for the most promising talent
Sisters, short fiction
Summer Afternoon, short fiction
Damned Thing, short fiction
Form Moulded in Clay, short documentary
Immanens, experimental
KMH Film
1158 Budapest, Kesmark u. 24
Tel: + 36 1 414 0885
Fax: + 36 1 414 0887
[email protected]
Karcsi, 40, is a divorced man from Budapest. By profession, he
is a graphic designer. His ex-wife is a nurse, called Eva. Eva’s
new lover is called Geza. Csabi, the son of Karcsi and Eva, is
eighteen years old. He prepares for business high school in
order to avoid his father’s impossible lifestyle.
Karcsi has hardly achieved anything since the political transition
of his country (1989). His only excuse is that once he was among
the democratic opposition, so his friends are the leading figures
of the intellectuals. He is a peaceful and tolerant humanist.
Nevertheless, his son sympathises with the right-wing party.
His different way of thinking is partly due to his stepfather’s
(Geza) conservative mentality, but also to those communities
where he likes spending his time. There is a traditional area in
the suburbs where one can find everything that might be the
dreams of a young angry man: Freedom, Ideology, Community,
nearby Nature. It is run by a former guitarist, Pityes, who puts
the blame on the culture policy of the former socialism for his
broken life.
In 2004, the day before May the 1st, the Budapest memorial of
the EU-Accession was fired by unknown people. The next day
at a party, it turns out that Karcsi was probably monitored in the
previous regime by his former girlfriend, Zsuzsa. According to
his son (Karcsi), this is the most respectable feature in his father.
Karcsi immediately decides to obtain these spy-reports, but in
the office he is informed that he is not listed in their database.
Eva would do everything to prevent her ex-husband from meeting
director’s notes
In 2004, the day before May the 1st, the Budapest memorial of
the EU-Accession is fired by unknown people. The next day at a
party, it turns out that Karcsi (a book designer in his forties) was
monitored in the previous regime by his former girlfriend, called
Zsuzsa. Karcsi decides to obtain these spy-reports, but in the
office he is informed that he is not listed in their database. So he
meets his former lover again, who admits her co-operation with
the former regime, but also claims that she did not report about
Karcsi. She would help Karcsi in his research that results in them
“falling in love” again. Meanwhile, Csaba, Karcsi’s son, has been
arrested since he is also accused of the memorial impairment.
Karcsi tries to have some excuses for his son contacting his
influential friends. Csaba must sign a document stating that he
would reconsider his extreme-right wing views. Csaba protests
fiercely. Meanwhile, Zsuzsa meets her ex-boss who tells her quite
roughly and quite disappointedly that Karcsi was never among the
observed persons, since he was always such a redundant figure.
Zsuzsa does not want to take this message to him, she turns to
her old skills and starts to write mock reports about Karcsi, who
blackmails his influential old mate with some orgy-photos, and it
results in dropping the charge against his son. Csabi gets home,
Karcsi gives him the reports, and his son is proud of him for the
first time ever.
The film entitled “The Superfluous” would like to speak about
the weekdays of an ideologically and politically divided country
again the past-girlfriend. But Karcsi meets the Lady again. The
woman admits her co-operation, but also claims that she did
not report about Karcsi. She helps Karcsi in his research which
results in them “falling in love” again.
Meanwhile, Csaba has been arrested since he is also accused
of the memorial impairment. The stepfather (Geza) reacts more
aptly than the real father (Karcsi); he immediately contacts a
lawyer and tries to get him out from the anticipatory bail. Karcsi
is ashamed of himself and tries to have some excuses for his
son contacting his old mates. After a couple of days, Karcsi is
told that the influential friends would help with one condition;
Csabi must sign a document stating that he would reconsider his
extreme-right wing views. Csabi protests fiercely, but remains
unsupported. His liberal-minded father, his conservative stepfather, and his sceptic mother, all urge him not to spoil his life
with imprisonment. Karcsi decides to blackmail his influential
old mate with some scandalous photos, which ends up with him
dropping the charges against his son.
Meanwhile, Zsuzsa meets her ex-boss who tells her quite
roughly that Karcsi was never among the observed persons,
since he was always such a redundant figure. Zsuzsa does not
want to tell Karcsi, she turns to her old skills and starts to write
mock reports about Karcsi.
Karcsi gives the spy reports to Csabi when he gets home. He
reads the chronicle of his father’s maverick activity. His tears
are dropping.
through the means of comedy and satire. The problem is quite
complex. In people’s minds, political-moral-ideological issues
are whirling, which is coupled with a simple and narrow-minded
general thinking so the existence of the dialogue or any real
dispute, not to mention discussions, get absolutely impossible
among the camps.
The characters of the film are well-known and lovable fellows. Our
goal is to outline real human fates, the irretrievable bad decisions,
the undeclared disappointments appearing after the euphoria of
the political transition (1989). This goal is to be achieved through
the characters’ personal relationships and conflicts, while we
constantly listen to their worn out cliches. The protagonist’s
investigation for the III/III spy-files is nothing but a self-defining
activity, a pseudo- aim that prevents him from facing his failed
life. Csaba is unable to respect his awkward father, and finds his
friends in a community defined according to the extreme right
ideologies. Zsuzsa, the former informer, is both a server and a
victim of the ex- communist regime. During the writing process,
our main regard is to have empathy with the characters, the respect
for personal truth and disappointments and also the protection of
our figures’ dignity. We imagine this film to have simple images,
with a modest score, classical framing, and very honest and brave
acting. In the background, the urban scenes, the strange interiors
and the night twilight would correctly picture the more and more
intolerable mood of the capital-city life.
Alvaro Brechner
Written by
Alvaro Brechner & Gary Piquer
Alvaro Brechner
Gary Piquer
Born in 1976 in Montevideo, Alvaro Brechner has lived in Spain since 1999. He
has directed several documentaries for the History Channel, Odissey Channel,
Spanish National TV (TVE) and the 35mm short films The Nine Mile Walk
(2003), Sofia (2005), and Segundo Aniversario (2007). These short films have
participated in more than 140 international film festivals including ClermontFerrand, Toronto, Rotterdam and Chicago, obtaining several awards.
Virginia Hinze & Alvaro Brechner
Baobab Films
Expresso Films
Brechner’s feature directorial debut, Bad Day to go Fishing (Mal Dia Para Pescar)
was one of the seven films officially selected in the 48th Cannes International
Critic’s Week 2009 and has been invited to more than 40 international film
festival, including Warsaw (Free Spirit Award), Montreal, Pusan, Mar del Plata
(Best Actor), Sao Paulo, Gijon (Best Artistic Direction), Stockholm, La Havana,
Lima (Best Screenplay), Kerala, Oslo, Espoo, Palm Spring, Chicago and Istanbul.
It’s also the OSCAR 2009 Uruguayan candidate for BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Currently, Brechner is working on Three Vultures, his next feature project.
Esparteros 10, 2.2.
28012 Madrid, Spain
Tel: + 34 619 255 233
Fax: + 34 91 522 7799
[email protected]
[email protected]
Maybe, because it’s something quite unique, in Latin America
they say blondes are lucky. But that is not true for Javier. Perhaps
that's because he's from Uruguay, twenty years old and in dire
need of money. Perhaps it is because it's the first time he's been
on the run, driving a stolen SUV at night, across the dry riverbed
marking the border between Argentina and Bolivia.
Paula tells Javier that if he helps her go back across the border
that night, she'll give him his passport back and he can keep
the money. Javier is entranced by her and goes along with it.
But after running great risk of being discovered, Paula bails on
Javier in the bus station. Upon leaving on foot, he doesn't see a
passing van, which hits him and knocks him unconscious.
After outsmarting the police he makes it to Bolivia, where he
changes the license plate and heads for an old garage in Santa
Cruz. But Javier is inexperienced and when he finally reaches
the garage, he makes a fool of himself in front of the local
smugglers. He is saved only after a young mestizo woman
Paula intervenes and offers two thousand dollars for his car.
When Javier wakes up in a chicken coop, a huge thug is already
beating him up. Between punches, they ask him all kinds of
questions he does not understand. They have mistaken him for
another person: Ivo Zavic, and have orders to kill him.
Javier leaves the car with her and waits to receive the payment
the next morning. One thing leads to another and that night he
is seduced by Paula at a hostel. Paula asks to see the photo
in Javier's passport and offers to buy it off him for a thousand
dollars. Javier flatly refuses. The next morning Javier wakes up
alone, without his passport and with three thousand dollars.
Without his ID, Javier has to retrace his steps to figure out a way
back to Uruguay. On the way, he runs into Paula again, who has
used the passport to help her brother, Ivo Zavic (who is also
blonde and has committed a violent crime) escape as quickly as
possible to Argentina.
director’s notes
Three Vultures is a film about crossing frontiers. It is set in Latin
America, but it ultimately deals with a post-adolescent guy’s
process of maturing and transformation, and how that contrasts
with the real world. It also deals with how we create our own
My father was born in Bolivia. His parents were from Germany
and Poland. I was born in Uruguay, although I’m a German citizen
and live in Spain. That’s why I am so interested in exploring
themes that have to do with frontiers, foreigners and how to
raise your own identity in our world today.
Part cine noir, part road movie, part coming-of-age, Three
Vultures is the story of Javier, a young post-adolescent guy
traveling the highways of Latin America for the first time as an
outlaw. Over the course of ninety minutes we'll see how this
decision will force him down an unknown path, one that is much
darker, more complex and more violent than he ever imagined.
the point of no return, Javier realizes his only hope for staying
alive is to become the other.
Impersonating someone else – a fantasy impossible to pass
up for those who almost unconsciously dare to take this dark,
secret and murky path through the most hellish of experiences –
will unleash a chain of unbridled crimes and violence.
With this film I seek to portray post-adolescent anxiety in forming
one's own identity and sexual obsession and confusion as main
themes. To achieve this, the casting auditions will play a key role
in deciding on who will star as the young couple. Both are rather
lost, apathetic and emotionally confused. They seem cold on the
outside, but have great inner passion.
My intent visually is to combine a fresh and original way of
depicting this personal journey, through desolate and striking
South American landscapes, with clear influence from Westerns
and cine noir, though with an unmistakably local tenor.
Halfway there, Javier gets mistaken for someone else, someone
looking to settle a score over a family issue. Once he reaches
Ella Vakkasova
Written by
Ella Vakkasova
Ella Vakkasova
Ella Vakkasova &
Bakhodir Adilov
Ella Vakkasova was born and grew up in Uzbekistan. She studied practical
film-making at the Ealing Film Studios' Met Film School in London. From here,
she accepted a place at the UK's National Film and Television School, in the
Fiction Direction Department. Ella also has a degree in English Language and
Literature. In parallel to directing and producing her own work, she also shot and
directed promotional films for Glenrothes, LG Mobile and Adidas.
She’s currently financing her first feature, Aral, for which she won prizes at
both the Moscow Co-Production Forum and the Baltic Co-Production Event in
Tallinn 2009.
“My early experience with film started in my childhood in Tashkent. We had an
open-air cinema right outside of our home in the Aviation town where I grew up.
Every night during long summers I went to sleep listening to the sounds of 6070s films, coming through the open windows from the dark. I would then recreate
the stories playing at the isolated courtyard in the International Tashkent Airport,
watching airplanes taking off, during my mother’s long working shifts. Films of
those times remain my inspiration.”
Night of Senses, in post-production, writer, director, producer
Let Me Speak, 18', Writer / Director / Producer
St. Petersburg International Short Film Festival
Witness, 8', Writer / Director / Producer
Dreamer, 9', Writer / Director / Producer, Brighton Film Festival
Ella Vakkasova
Tel: + 44 7904 414 262
[email protected]
Aral-kum. A 10-year-old Aral runs away from his father in the
middle of the desolate desert. He hides inside a lonely corroded
ghost boat. His father stops outside. The wind blows a thin top
layer of sand and melts into ripples. He picks up a handful of soil,
which immediately runs through his fingers leaving a small dusty
cloud. He has to convince his son that there’s nothing left for them
here. But it seems that he has to convince himself first. He walks
relics giving a glimpse of the man’s long and interesting life. Aral’s
attention is attracted to a painting on the wall of a man with one
eye closed.
In the daily life of the big crowded bazaar Aral comes across
different characters. One of them is a gypsy girl who plays a trick
on him.
Inside the boat Aral kneels in a dark corner listening to his father's
disappearing footsteps. An eye of a strange creature peers at
him through the hole in the corroded metal. The eye suddenly
disappears followed by a loud sigh. The boat is tipped from a
gentle push. Outside a snooping camel turns his head away from
the boat and reaches for a dry saxaul with its wide lips.
Aral comes to visit Ulmas again. The boy is a good listener. Ulmas
shares his thoughts and memories, one of which is of his early
childhood, when his mother used to run a thin thread from his belt
to a big old tree and leave him to play safely. He remembers the
soothing sound and sparkling waters of a deep stream running
through the garden. But being tied to the tree he could never reach
Six years later it’s near the end of the Soviet era in the socialist
Central Asia. Aral is the son of a fisherman-turned-farmer from the
shores of the vanished sea; he is also a dreamer with no real life
skills. His emotionally withdrawn father had to borrow money from
his wife’s brother and is desperate to pay back his debt. He sends
Aral to a big city to sell their melons and earn money.
Eventually all the melons are sold and Aral is ready to go back
home. The next morning he wakes up to discover that all the
money has gone. Desperate and terrified to face his father he
chooses not to return home, but to remain in the city. The events
that follow lead him to discover the true nature of the vanishing
sea in his heart.
In the city Aral develops a friendship with a lonely old man called
Ulmas, who for some unknown reason detached himself from life
and people and who grows fond of the boy. His house is full of
director’s notes
I like to think that nature mirrors what’s happening in a human
soul. We are much more educated and technologically advanced
than our ancestors, but for some reason we are less in tune with
ourselves and the world we live in. Perhaps not everything can be
measured rationally and scientifically.
The focus of the story is a boy who is immersed into his own
world totally oblivious to what’s going on around him, with a
desperate need to get closer to his father. He possesses a special
quality – intelligence from the heart, not from the mind.
Our mind is always on a mission to explain everything and yet it’s
powerless in solving the puzzle of Birth and Death. The old man
who is ready to embrace the latter has very little time to understand
the reason for his birth.
The boy’s innocence is a metaphor for the Aral Sea, which was
once there but now gone… Perhaps we can still see it if we look
inside ourselves? Just try to close one eye.
Growing up in the Soviet Uzbekistan I carry memories of
being in the middle of a melting pot of different cultures. The
colourful palette of clothing, different traditions, nature, music,
architecture… It was never dull and grey, as remembered by
my generation coming from the other parts of the USSR. The
old traditions rooted into Muslim culture comfortably co-existed
with a Soviet atheist pro-Russian mentality, which could appear
peculiar to an outsider. I would love to recreate that atmosphere in
a city. Noisy oriental bazaars, hot lazy sunny days, water flowing
in canals, lazy dreaminess of our childhood when life was one big
journey and anything was possible.
The hustle and bustle of the city’s streets and the large oriental
bazaar will be juxtaposed with the intensity of silent desert
landscapes. All the characters in the film will be performed by
non-actors – local people. I want to show the emotional journey
of each character through internalised feelings and rich mise-enscene.
Zornitsa Sophia
Written by
Zornitsa Sophia
Zornitsa Sophia
Mila Kirova
Zornitsa Sophia holds a Master of Fine Arts with a major in painting, alumni of
NAFA, Sofia, and specialized in School of Visual Arts in New York and American
University, Washington DC. In 1996-97 she restored the church in the Sofia Male
Prison, together with the prisoners and colleagues. She worked as Art Director
in international advertising agencies like EURO RSCG for 4 years. After over
50 visual arts festivals and exhibitions around the world, she decided to switch
into filmmaking and specialized in directing under the supervision of Academic
Lyudmil Staikov in National Academy of Film and Theatre in Sofia.
Mila Kirova
Bulgar Beats
Her graduation film and first film as writer, director and producer Mila From
Mars (2004) appeared to be “the dreamed beginning of Bulgarian independent
feature moviemaking”, “the film marks the bow of a director to watch” by Variety,
“full of invention and daring” by FIPRESCI site, was called “wild young cinema”
at Manheim-Heidelberg IFF. Mila From Mars won 15 awards, including Best Film
and Special Jury Award at Sarajevo IFF, Rainer Werner Fassbinder Prize and
Ecumenical Jury Award at Mannheim-Heidelberg IFF, 5 awards at the Bulgarian
NFF “Golden Rose” including Best Film. It was the Bulgarian submission for the
Academy Awards 05.
In 2005 Zornitsa Sophia released her first documentary about a heroin addicts
commune Death And All The Way Back, followed in 2006 by the documentary
Modus Vivendi – a film about seven “ordinary people” following their own
dreams no matter how strange or weird they look.
In 2009, Zornitsa Sophia’s second feature film Forecast was released theatrically
and is still touring festivals. She is currently developing 2 feature films, Estrogen
and As You Wish.
Now she works as a freelance director in the fields of film and multimedia.
69 General Skobelev Blvd, Fl.4, Apt.8,
1606 Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel.: + 359 887 831 290
Fax: + 359 2 851 9694
[email protected]
Bulgaria, 1997, the turbulent times after the fall of communism.
BOYAN OGNYANOV, 27, a cynical womanizer whose dream was
to be a fighter pilot, is now the owner of a small taxi company that
operates from the kitchen of his 12th floor apartment in the Sofia
city slums. He runs by chance into the femme fatal TV star MARIA
MARS, 35, and has sex with her only to find out that she is his
late father’s second wife, who came back from overseas a year
ago. Boyan blames Maria for destroying his family, for the misery
he and his mother suffered, for stealing his family house and for
his father’s suicide. He wants to hurt her badly, and when he finds
out what Maria most cares for is ANGIE, her strange 17 year-old
daughter, he sets up a plan to seduce Angie and screw her up.
As part of Boyan’s plan, he and Angie work side by side on the
tuning of a vintage Jaguar, and little by little, sharing the same
passion for engines, constructing and speed, they get closer.
This was Boyan’s intention, but he doesn’t notice he falls in
love himself, for the first time in his life. Angie is a kind of girl he
never encountered before. She’s tough, but she has a secret that
makes her vulnerable – she was born with underdeveloped male
sexual organs; her mother arranged an operation and the following
treatment for her baby in a distant country. Both women try to
justify Angie as a woman – Maria through the best doctors and
estrogen hormones, Angie by promiscuous behaviour. Meanwhile,
falling for Boyan, Angie transforms from a tomboy into a young
woman. Happy to see that change, Maria asks her to invite her
boyfriend to a dinner in their house.
director’s notes
THE THEME: Estrogen tells a story about love that confronts and
overcomes hatred and prejudice. What I find particularly inspiring
is to see the power of love through the somewhat impossible
love of a proven-to-be-straight man for a person without a clear
gender. The fact that there are more genders than just men and
women fascinates me. It’s existent for ages in many cultures
(India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Greece), but it’s still a challenge for our
society. Although it’s becoming modern now, it’s often too vulgar,
overexposed, a show off. It’s rare to see/read something about the
feelings of those people, the people in between. What would be
more important – if one is an exciting human, or if s/he’s a man or
a woman? I want us to question ourselves how strong would “the
power of love” be?
THE SETTING. The universal while futuristic theme is set during the
late 90s in Bulgaria. The turbulent post communistic period when
everything seemed possible compliments with its absurdity the
bizarreness of the story. I find these times of political perturbations
particularly suitable as a background for the characters’ personal
crisis and drama. I want to further explore the word CHANGE
– finding different things, and situations, in addition to the sex
change. When reading the script you’ll notice that many things are
not what they seem to be and/or they change – starting from the
first scene; also Boyan plays with Angie presenting himself as a
different man, the time is a time of changes, Maria has changed
her name, hiding her past, etc… The theme of change resonates
in the different characters, situations, props and destinies.
THE CHARACTERS. The protagonist – Boyan is a cynical
womanizer, whose dream was to be a fighter pilot. Being victim
of the changing times, he’s now the poor owner of a small taxi
company which operates from the kitchen of his 12th floor block
This is a dream come true for Boyan – he seizes the opportunity to
hurt both of them. He does so, but surprisingly for him, it doesn’t
make him feel happy. He realizes he cares for Angie, and tries to
apologize and impress her by taking her out with a plane, as her
dream is to fly. They open up towards each other, make out, but
Angie stops him before they reach a further intimacy.
Maria is furious; she wants to separate them badly. Boyan is the
last person on Earth she wants her daughter to be happy with. She
misinforms him that Angie is a boy, who dresses like a girl; hiding
the fact about Angie’s sex change operation. Disgusted, Boyan
throws up and runs away. He avoids Angie, but she finds him and
he calls her a frеаk and transvestite. Deeply hurt, she becomes a
strip dancer in a mix club. Maria, desperate to see her kid’s selfdestruction begs Boyan for help, offering him the house back, but
he couldn’t care less.
Boyan tries to get back to his own routines, but discovers his joy
of life is gone along with Angie. Boyan is haunted by the idea that
he is gay. “No, dear, you are just in love” his mother enlightens
him. With this “key” in hand, Boyan opens up a world in which his
love for Angie has a chance, no matter if she’s a boy, a girl, or just
a human, only to discover she’s a beautiful woman.
apartment in the city slums with his mother as a dispatcher.
Everything he likes was taken away from him. In the beginning
of the story he doesn’t believe in love and he never fell in love
himself as he saw very early in his life “what love does to people”.
Angie, the central character is a tall, strangely beautiful 17 year old
tomboy. She is the best worker in a car service station; the boys are
her best friends. She’s tough, but her secret makes her vulnerable
– she was born a boy with underdeveloped sexual organs. As a
baby, her mother arranged a sex reassignment operation for her
and the following hormone treatment with estrogen that developed
Angie as a beautiful girl. The antagonist is Maria Mars, Angie’s
mother, a 35 years old femme fatal, strong woman and a TV
hostess. Her weakest point and secret is her daughter. She cares
for Angie a great deal, but she hates Boyan, the child from her late
husband’s first marriage. He is the last person on Earth she wants
her daughter to be happy with. The hostile social climate “works“
as an antagonist too.
VISUAL LANGUAGE. The historical period was dark, the electricity
regime and the night scenes help achieving that feeling. The main
sets feel de-saturated – like the colours of Angie’s working place
– the messy car service station, also the street political rallies
and the oddly empty giant stores. Only the scenes from the plane
and the baroque mansion of Maria and Angie are meant to be the
THE GENRE. “Estrogen” is a love story for more than two genders.
A dramedy. Although by content the story is a drama, I intend to
tell it as a black romantic comedy, believing, through the lighter
tone the strange story and the tough subject can be better
Matteo Oleotto
Written by
Matteo Oleotto
Matteo Oleotto
Ales Doktoric
Matteo Oleotto was born in Gorizia in 1977. He graduated as an actor from
the “Accademia D’Arte Drammatica Nico Pepe” in Udine in 2001 and then as a
director from the “Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma” in 2005.
Igor Princic & Ales Doktoric
The Love of Your Life (L’amore di una vita), fiction, 13', DVCAM. Production Teramo Festival
Undercolander, fiction, 7', DVCAM. Production GGfilm
2006Hanging by a Thread, fiction, 24', 35mm. Production Scuola Nazion
ale di Cinema
Casino paradajz, videoclip, 8', HD. Production Transmedia spa, 2006.
On air on MTV-ADRIA
Can Can, fiction, 14', 35mm. Production Scuola Nazionale di Cinema
Room 21, fiction, 9', 35mm. Production Scuola Nazionale di Cinema
They’ll be Crossing Tonight (Passeranno anche stanotte), fiction, 7', 35mm. Production Kinoatelje in co-production with RTV Slovenija
Piazza Vittoria 41, 34170 Gorizia, Italy
Tel: + 39 348 8605399
Fax: + 39 0481 31824
[email protected]
director’s notes
Paolo, a forty-year-old fattening rugby failure may have played his
last match. But then he meets Zoran, a special boy with a spectacular
talent for the Rubik’s Cube, and they embark on the greatest game
of their lives. Paolo, had been a talented rugby player, but has been
having a difficult time since his wife Dolores left him, and started
taking some illegal hormones. When, unsurprisingly, he is thrown
out of the rugby championship, his soon-to-be ex-friends are
unsympathetic, refusing to stand by him. The problem is that Paolo,
never one to miss out of the opportunity to use his caustic wit, isn’t
funny anymore, his jokes have taken on a bitter and angry edge... and
he now passes the time drinking and making fun of his bar mates and
colleagues; that is, when he's not bored in his job as a removals man.
Paolo lives in Gorizia, a small border town where different cultures
and landscapes mingle. A far away and long-forgotten Slovenian aunt
dies, and leaves him a mentally challenged teenager who has never
left his mountain home. It is the last straw for Paolo.... An idiot to look
after and no money at all! However, Zoran, the boy, has an unusual,
undiscovered talent: he can solve a Rubik's cube in less than six
seconds – and the world record currently stands at seven. At once,
the caring Paolo thinks of how he can exploit this talent and become
rich and successful, believing that then he can win his wife back and
also the respect he has lost in his hometown. It is all so very simple to
Paolo: Zoran will participate in the World Championship in Budapest,
win it, and become the new and famous face of the Rubik’s Cube.
The first leg of this project is the regional tournament in Nova Gorica
where Zoran wins easily. His incredible speed attracts the attention of a
local TV presenter and Paolo finds another opportunity to make some
money. In order to head off to Strasbourg for the semi-final, Paolo
negotiates a contract for Zoran’s participation on the talent show with
a special clause in it. While Paolo is signing and negotiating, Zoran
is outside the room, and he meets Anita, a girl who is waiting to try
out as an illusionist for the same TV show. As Paolo comes happily
out of the room, he interrupts this new friendship and Zorna doesn’t
get a chance to say goodbye. And slowly things start to change.
Zoran becomes less and less interested in solving the Cube, and one
night, after an argument, he hides in the wardrobe, and he refuses
to come out. Paolo’s lack of sensitivity has meant he has missed
all the signs, and it takes his only friend to come over and work it
The idea for the story of this film came to me about two years ago.
The story had been bumping around my head for a while, and I felt
something was right about it, because I feel that a director’s debut
should be about things that one knows well. And this is what I’ve tried
to do. When I was younger I worked at the Psychiatric Hospital in
Gorizia for six years. Firstly I was a volunteer, and then I started up
a cultural association inside the old lunatic asylum in Gorizia. There I
made my first videos, working the whole time with the patients. Then
I played the drums with a group of patients, and after that I did my
civil service there, and in the end I became a psychiatric nurse on the
night shift, and aided the patients who were following a rehabilitation
program. Throughout those years I met so many people who were
wonderful, full of life and passion. It was during this interesting and
consistent experience that I met a boy who was the inspiration for
Zoran in the story. His favourite hobby was, in fact, playing with an
ancient Rubik’s Cube that he always had with him. I got to know how
he was feeling based on watching how he solved the cube. I always
found it fascinating and sensual, the way he handled that strange
brightly coloured cube. His thin hands and long fingers, changing from
their absolute stillness into an effortless and whirling dance. The time
and space around him no longer mattered, and watching that dance
out: Zoran likes the girl Anita, and wants to see her again. Paolo has
been busy trying to win back his ex-wife’s heart and immediately
spies an opportunity, and asks Dolores to join them on a trip to the
circus to keep Zoran happy. The supposed highlight, a lion jumping
through a flaming hoop, is disappointing because Maciste, the lion,
is depressed. However, Anita’s act goes enjoyably well... And it is on
this high that Paolo and Zoran set off for the semi-final in Strasbourg
with the removals van. Zoran is still excited about his evening spent
with Anita. It is in this spirit that Zoran participates, and wins, in the
time of five seconds, the best ever. But back at home things turn
sour. Dolores has worked it all out, and turns up at Paolo’s door
and lets him have it, shouting in his face that he is just the same
old selfish bastard he always was and that he’s taking advantage
of an innocent child. Zoran has heard everything. He jumps out of
the window and not knowing where to go, he finds refuge at Anita’s.
They are leaning in for their first kiss when Paolo bursts in. Maciste,
the depressed lion, finally finds something to wake him out of his
stupor: this enormous man who seems to be a threat to the kids,
he creeps ominously out of his open cage towards a for once silent
Paolo… Paolo awakens a few hours later in hospital. Surprisingly,
his first thought is for Zoran. He turns to the bed next to his and sees
Zoran’s hand is covered with a bandage. He lost a finger in the fight
with the lion, but saved all their lives. Budapest remains a mirage in
the desert. Paolo had dreamt of using Zoran to become rich, and
of running off with Dolores and spending all the winnings. None of
which has come true. But some other type of ending is in store for
Paolo. He has managed to become the coach of the under-21s. As
luck would have it, Paolo is of course losing his very first match. Just
then Zoran turns up. He looks at the pitch and notices, as ever, the
colours of the players’ shirts, and disturbing Paolo, tells him that his
team are too mixed up. Paolo, not quite a new man, brushes him off
irritably. But when he turns back he sees it too, shouts a few orders
out and the players get back into place. Like a miracle they pull off
a winning move, scoring a try. Paolo has won his first game, it’s
a brand new start, and it’s thanks to his nephew, again. As Zoran
and Anita walk away, Paolo calls out Zoran’s name. Zoran turns, and
Paolo reminds him that he mustn’t be home too late, because it’s a
moved me deeply. And, consequently, I would like Zoran’s part to be
played by a person who is not a professional actor. In order to find
the right person I’ve recently been spending time in various places
that deal with the mentally ill and general psychiatric disorders. Taking
advantage of the sensitivity and professionalism of the actor who
will play the part of Paolo, Giuseppe Battiston, I think I can create an
explosive pair. Together they will be able to amaze me, and give the
film a touch of magic, creating that atmosphere that I’ve felt and lived,
and the emotions that I’ve seen in the eyes of the people I met over
the years of my experience with insanity. Paolo really exists as well.
He has a wise melancholy in his eyes and yet an unbalanced air about
him. And this makes him unique and completely unpredictable, just as
I would like our main character to be. These characters will make for a
black comedy, with cold lighting and people who never give up, always
looking for something they may never find, but aware of the more
interesting parts of any voyage, not just the final goal…everything they
encounter along the way. With regards to the atmosphere, colours,
type of comedy and direction I have in mind references to films such
as “Los Lunes al sol”. “Bonbon el Perro”, “Little Miss Sunshine” and
“Irina Palm”.
Ivan Marinovic
Written by
Ivan Marinovic
Ivan Marinovic
Branislav Srdic
Ivan Marinovic was born on 28.10.1984 in Kotor, Montenegro. Lived in Herceg
Novi Montenegro until age of 18, when he moves to study in Italy. Started
experimenting with video during his studies of Industrial design in Milano, on
Politecnico di Milano where he graduated in July 2007. Got accepted for the
master studies directing program on Famu academy in Prague, Czech Republic
where he made number of short films under mentor supervision of Ivo Trajkov,
including The Confession, Their Love, What You Can Find In The Woods, A
Football Story etc. Often collaborates with Galerija 12+ studio from Belgrade.
Currently preparing his first feature film Pasqua which already won the award
for “best cinema project” on Crossroads section of 50th edition of Thessaloniki
film festival 2009.
Branislav Srdic
A Atalanta
Tobacna ulica 12
1000 Ljubljana
Tel: + 386 1421 86 20
Fax: + 386 1421 86 25
[email protected]
PASQUA is a thrilling tragicomic story of Captain Niko and his
fishing boat that takes place in 90’s Montenegro. Proud and fast
fused captain wants to buy the ship off before the owner sells
it to smugglers of Albanian immigrants. Since there seems to
be everything in the sea except fish, he can’t get the last rates
on time. His wife is about to leave the country, wanting to go to
their son who emigrated years ago. Being too tied to the boat on
which he spent the last thirty years, and too close to the dream
of finally owning Pasqua, Niko can’t do the same.
His desperation makes him accept the offer to make one
smuggling trip in order to get the needed money. Captain loads
Pasqua with cigarettes and journeys from Montenegro across
the Adriatic Sea to Italy. He brings along his eccentric crew
made of both experienced and inexperienced, sometimes quite
idiotic sailors. One after another they get into a series of funny,
dramatic and rather absurd situations along the way.
an engine breakdown that generally infuriates the Captain. Later
they meet a boat that smuggles people across the Adriatic
escorted by Italian Carabineers. Police closely observe Pasqua
and after they complete the mission, the crew gets arrested.
The cunning Carabineer inspector eventually lets them return
while using the boat as his bait for Marcello. This will cause
a culminating standoff situation in the middle of the sea as
Carabineers surround the Italian smugglers on board Pasqua.
In the aftermath of the exciting journey, despite the final success
of getting the boat, Captain understands that the final cost of it
was not just money. It is the life of his friend, family leaving him,
and involvement in the world of mafia that would keep pushing
him to continue smuggling. In the end he decides to sink the
boat that used to represent everything for him. This ultimate
sacrifice allows him to transcend and to liberate himself while
regaining his dignity.
After they run into a horizon covered with smuggled cigarettes,
they find beautiful young Marina lost in the sea. What they don’t
know is that the girl is connected with the smuggling godfather
Marcello. Her presence on the boat disturbs the crew in
different ways. It culminates with sailors fighting, which causes
director’s notes
Montenegro is a cinematically unexplored country that offers
magnificent locations but also stories filled with authentic details
and characters so original that cinema today is craving for, with
themes that are human and universal despite the exotics of the
surroundings. This is one of these stories, and my goal is to
save it from being forgotten and forever lost.
The setting offers a basic color scheme of the cold spectrum
of the dark blue of the sea, combined with the warm spectrum
of the boat interiors. Splendor of nature in coastal Montenegro,
especially bay of Boka Kotorska, calls to be used for meditative
passages as a relief between the tense, dramatic and absurd
moments of the story.
It deals with characters that I was observing while growing
up in the economically and morally devastated remains of
Yugoslavia. It is a story of a captain and his attempt to save and
keep his boat by getting involved in cigarette smuggling. 90’s
Montenegro was a base for cigarette trafficking between east
Europe and Italy, this topic is not nearly covered enough and it
is still a taboo both in Balkans and Italy. This personal drama
of a man, caught in the turmoil of the period, is juxtaposed
against a background of a country falling apart and absurdity
that embargo created in the lives of common people.
The story mostly takes place on sea, which sets the story
in wide angled format in order to fully exploit compositions
involving boats and horizon. The structure of the boat allows
mise-en-scene to be precisely designed in order to express the
dynamic relations between the characters.
Despite the heist plot pattern of the film, the story is character
based, and the weight of it lies in the complexity of characters,
their fates, their broken families, their lives at the sea and the
love, hate and tolerance for one another. So the story itself
offers a combination of cinematic and storytelling values,
having the dynamic main plot that makes it interesting for a
broader audience but still having authentic qualities of an auteur
The main relationship of the story is between the captain and
his boat, which reflects his ego, place in the society, freedom
and integrity that he’s fighting for through situations that build
up towards the catharsis of the story and the inner conflict
inside of him. It is a tragic story filled with humanism and
humor that prevails even in the darkest of moments present
both in Balkans and Mediterranean.
Uros Tomic
Written by
Uros Tomic & Vasja Stankovic
Uros Tomic
Vasja Stankovic
Uros Tomic born 1980 in Belgrade. Lived as a child in Algeria. Studied History
at Belgrade University. Finished Film and TV directing at the Faculty of Dramatic
Arts in Belgrade. He has directed seven short films. One of the founders of film
Uros Tomic
Balazs Lovas
Kiselo Dete
Fade In
The Last Stuntman (Poslednji Kaskader), feature film, genre: comedy/action/
drama, Serbian-Hungarian
In development, to be shot in 2011
B2B Meetings FEST, Belgrade
Supported by Hungarian Film Fund for Script Development
2010 Play me, Kusturica! (Pogledaj me, Kusturice!), short film, genre: comedy, Serbian-Hungarian co-production
Production company: Kiselo Dete – Inforg Studio
In pre-production, to be shot in summer 2010
Supported by Belgrade Film Fund
Scholarship for Prime Packaging Training Program by Prime House Berlin
Nominated for Robert Bosch Stiftung Co-Production prize
Dalmatinska 17, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: + 381 11 2751 230
[email protected]
He died 499 times. The 500th will be for real.
BATA THE STONE, once the most renowned Serbian stuntman
who played in almost 500 international and ex-Yugoslav
movies (working with Clint Eastwood, Sidney Pollack, Sam
Peckinpah...), is now an old man unsatisfied with his life and his
present situation in the film industry. He decides that he would
rather die than to continue living a miserable, useless life. He
wants to be killed, but his death should be dignifying, directed
as some of the most thrilling movie stunt scenes he had been
doing during his prolific career.
of the Eastern Block. She was the reason why Bata and Gojko’s
long-lasting friendship ended, and the two turned enemies; Bata
was the first who fell in love with the beautiful Hungarian starlet,
but Gojko seduced her.
All of his old friends get really upset finding out that in fact Bata
didn’t die. He just wanted them to come together again and form
a crew to produce and shoot his glorious death scene. And this
time, he won’t let Gojko betray him. He won’t let him take Hédi
away again...
He organizes a fake funeral for himself, inviting some of his best
friends from the old days. These guys, a misanthrope DOP, a
half-deaf soundman, a war-veteran pyro-technician, etc., are
real industry pro’s, way beyond their retirement age. Among
the aged film-makers are the two most important people in
Bata’s life: GOJKO MITIC, one of the biggest Yugoslav stars in
the 60’s and 70’s, playing the Indian in dozens of famous EastGerman westerns, always with Bata as his double, and HÉDI,
who once missed a chance to become the most famous diva
director’s notes
This should be endlessly surprising, very dark, human comedy,
with a plot that cannot be foreseen but only relished. We want
a script that seems to happen as it goes along, driven by the
peculiarities of the characters.
than they think they are. And then they realize that they don’t have
to copy movies; they can create their own. We think it’s very
important that people not just make their own entertainment, but
that they create it, that they really invent the story.
We made deliberately unlikable yet oddly sympathetic characters.
These characters are reduced to childlike demonstrations of
emotion in the face of extreme situations, and the classic twist
in the tale. Although the opening section of the film is arguably
longer, the rest will resolves itself into scene after scene of
adventure, suspense, and comedy.
On one side, like Tarantino’s “Death Proof” is a homage to
exploitation films of the 70’s, “Last Stuntman” is a homage to
great old European kitsch movies that Gojko Mitic and Bata
the Stone once starred in. And on the other side it will have
quasi-documentary approach, using the real people as main
characters, and their rich archive material, resembling the great
film by Dusan Makavejev “Innocence Unprotected”. But besides
philmophyila, this is also an adventure and a love story, where
Bata’s mission is taking us to pure emotion. And in the last
sequence of the movie where characters are dressed in Indian
costumes we are back to Georges Melies, to the feeling of
childhood, playing, never mind how old we are.
The idea is that the real Bata the Stone and Gojko Mitic play
themselves. Like many great performances, it has to have an
element of truth. So Gojko Mitic and Bata the Stone were once
young and glorious and made the big bucks as stuntmen and
actors. Their flashbacks with a lot of real archive material, in
which they remember the films they played in, are supposed
to be nostalgic, propulsive and inspiring, not at all pathetic or
displaying self-pity.
Bata the Stone dreams about the good old days and great
European co-productions. It’s very hard of course; almost
impossible to live the lives of Melville and Peckinpah characters
in the real world, and to make such movies in the present time,
the time without ideology, with new trivial television reality show
We believe the major asset of The Last Stuntman is the funny
and entertaining script in combination with its creative artistic
The film also talks about awakening creativity hidden in all of us,
as a universal human need. This level of the story, among the
others, will make the film interesting both to specialised festival
audiences, but, no doubt, to wider cinema audiences as well.
But Bata’s “mission” and persistence creates an almost utopian
fantasy where people and the crew that he gathered, can create
their own entertainment. Our characters are much more creative
Lefteris Charitos
Written by
Lefteris Charitos
Lefteris Charitos
Maria Tsigka
Born in Athens in 1969. After taking his first degree in Greece at the Hadzikou
Film School he took his MA at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London where
he attended among others, seminars by Terry Gilliam, Christopher Frayling and
Dick Ross.
Maria Tsigka
Argonauts Productions S.A.
His professional career includes the direction of eight episodes for the television
series Zone Defense (ERT – 2007), three episodes for I Saw You (ALPHA TV –
2008) and two episodes for Alithini Erotes (ANT1 TV – 2009).
He has directed six short films: The End (2001 commissioned by the Athens
International Film Festival), Flaming Stella (2000, Best cinematography prize at
the Drama International Short Film Festival), Hear Me Out (1998, State Award,
Greek Directors Guild Award, Official Competition at the Clermont Ferrand
International Short Film Festival and the Cinema JOVE Valencia International
Film Festival), A Week Later (1993, Best Male and Best Female performance
at the Drama Film Festival, State Award), Strawberries (1992, First State Award
prize, Best Student Short at the Drama Film Festival, Screened at the Edinburgh
Film Festival), Autumn, that Night when Nights Grow Longer (1990).
He has also worked closely with the Griffon dance company for many years
directing the video art dance piece Lapland commissioned by the Athens 2004
Paralympics Committee and screened at the Athens Concert Hall, but also the
video dance pieces for the performances Sarka Mia (2008), Tupper (2003),
Kennel (2002), Boudoir (2002), 4-2-1 (2001).
He has worked as an assistant director in both foreign and Greek feature films,
among others, Fugitive Pieces (2006 by Jeremy Podeswa), Hardcore (2003 by
Dennis Illiadis), A Song is not Enough (2002 by Elissavet Chronopoulou) Athens
Blues (2001 by Yorgos Panousopoulos).
Between 2001 and 2004 he has worked as a counseling director for the
joint project Let’s Cinema, of the Ministries of Culture and Education and the
Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which taught cinema to high-school
students in Greece and Greek schools in Europe.
27 Zaimi str., 10682 Athens, Greece
Tel: + 30 210 82 56 254
Fax: + 30 210 82 57 178
[email protected]
On a hot summer day, two 16 year-olds, ARIS, a lonely skater,
and MANIA, a video games expert, meet under violent yet funny
circumstances. It is a day when the electric power company
has decided to go on strike, using frequent power cuts, causing
chaos, as a means of blackmailing the government to meet their
Mania introduces Aris to the strange world of an internet cafe run
by MIMIS (45), a veteran of the Serbo-Croatian war, who also has
an autistic son KYRILLOS (20). This is a place where kids meet
and spend time playing games, enclosed in a world lived through
headphones and loud sound effects of war and martial arts.
director’s notes
DANAE (40). Asking Aris to join her, makes Mania feel comfortable,
living up to her mother’s expectations. But all Aris does is accept
Danae’s subtle flirting, making Mania furious. Following Mania’s
disappointment over Aris’ behavior during lunch, begin a series of
misunderstandings leading them to split for the first time. Aris goes
to skate on his own, Mania returns to Mimi’s “intimate” internet
cafe. Aris keeps falling and bleeding while Mimis kindly, at first,
asks Mania to have sex with Kyrillos, his “problematic but loving
son, whom even prostitutes avoid”. Mania is forced to perform the
Aris keeps hurting himself, falling almost intentionally. Mania
returns to him hypnotized. He’s glad to see her but realizes
something’s wrong. Athens is getting darker. Their instincts are
getting darker. The strikers become more and more violent. The
kids’ quiet desperation transforms to action.
Aris and Mania soon find themselves in the streets engaged in
a “truth or dare” game, getting in various trouble. They become
closer during a clumsy love making on the roof of a hotel. Aris’
phone keeps ringing. A family celebration is being organized for a
success of his but he’s not interested. Instead he plans to secretly
take the night train to Thessaloniki where an international skate
contest takes place the following day. His mother doesn’t approve
of his skate flare. Mania doesn’t want to go back home either. They
agree to stay together until Aris leaves the same night. On a ride in
town they become more and more intimate. They have found an
outlet in understanding each other’s adolescent estrangement and
loneliness. For no apparent reason, they begin to enjoy a comfort
missing from their lives and slowly fall in love. In a confessional
mood Mania says how she envies him, having parents that are
interested in him, calling him all the time. It is her birthday and
all she usually gets is an hour lunch with her businesslike mother,
They decide to go to his house. A friendly atmosphere flows there
at first. After his persistent questions, Mania reveals what happened
at the internet cafe. The celebration is ruined with Mania’s outburst
towards his oppressive parents. Aris, glassy-eyed till that point,
wakes up and drags Mania back to the internet cafe. Their plan to
abandon and kill Kyrillos for raping Mania falls through when Aris
realizes the actual perpetrator is Mimis. The kids go back to the
internet café and beat Mimis senseless. Time passes. Aris misses
his train to Thessaloniki. The two of them have been confronted
with the everyday underlying violence haunting the city. Dawn finds
them at the seaside. Content with the realization they at least have
each other.
What happens when two 16 year olds meet and fall in love in a
strangely violent city? Aris and Mania are the Tiny Dancers of this
movie: “Tiny” and innocent but desperate for attention, love and
cinematography will focus on the two faces. The strange violence
of Athens will work as an ever-present background, reminding the
viewer of a world both difficult to escape from and difficult to feel
a part of.
"Tiny Dancers" is a movie about Athens. A movie about modern
Greece and all that led to December’s 2008 riots. It is a movie
about how much Greek society is continuously failing to engage
its youngsters in life. How the mix between traditionalism,
conservatism and the need for a quick economic upgrade has made
an already underdeveloped country unable to take care of its future
Still, our heroes are young and in love and all seems an endless
game to them, much like cinema is today. Risky and dangerous like
a crazy love affair. This is the atmosphere I wish the film to achieve,
that of never-ending fever, of a love affair being stifled by reality and
the grown ups suffocating sense of dutiful everyday surviving.
What interests me is what happens to two middle class adolescents
who, in an effort to discover love through social limitations, find
themselves attempting to kill a man, while not living in a drugs and
poverty situation. They are faced with such subtle violence that in
the end become violent themselves. Trying out their mating abilities,
testing each other’s stamina towards a strangely violent environment
and absorbing an ever-increasing need for love, attention and sex,
their day ends in a violent outbreak, both verbal and physical.
Filming and framing Athens is a difficult task. An ugly city, or rather
a city made ugly by its inhabitants’ idea of everything being public
property to ruin, of people not caring about what they see when they
wake up every morning, of people caring about what is comfortable
for themselves regardless of aesthetic values. However, it is a
city full of a variety of craze. People hectically running around,
markets full of screaming voices, small time crooks, housewives
on the verge of breakdown. This is the world that our two heroes
try to understand. Athens is a grey city, pretty conservative in its
architecture and very claustrophobic. Much like the two kids world:
enclosed, suffocating, uninteresting. No perspective, no horizon, no
air to breathe. Keeping always in mind the final result, that being the
two kids trying to make sense of this ugly world, the framing and
Following the pacing of the script, the rhythm of the scenes will be
slower in the beginning and more hectic towards the end. Lazy like
a proper Athens summer day turning feverish as the two kids reach
their limits. The 24hour format will be used as a means of achieving
tension. The basis of the script being the ever-changing psychology
of the characters, a certain lack of story tension needs the intense
presence of a tight time frame.
At the heart of the film lays the loss of innocence. Loss is a dark
feeling. Adolescence, though, is all about the molding of personality
through loss. Tiny Dancers weaves its story around the relationship
between a country burning trying to uncover what has been
rotting for years and youth’s inevitable blossoming under these
circumstances. The moment these two streams meet, explosion
happens. Cinematically, this translates into images of the city
always hiding possibilities of non-obvious threats – Threats such
as people full of rage, loneliness, or uneventful lives, grown ups
in need of confirmation looking grey as ever. Amongst them the
heartfelt smile of Aris and Mania showing more and more its teeth
in images of harsher contrast as night Athens is burning.
Two colourful hearts trying to make sense of it all. We lose our
ability to fall in love in our effort to understand. Tiny Dancers is all
about adolescence’s natural denial to understand.
Vano Burduli
Written by
Vano Burduli
Vano Burduli
Tinatin Kajrishvili
Tinatin Kajrishvili
Born on 29.08.1974, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Producing Centre Gemini
2004 – 2006
Higher Courses of Scriptwriters and Film Directors, Moscow, Russia
Workshop of Khotinenko – Fenchenko – Finn
1994 – 1997
Georgian State Institute of Theatre and Film
Department of scriptwriters, workshop of Erlom Akhvlediani
The Conflict Zone, full-length feature, 82'
Independent Film Project
Georgia Prize for the Best Film of the Perspectives Competition – Moscow Interna-
tional Film Festival, Russia (2009)
Kings of the Game – episodes I, II, XII, TV series, 52', HD, Amediafilm, Russia
Graffiti, graduate film, 24', 35mm
Grand Prix; Canal+ Award – Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, France (2007)
Jury's Special Prize; French Critic’s Discovery Prize – Festival International des Ecoles de Cinema, Poitiers, France (2007)
Mention Speciale du Jury Jeune – Prix du Public – International Shortfilm Festival in Aix-en-Provence, France (2007)
Grand Prix de Nancy – Aye Aye Film Festival – Nancy, France (2007)
Special Mention – Tabor Film Festival, Croatia (2007)
Jury Prize – Gatchina International Film Festival Literature and Cinema, Russia (2007)
Mencion Especial – Expresion en Corto, Mexico (2008)
Prize for the Best Film of the Youth Forum The Right to Cinema – Stalker – Interna-
tional Human Rights Film Festival Stalker, Russia (2007)
Prize for the Best Short Feature Film – Smolensk International Film Festival Novoe Kino XXI vek, Russia (2006)
Special Prize – Film Festival Cottbus Festival of East European Cinema, Germany (2006)
Jury der Jungen Special Mention – Regensburg Short Film Week, Germany (2006)
International Critics’ Week in Cannes (2008)
Glinka, course work, 3', MiniDV
The Star, course work, 6', MiniDV
105th, course work, 9', MiniDV
Producing Center Gemini
7 Svanidze str. 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel: + 372 59 22 37 47
[email protected]
In 1983, Gega, was 22 years old. A very handsome actor, who
easily attracted girls’ attention. He was a romantic idealist and
a favorite of his generation. He played one of the main roles in
the film “Repentance”.
Tina, very young and beautiful, 19 years old, was studying at the
academy of arts, annoyed by the attention of boys. Some were
meeting her on stairs, reading poems to her, some were singing
under her window. One handicapped guy was calling her every
day, asking for a meeting. Tina refused for a long time, but finally,
not to break his heart forever she agreed. This handicapped guy
appeared to be Gega.
They were spending all their time together in their friends
company, listening to Jazz and reading foreign literature, though
it was forbidden. They even dared to wear jeans and read the
Bible. The friends were often meeting each other in Father
Theodor’s house. Father Theodor was an elder and knew much
about religion and life.
After several months, in November 1983, Tina and Gega decided
to get married. On the wedding day everybody celebrated their
union. Next day the married couple, together with their friends,
decided to fly to Batumi, sea side city in Georgia, on the very
border of Turkey.
two pilots and flight attendant were dead. The whole group was
Tina was pregnant but in prison she was aborted by force.
The group had no other plan in case their dream, to escape
from the country, would fail. They were shocked and terrified.
It took the officials nine months to make a decision on how to
present this story to the public. In August the five remaining
friends together with Father Theodor, who was considered to
be the organizer, were in court. The case only lasted only two
weeks and they were all sentenced to death, except Tina, who
was sentenced to 15 years in jail. The process was broadcast
every day. Some considered them terrorists, some dreamers,
and were supporting them in their heart. Representatives of
society signed a petition to let them stay alive.
Their families were waiting for them, according to rumors they
were in a secret zone and one day they could return.
After five years the Soviet Union collapsed, Tina was freed and
the truth was revealed, that the others were killed three months
after the court proceedings.
The story is based on facts.
However, the plane was hijacked by their group. They forced
the pilots at gunpoint to fly to Turkey. After several minutes the
plane landed back in Tbilisi and was surrounded by the army,
who were shooting towards the plane. During the attack, one
of the group members killed himself, another was killed and the
director’s notes
The story is based on real events. We will have to reconstruct
and research it again, because until now there are many
different versions but nobody tried to find out the truth.
25 years passed from this matter but there are still a lot of
questions, which are not answered.
For me, the most interesting in this story is the relationship
between the friends, how they came together and developed the
idea to hijack the airplane.
Also, what was the role of the priest and what influence he
had on the group. Was he their ideologist or he unconsciously
pushed them to make this step? Communists were atheists,
and religion for them was the main enemy. In fact, the priest
speaking about religion awoke the desire to be free in them. He
blamed himself and tried to take the guilt on him to save them.
The love story between Gega and Tina is the main line. Tina
was 19, and followed him. Her motivation for taking part in the
hijacking is most clear, she was young and in love, and could
follow her beloved everywhere. Their wedding was the main
event, and their honeymoon was the reason to fly to Batumi.
All of them were totally different from the Soviet youth of that
time. They were free, full of love and dreams.
They are also terrorists and idealists at the same time. It is
still not evident whether the pilots and passenger were killed
by their bullets or by soldiers’, but they caused it anyway.
Were they spoiled children who never took the Soviet regime
seriously and considered that they could even go against it?
Was their goal worth it? Couldn’t they choose another way? Or
did they wish to show an example to others?
Crime and punishment is a unique theme. But crime against a
Regime which is criminal itself is very complicated. It is crime
influenced by the regime and protest against it.
The genre of the film is also diverse, the first part will be the
love story, which in the second part becomes a thriller and ends
with an investigation. In the first act, the main characters are
very nice, romantic youths and the audience will fall in love with
them. Later they become terrorists, and in the end we want to
find out who they were in reality and when was the step from
love to hatred.
Darko Lungulov
Written by
Darko Lungulov
Darko Lungulov
Snezana Penev
Darko, originally from Belgrade, moved to New York City in 1991 where he obtained
BFA in film and video from City College of New York.
Darko Lungulov
Snezana Penev
Papa Films
From 1997 until 2003 he has worked at the production company Spiral Pictures /
Ross Institute as producer/director of documentaries.
In 2004 his feature documentary Escape won the Audience Award at its world premiere
at Hamptons International Film Festival. It was screened at numerous international
festivals since, including Amsterdam, Leipzig, Go East, Belgrade and Santiago de
Chile Film Festival.
In 2006 Darko’s script for Here and There won Balkan Fund script development award
at 47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
Later, the film Here and There won Best New York Narrative Award at its world premiere
at Tribeca 2009 Festival with critical acclaim from Variety, MTV and indieWire and it
was included in Variety Critics Choice Selection: Europe Now! at Karlovy Vary Film
Here and There won total of 15 international awards in 2009, most notably Golden
Reflection Award for Best Directing at Geneva Cinema Tout Ecran, Best Director of
Foreign Film Award at Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, SONY-D award at
Skip City festival, Japan and many others. FIPRESCI Serbia – Film Critics International
Federation voted Darko Lungulov for the Best Director in 2009 in Serbia. At the
national festivals in Serbia, Here and There won many awards, most notably Best
Directing at Sofest Best Actress at Cinema City and many others.
Here and There was voted by Serbian Film Academy for the candidate from Serbia for
Foreign language film Oscar, but disqualified because of too much English language.
Voted Film of the Year 2009 and received the Oscar for Popularity Award by Serbian
It is, so far, picked up for distribution in Greece, Swiss, Hungary, USA and Germany.
Darko’s next project Monument to Michael Jackson was nominated for the Balkan
Fund script development Award at 50th International Thesaloniki Film Festival in
Papa Films
Visnjiceva 4a, 11 000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: + 38160 7205 190
Tel: + 38164 161 2313
[email protected]
[email protected]
Somewhere in inner Serbia, in the godforsaken town of
Bavaniste, people are taken by apathy and hopelessness. After
a local factory closed a few years ago, the town is sinking lower
and lower, and people feel forgotten and left to slow provincial
death as a result of a “transitional economy” and despair of
today’s Serbia. In such a place lives Marko, an optimistic
daydreamer, who no one takes seriously.Inspired by Michael
Jackson’s comeback tour, Marko gets an idea to erect a
monument to Michael Jackson, to get the media attention to his
dying town and to bust the people’s confidence. When people
hear about the idea, they ridicule him. Marko doesn’t give up. He
continuously writes to Michael Jackson and to Serbian media.
a rebellious Serbian Army pilot. Finally, the Monument is found
and brought back to Bavaniste, where both, the opponents and
the fans wait for Michael to arrive. The tension is extreme as
the police prevent the opposite sides from clashing. To that
electrifying atmosphere arrives Michael. Unexpectedly, during
his arrival, the crowd learns the news about the real Michael
Jackson’s death. Marko’s plan is uncovered. Chaos erupts. The
members of “Clean Serbia” overpower the police and attack the
monument. They try to take it down. Marko is now forced to
fight for his monument. He bravely opposes the militants and
gets wounded. His gang of outsiders jump in, and defeats the
members of “Clean Serbia”.
While Michael is silent, the tabloids all over Serbia, hungry for
sensationalistic news, publish the news about the monument.
That attracts the followers and enemies alike. A group of
colorful outsiders, consisting of; an aspiring hobbyist-sculptor
in his fifties, a Gypsy, who collects scrap metal for a living and
a Canadian documentary filmmaker, all arrive to help Marko
build his monument. On the other side the group of Serbian
right-wing militants are aggressively opposed to it. Luka and
his members of “Clean Serbia” do not want a monument to
Michael Jackson to be built in Serbia. Against all the odds, the
sculpture is done and everything is ready for the erection of the
monument. However, Dragan, the mayor of the town, suddenly
revokes the monument’s permit, under the pressure from the
right-wing groups.
The next day, a monument to Michael Jackson stands proud
amid all the debris and looting, and while the world mourns the
death of the King of Pop, Bavaniste celebrates the new hero –
Marko and his gang unwillingly sell the monument for scrap
metal in order to cut their losses. The whole undertaking
seems useless until Marko gets an unexpected answer from
Michael Jackson that he has decided to come to the unveiling.
Impressed, the mayor changes his decision and grants them the
monument building permission back. Now, the frantic search
for the monument ensues across Serbia. Along the way, some
other colourful characters gather around the monument idea,
including a German death-metal band on tour, a Serbian orthodox
priest whose daughter is obsessed with Michael Jackson and
director’s notes
"Monument to Michael Jackson" is a dark comedy inspired by
a bizarre trend happening recently in small towns of Serbia:
people building monuments to Hollywood and pop-icons
(Rocky, Tarzan, Bruce Lee…).
Marko, an optimistic daydreamer, has a simple plan: he wants
to breathe life into his dying Serbian hometown by building a
monument to Michael Jackson.
In the last 18 years Serbia has lost wars, changed its names
and borders, flags and anthems continually. The citizens are
confused as to what the official version is, who are the bad guys
and who are the good guys from the recent civil wars and also
from not-so recent civil and other wars.
The old World War II heroes of the socialist Yugoslavia are not
politically correct any more in the new Serbia. Their monuments
are being removed, but the new heroes are not yet defined by
the ever changing political climate of a “country in transition”.
So, in such a schizophrenic atmosphere of absence of
ideology, it is only logical that the new phenomena of building
monuments to “safe” lifeless heroes such as Hollywood movie
characters (Rocky, Tarzan) and forgotten one-hit wonders
of the 80’s (Amanda Fox) takes place in the bizarre world of
today’s Serbia.
Also, it’s no wonder that the people see this as their only hope
to save themselves from slow provincial death as they feel they
are left to their own resources and ideas.
"Monument to Michael Jackson" is a wholehearted, feel good,
feel sad, black comedy about the wacky world of today’s
It is one nation’s identity and ideology crisis and the peoples’
way of dealing with it.
Eric Nazarian
Written by
Eric Nazarian
Eric Nazarian
1999 Bachelor of Arts in Film Production, University of Southern California –
(USC) School of Cinema-Television (Cum Laude)
Eric Nazarian
Fresco Films
Nicholl Fellowship
Eric Nazarian was awarded the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting
by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his original screenplay
Giants. Out of 5,224 submissions, 5 fellowships were awarded.
2007 The Blue Hour, Written and Directed by Eric Nazarian
World Premiere at the 55th San Sebastian International Film Festival – nomi-
nated for the Altadis – New Director’s Award
U.S. Premiere – 10th AFFMA International Film Festival – Best Director Award
5th Golden Apricot International Film Festival:
The Ecumenical Jury Award
The Golden Apricot for Best Film in the Armenian Panorama
The Prime Minister’s Award
The Diaspora Ministry’s Special Award for Directing
25th Torino Film Festival, Torino, Italy – in-competition for the International Fea-
ture Award, nominated for the Scuola Holden Screenwriting Prize
Press acclaim:
“Eric Nazarian’s The Blue Hour is a beautiful and delicately constructed first film.”
Atom Egoyan
“The Blue Hour reps a strong calling card for debutant Eric Nazarian.”
Jonathan Holland, Variety
“Nazarian demonstrates an uncanny affinity for the language of cinema…
this is clearly another filmmaker to watch out for in the coming years… like the late
Cassavetes, Nazarian demonstrates an uncanny ability to compose the most striking
images and memorable performances on a shoestring budget.”
Torino Film Festival, 2007
Short Films
1999 Erotas, Written & Directed by Eric Nazarian, 6 min., B&W 16mm
1997 Requiem For A Bolshevik, Written & Directed by Eric Nazarian, 5 min. Super 8
1997 Hooligans, Written & Directed by Eric Nazarian, 5 min., Super 8
1997 A Quiet Passion, Written & Directed by Eric Nazarian, 5 min. Super 8
Eric Nazarian
Tel: + 1 818 3891729
[email protected]
Set in modern-day Armenia, "Music for Strangers" is a workingclass drama about Zhora, an unemployed landscape painter
from a deserted factory town who travels to the capital city of
Yerevan to sell his prize-winning paintings. He moves into a flat
next to a bridge where he encounters Anna, a deeply traumatized
woman trying to commit suicide. A relationship begins to unfold
between Zhora and Anna whose identity remains a mystery.
During their brief encounter, Zhora discovers several scars
across Anna’s body, reminders of a traumatized and violent
past. Anna finally tells Zhora the story of how she was forced
into prostitution and moved to Dubai against her will by human
traffickers who had promised her a job in the Crimea. Plagued
by demons and unable to escape the horrors of her past trauma,
Anna suddenly disappears without a trace. Zhora fears that Anna
may attempt suicide again.
director’s notes
Over twenty years after the Soviet Union’s collapse and advent
of globalism, a new generation of “invisibles” has evolved in
countries formerly under the Soviet umbrella. These “invisibles”
are men and women that once were librarians, doctors and
artists, now reduced to the toil of hard labor to survive. I wrote
"Music for Strangers" in an attempt to give voice to the everyday
struggles faced by people caught in the storm of daily survival
in modern-day Armenia.
affect the color and compositional changes in the images. The
music for the film will be a minimalist blend of piano, string
quartet and kanon.
The story centers on a brief encounter between a painter and
a deeply scarred woman, once a librarian, now reduced to a
traumatized victim of human trafficking. For a brief period, Zhora
and Anna come together during a very chaotic period in their
lives. With this film, my objective is to create a kind of cinema
that explores the spiritual lives of two modern-day Armenians
existing on the margins of a globalized world.
I believe in the power of cinema to illuminate our common
humanity unlike any other medium. A theme that is very dear
to me as a filmmaker is how unrelated people impact one
another’s lives without being aware of the consequences of
their actions. As a child of globalization, it ties directly to the
times I have been brought up in. Born in Armenia and raised
in America, I have witnessed from a distance and up close the
beautiful, timeless, tragic and resilient people and landscapes
of the Caucuses. I hope "Music for Strangers" will demonstrate
the importance of sharing our collective human heritage through
the beautiful and timeless power of cinema.
Since the story will take place during the autumn and early winter
months, I want to photograph the film mostly with natural light
to capture the autumn and wintry colors of Armenia. Visually, I
want the film to evoke a minimalism in the production design,
locations and wardrobe. The seasonal change in the story will
In "The Blue Hour", my very low-budget first feature film, there
is less than ten minutes of spoken dialogue in a 93-minute
ensemble film. This is the cinematic territory I wish to go
deeper into with Music for Strangers.
Shimon Shai
Written by
Shimon Shai & Noa Erenberg
Shimon Shai
Noa Erenberg
Gal Greenspan
Shimon Shai was born in Georgia in 1976 and grew up in Jerusalem, Israel.
He holds a B.A. degree in Business Administration of The University of East
London. Prior to his film studies, Shimon worked as a Marketing Vice President
in a construction company in Israel. Shimon completed workshops in stills
photography, screenwriting and acting.
Gal Greenspan
Green Productions
Began his studies at the Sam Spiegel Film & TV School – Jerusalem in 2003
and graduated with honors. Participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2007.
In the course of his studies he shot two short films. His first film Road Marks
(2006) won 8 international prizes and competed in more than 30 international
festivals, Venice film festival 2006 among them. Passing Shadow is his second
short film, now in distribution. Shimon is now in the process of writing his first
feature film Paradise together with a co-writer and first draft will be available
by April 2010.
Paradise, Under development by the Israeli film fund
Recently pitched in the Development Grant section at Montpellier Film Festival and won the official prize – a writing grant from CNC.
Passing Shadow (Tsel Over), 26', 16mm film, Shimon Shai & Green Productions
Participated in 5 international festivals
Still in distribution
Road Marks (Simanei Derech) 22', video, B&W, Production: The Sam Spiegel Film School
Participated in over 40 international festivals
Its awards include:
The Walgin Award For A Short Film, Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel, 2006
First Prize, Lodz International Film and TV Schools’ Festival, Poland, 2006
Best Fiction Prize, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Taiwan, 2006
Silver Tadpole Award, Camerimage Film Festival, Lodz, Poland, 2006
Best Quality Awards in the section “Human Rights”, The International Short Film Festival
Salento Finibus Terrae, San Vito dei Normanni, Italy 2007
1st Prize, The International Festival of Non-professional Film Makers “Tallinn 2003”, Tallinn, Estonia, 2007
Audience Choice Award, NYC Shorts Best of Fest, New York City Short Film Festival (NYC Shorts), USA, 2007
1st Prize, VGIK film festival, Moscow, Russia, 2007
Green Productions
34 Allenby St., Tel Aviv, 63325, Israel
Tel: + 972 35166868
Tel: + 972 50 6370670
[email protected]
[email protected]
Every day, in hidden, shady apartments in east Jerusalem, two
dice are tossed in the air in a ruthless gambling game. It is not
a social gathering; there are no beers or appetizers. There is no
need for tactics and experience. Only luck. You either win or lose;
it’s a fifty/fifty chance.
This is Alon’s secret world, and by the time we meet him he is
already deep into it and addicted.
On the outside, Alon leads a normative life and according to
commonly held standards has come a long way; he is the owner
of “Paradise”, a successful venue for large scale events and
celebrations. He has a new house, a pretty wife and two young
sons. His life sparkles on the outside. However, Alon is losing
his soul.
Alon has no emotional connection to anything in this life. The
image of his future self stares bleakly at him, and only when
the dice are in the air can he believe that something good may
happen to him.
No one knows how entangled Alon is. Heavily in debt to banks
and the grey market, Alon begins bleeding his successful
business dry. Exhausted with lies and evasions, he wishes for a
change of luck but keeps going downhill.
And then, on the brink of the abyss and with nothing left to lose,
the change comes completely at random. His luck changes only
after Alon commits a terrible crime. His values and priorities shift
and he loses the urge to gamble. For the first time in years, Alon
understands that it is within his ability to determine his future.
Alon feels he has lost control over his life. That he has run out of
luck. He no longer loves his wife, his house is filled with things he
doesn’t need and he doesn’t know the way to his sons’ hearts.
director’s notes
This is the story of Alon, a man with a secret gambling addiction
and on the verge of a breakdown.
The world Alon lives in is empty, intensely demanding and
nouvelle rich. Money is considered a top priority and dealing
with it never stops. Money alone defines the man, sheltering
him from spiritual poverty.
As part of the need to remain within the norm, Alon is locked in a
fake, loveless marriage. Gambling, in which Alon becomes more
and more involved, is the only thrill in his life. Unconsciously, it
is through gambling that Alon tries to change his luck.
today comfort and individual needs take the center stage. The
new motive is the fear of losing your comfort, and this fear
paralyses people and makes them passive.
I believe many people will identify with Alon’s pain. Although
he cannot point a finger at exactly what bothers him, he
cannot tolerate the facade his life has become. Consciously or
unconsciously, he disrupts his life beyond recognition so as to
have the opportunity to start over.
Alon cannot escape feeling that he is part of a herd, that he is
lacking any separateness. Everything enforces this feeling – the
identical rows of villas on his street, the endless duplications of
celebrations he witnesses as owner of “Paradise”, the annual
vacation in Club Med… Alon wants out.
As I aim to create total empathy with the main character, Alon
will appear in every scene and there will be no sub-plots.
Without shortcuts or any beautifications, using long scenes
and focusing on small details, I will try to create a sense of
real time.
I wish to describe Alon’s reality as he experiences it. His point
of view will always dominate the scene, and even if the logic
behind his actions may be foggy, his emotions will come across
clear and strong.
Israeli society has changed drastically in the last two decades.
In the Israel of the 21st century old conflicts develop side by
side with new ones. The inclination towards Western values
has replaced many old values. If once this was a collective,
politically minded culture that was driven by a survival instinct,
Olena Fetisova
Written by
Olena Fetisova
Olena Fetisova Olena Fetisova is a European Documentary Network and Ukrainian Filmmakers
Union Member, 2009 Ukrainian State Film Award Winner, 2009 EAVE Graduate.
Olena was born in Kiev, Ukraine to a family of filmmakers, in 1964. She graduated
from the Moscow Film School VGIK, 1987. She has been working in the film
industry without interruption since then. In 2001 she founded and headed the
Interfilm Production Studio. She wrote, directed and produced a number of
Olena Fetisova
Interfilm Production Studio
2009 – 2011
Paradjanov, feature film, 100’, developed at EAVE 2009
Not Alone at Home, documentary, 52’
Silver Knight Prize at XVIII “Golden Knight” IFF, Russia
Audience Award at XX Open DFF “Russia”
Special Diploma at 39th Kyiv IFF “Molodist”, Ukraine
Official Selection 6th “Golden Apricot” IFF, Armenia
Official Selection 5th Monterrey IFF, Mexico
Extraordinary Chernomyrdin, documentary, 44’
Official Selection 38th Kyiv IFF “Molodist”, Ukraine
There Was a Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, documentary, 30’
Grand Prix at III TV Festival “Open Ukraine”
First Prize at II IFF “Time-To-Live”, Russia
Silver Knight Prize at XV “Golden Knight” IFF, Russia
Roots, feature documentary, 52'
Official Selection 34th Kyiv IFF “Molodist”, Ukraine
If I Were a Saxophone, documentary, 52'
Official Selection MOFFOM IFF, Czech Republic, 2006
Official Selection “Mediawave” IFF, Hungary, 2005
Official Selection Parnu IFF, Estonia, 2005
Interfilm Production Studio
6/8 Citadelna str., Kyiv, 01015, Ukraine
Tel: + 380 44 553 3908
[email protected]
[email protected]
Paradjanov is set in the former USSR in 1950 – 1990 against
the background of the totalitarian Soviet regime and based upon
true events in the life of film director Sergey Paradjanov, whose
eccentricity and idiosyncrasy is comparable to the life of Salvador
Paradjanov (64) is forced to spend day and night at Moscow
airport awaiting a flight delayed by appalling weather in 1987.
Unexpectedly he meets the beautiful Svetlana, his former yet still
beloved wife. They are both allowed to travel abroad for the very
first time thanks to Gorbachev’s Perestroika. They look back at
their life, as dramatic as the scenes in Paradjanov’s films, many as
gripping as a thriller, yet there’s tragedy, comedy and even farce…
director’s notes
Returning to Kiev, Paradjanov teases the authorities, turning his
house into a club for artistic liberalism. Paradjanov cannot avoid
living the carnival that whirls inside him, often not realising just
how dangerous his games with the totalitarian regime are. He
fills the void left by Svetlana by surrounding himself with young,
beautiful people. The architect Arseny (20), the son of the Ukrainian
Communist Party leader, becomes a particularly close friend of
Paradjanov. Arseny’s father is violently against this relationship
and initiates Paradjanov’s arrest. Arseny commits suicide after
being interrogated by the KGB about Paradjanov. Using fabricated
evidence, Paradjanov is found guilty of homosexuality, trading
in antiques and inciting suicide. He is sentenced to 5 years in a
maximum security prison.
A promising young film-school graduate Paradjanov (30), is
stunned by the beauty of Svetlana (17), a diplomat's daughter he
meets in Kiev. She becomes Paradjanov’s wife against her parents’
will. Paradjanov makes his wife live in a perpetual drama. Finally
Svetlana cannot cope with the extravagant behavior of her otherwise
loved husband and leaves him just as Paradjanov starts to film “The
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”. During the shooting of the film,
Paradjanov almost fights a duel with a DOP, who is convinced that
Paradjanov’s experiments will ruin his career. Bringing international
attention to itself, the film is barely accepted by the official
authorities. Paradjanov is found guilty of Ukrainian Nationalism. As
a result he finds himself under the close scrutiny of the KGB. He is
out of work and penniless. Moreover, Paradjanov unsuccessfully is
trying to stop divorce proceedings with Svetlana.
In prison, despite being under degrading and frightening conditions,
Paradjanov begins to produce collages, drawings and dolls. Even
the Pakhan (most senior prisoner, 60) is impressed by the unusual
strength of his works of art and stops other prisoners attacking
Leaving Kiev, Paradjanov directs “Sayat Nova” in Armenia, another
work of genius. The crew suffers the unbearable behaviour of
Paradjanov on set, who is insisting on 80 takes for each scene.
Paradjanov misses Svetlana and even tries to kidnap her, hoping to
marry her again but fails. Despite everything Svetlana remains his
true friend. The film “Sayat Nova” is banned by bureaucrats for not
meeting the requirements of Socialist Realism.
At Moscow airport, before Paradjanov and Svetlana leave, maybe
for the last time, he again proposes to Svetlana but she refuses
once more. Svetlana goes to China to work as a Russian language
teacher. Paradjanov goes to the Rotterdam Film Festival. The film
ends when Paradjanov is recognized as one of the World’s Top 20
directors and celebrates the award in true “Paradjanov’s carnival”
style…at the flea market.
This happened in 1973. I could hear my parents, then working in
the film industry, whispering nervously in the kitchen: “The director
Paradjanov has been arrested. For sodomy… five years in a highsecurity prison”. I was scared. The illusion of a happy life in the
Soviet Union vanished forever before my eyes…
will make him burst onto the screen with red, orange and yellow
colours, magical lighting and outrageous costumes that reflect the
intensity of his perception.
I am deeply convinced that the story of Paradjanov’s life is well
worth filming as a drama about a free-thinking maverick genius that
couldn’t fit in with a totalitarian regime that saw him as dangerous.
The film is about inner freedom and about the borders of inner
The story-telling will be focused on Paradjanov’s controversial love
story with his wife and muse, Svetlana, which provide continuity
The visual approach to the film will use a grey background,
inexpressive and stultifying, to convey the atmosphere of the
totalitarian regime of the USSR, 1950-1990, when the thoughts,
deeds and even clothes of people were uniformly grey. Onto
this I want to project vivid and intense images, both figuratively
and literally, of the eccentric principal character, Paradjanov. This
Thanks to the relentless effort of brave Svetlana, Paradjanov’s
friends and Lui Aragon he is released 11 months early and goes to
live in Tbilisi. But he is forbidden to work in film and almost starves
to death. Only due to the pressure of internationally renowned
intellectuals, such as Marcello Mastroianni, who paid a visit to
Paradjanov, he is allowed to film “The Legend of Suram Fortress”.
Will he be able after so many years of silence to create a fresh
masterpiece? Yes, he will…
The pacing and mood of the story will be fast – sometimes dark
and moody, sometimes light and full of humour. This will immerse
the audience in the movie from start to finish even without knowing
anything at all about Paradjanov himself.
I believe the creation of a multi-facetted, complex ”carnival” image
that was Paradjanov, is a massive challenge for an actor. The actor
has to deliver an inspiring portrayal of Paradjanov's suffering, his
resolve, and his will to live a creative life.
I want to envelope the audience in the extraordinary world of
Paradjanov’s genius, which is so unlike the mundane existence of
so many of us. The visual effect of constructing Paradjanov’s works
of art from real life and vice versa will become a crucial motif of the
film and will reflect the role of art in Paradjanov’s life.
The expected visual style of the film is to be in the same vein as
“Amelie” and “Frida”.
2010 Pixel Y, short feature film, 47',
full HD, Director, Scriptwriter
2005 Curiosity, gently exfoliates
every day, short feature film, 5’,
HD, Director, Scriptwriter
DRTV Commercials
Director, commercials for direct
marketing teleshopping windows.
Alexandra Val
2009 Master’s Program in Film and Television Art
New Bulgarian University, Sofia
1993 – 1998 Master’s Degree in Bulgarian Philology
Sofia University, St. Kliment Ohridski
1988 – 1993 Mathematical High School, Geo Milev, Pleven
Training Programs
2009 MAIA Workshops: Marketing and Distribution in the
development of audiovisual project, Modra, Slovakia
The film story follows the life of a men’s black
leather jacket size 46. The Jacket has the faculty
of observing and analyzing the actions and the
thoughts of its owners. It starts the story from
the designers’ studio of an Italian artist and
homosexual, who creates its form – cut, colour,
size, seams, pockets and zippers. While creating
the Jacket, the designer imprints his own story
into it – a vulnerable dreamer, cherishing the idea
of a revolution in art. He hands over the Jacket
to the owner of a boutique for leather clothing. A
fashion art directress decides to take the Jacket
and use it in a photo session – the owner of the
Jacket become a model with luxury perfume,
long fingers and several love affairs. After the
photo session, the directress returns the jacket
to the boutique, where a rich, 50-year old lady
buys it. She decides to give it as a present to her
husband for his birthday jubilee. The husband
banker likes the Jacket and takes it with him on
a business trip to Bulgaria, where he meets his
mistress. She is an unsettled, unhappily married
Alexandra Val
Written by
Alexandra Val
Ivan Tonev
Ars Digital Studio
4B, Leonardo da Vinci St.
1124 Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel: + 359 2 846 83 61
Fax: + 359 2 846 83 62
[email protected]
[email protected]
woman, whose tears-dreams soak into the leather
of the Jacket. Having been followed by the jealous
husband of the woman, however, the lovers are
attacked and both the Jacket and the banker are
stabbed with a knife. The banker and the woman
manage to run away, while the Jacket is left in the
hands of the husband. Trying to hide the evidence
of his deeds, the latter throws the Jacket into a
garbage container. An old totter discovers the
Jacket, cleans the traces of blood and takes it
to his temporary home. The Jacket becomes an
object of desire for many of the homeless persons
familiar to the totter – two young men attack the
old man and take away the Jacket. They decide
to sell it in the nearest second-hand shop. The
owner of the second-hand shop buys the Jacket
and takes it to the dry cleaner’s. The Jacket
undergoes a number of chemical procedures.
After the Jacket has been cleaned, the owner likes
it and the idea comes across his mind that he can
take it and put it on in the evening, when the shop
is closed. The Jacket and the owner of the shop
spend several successive nights in the local bridge
club, where everybody plays poker. Depending on
the winnings and losses of the owner, the Jacket
becomes property of different players. One day,
a Russian rock musician, vocalist, comes to the
second-hand shop. He falls in love with the Jacket,
buys it and demonstrates it to his group with pride.
The musicians are getting ready for an important
concert. On the day of the performance, inspired
by the crowd of exalted fans, the vocalist takes
off his Jacket and throws it in the audience. The
Jacket gets into the hands of a teenage boy, who,
unbelieving his good luck, runs home with the
valuable object. The teenager puts the Jacket on
the wall – as a musical card of his love to the rock
legend. The Jacket stays on the wall for 10 years,
then the teenager leaves his room and his mother
puts the Jacket in a cardboard box and takes the
box to a village in the country. The parallel structure
of the action – the story of the jacket and the story
of its owners – becomes the starting point of a
dialogue between body and soul.
person singular. I would like, by the “clash” between
these two parallel stories – the first one symbolizing
the thoughts of the body (the skin), the second one
symbolizing the soul (the human destinies) – to raise
the second major theme-question: what is the human
soul? Visual accents in the course of the film are the
portrait of the Jacket, the hands of the owners and
details in the atmosphere of their social life.
appropriate – screen interaction between HD and cine
film. The rhythm of the film is again subject to the
dramatic quest – “it will tear, kill, fall in love, chase…”
– I think of the rhythm as if it is “the wings” of the
character, which land down, when needed in some
cases and soar high up, if needed in other cases.
director’s notes
“Without participation of actors’ faces, it will be a
boring film”, most of my colleagues are shocked
when I share that the main character in my film
project is a men’s black leather jacket size 46. “All
right”, I answer, “Tell me how many of the full-length
films you’ve seen are boring in spite of the abundance
of actors’ faces, and the only escape to this are the
tasty golden film popcorns?” “Well, a lot”, everybody
confesses sincerely.
I want to tell the story of a men’s black leather jacket,
which changes 10 different owners – to make a film
section of the thick social salty pancake – society. My
choice of the main character – a leather jacket – is
related to the major theme-question in the film: have
objects overwhelmed and obsessed so much the world
that we cannot see (our) faces any more? The firstperson narrator is the Jacket, which follows its own
life story – from its creation through its relations with
the social chain of characters – a model, a banker’s
wife, a mistress, a jealous husband, a totter, an owner
of a shop for second hand clothes, a dry cleaning
woman, a Russian rock musician and a teenager.
The owners of the jacket tell their stories in the first
The structure of the sequences and the colour
solutions should work for the optimum consolidation
and creation of the portrait – I think of creating 10
different visual styles – each of them will be a
visual reading of the character’s personality. The
movements of the camera match in all 10 styles the
dramatic passport of the characters. The sequences
try to find all the time beauty in the frames, which
create the feeling for philosophic depth and artistic
The esthetics I endeavour to follow, regardless of
the circumstances in the story. I think that with such
creative attitude, “the visual marriage between the
electronic and the photochemical cinema” is most
The choice of voices for the role of the Jacket and
its owners is an important dramatic instrument.
Because of the fact that the faces of the actors will not
follow their usual line of chief dramatis personae, the
choice of voices will be determining for the dramatic
unfolding of the characters. It will flow in smoothly
and will be part of the musical themes of the film.
The magic element – the faculty of the Jacket to
observe and analyze the actions of its owners – plays
a supporting role to bridge the complete fulfillment
of the body & soul dialogue. In my opinion, anyone
can be the main character – no matter if it is a jacket,
a 20-dollar bill, a red violin, or if it has the face of
an actor. More important is the story and the taste
it leaves in your mouth, which is comparable only
with the philosophical stories of Wim Wenders, for
Taming pilot for Israeli Channel 10
Body In The Sand Armchair theatre
for Israeli Cable Channel
The Last Winter, feature film,
TRI-STAR release
Freedom Fighters, feature film
Permission To Land, Sci-fi TV drama
Riki Shelach
Riki Shelach was born in Bulgaria. He lives in Israel.
Studied in New York and in Tel-Aviv. He is one of the leading
producers in the Israel. Founded the “Israeli Motion Picture
Academy” and was its chairman for the first three years. Was
elected in 1995 as the chairman of the Israeli directors’ guild
(For one year).
Lately he focuses on historical dramas
The Silence Of The Sirens
Body In The Sand
It's Now Or Never
Riki Shelach
Written by
Riki Shelach
Jacky Comforty
Riki Shelach
Riki Shelach Productions
Riki Shelach
18 Hanatziv St. Tel Aviv
67018, Israel
Tel: + 972 36243050
Tel: + 972 36243126
Fax: + 972 36243151
[email protected]
Based upon a true story. It is a love triangle
between Albert, a prominent and very arrogant
Jewish theater director, his wife, a very well
known theater actress, very pretty, also Jewish
and Victor, a young and extremely handsome
non Jewish actor. The story takes place against
the backdrop of pre 2nd World War Sofia and a
forced labor camp somewhere in Bulgaria during
the war. After a long career in the theater Albert
finds himself in a forced labor camp. The new
commander of the camp is Victor, in the past an
actor in Albert’s theater and allegedly had an affair
with Helen (He just returned from duty in Thracia
where Jews were sent on trains to extermination
camps). After the initial shock Victor and Albert
fall in each other’s arms. Victor has an idea to try
and put together the last production they worked
on before the war, Offenbach's “Lovely Helena”. In
return he expects the prisoners to make an extra
effort and finish building the road connecting the
nearby village to the camp. It’s a very surrealistic
situation yet challenging. Albert asks to bring into
the camp his wife and her sister for the women's
parts in the play. Victor agrees and with that opens
once again the triangle yet in very different and
extreme circumstances. When Albert and Victor
are out at the village looking for a generator for
the camp, Helen’s sister and her lover are shot by
accident when going close to the camp’s fence.
Helen now has to play both roles Helena and
Penelope. Victor is very much in love and does
not stop trying, at a certain point Helen gives in
and does it to protect her husband and buy him
his life in the future. The film ends in Jaffa in 1953.
Albert is no longer a theater director, his wife on
the other hand is an actress at the Israeli national
theater, and they have a ten year old son, blonde,
handsome and playing football.
All the photographs that I found in my parents
house from the time of the war, were jolly and
happy, even the ones taken in the forced labor
camps where my father is standing in the
middle of a group of fellow prisoners, all of
them are smiling and seemed cheerful.
the forced labor camps by Niko Nissimoff and
Emko Margolis (prisoners in the camp), it was
a parody based on the opera “Helena of Troy”
by Offenbach.
director’s notes
I was born in Bulgaria one month before the
end of the Second World War.
I grew up in Israel in a Jewish Bulgarian family,
we spoke Bulgarian at home.
I was brought up believing that the Bulgarian
Jews, all forty eight thousand of them, were
saved from the Nazis by the Bulgarian people
and their King.
Years later, when I started inquiring into this
extremely interesting piece of history I was
introduced by producer Jacky Comforty to an
actual manuscript of a play written in one of
The prisoners produced it and even played it
several times.
From this moment on, it was only a matter of
time when this incredible story was going to
become a film.
Director and script-writer of numerous
TV shows, music videos, TV commercials and documentaries.
Ivo Liudmilov Staikov
National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts – Krastyo Sarafov.
Specialization in Film and TV Directing – 2000-2001
Sofia University St.Kliment Ohridsky
Management – M.A. 1991-1996
Jigsaw Puzzle is a fine story about love, failures in
life to meet the other and our ability to rewrite our
destiny. Nick is a graduate with serious prospects
ahead. Irene is an incredibly beautiful woman from
a small town, married, with a child. Her husband
has become an influential businessman connected
with the criminal world. A European country, 2010
Nick lives with his wife, Diddy, and his son, Vassil.
Bulgaria, near Sofia, 2010, Night on a remote
highway. A beautiful woman, just past the forties
turns sharply the steering wheel. The car turns upside
down… Her attempt at suicide fails. At the hospital,
Dr.Zarrev is an old, noble man. The charismatic
Irene has won his sympathy. Why has this woman
attempted suicide? Bulgaria, the seaside, 1996 Irene
is at the seaside with her daughter, Nick – with his
companions. They meet. The young man has kept in
his soul the romance, idealism and courage to fight
for his dreams – all she has longed for but hasn’t
got in her life. Bulgaria. Sofia After Irene’s husband
(Victor) has physically abused her, Irene decides
to change her life. She leaves the small town and
moves to Sofia. Nick loves her and is ready to devote
himself to Irene and her child. Bulgaria. Sofia, 199697 Irene’s husband finds out about her relationship
with Nick, takes the child with him and demands that
she puts an end to it. If she doesn’t – he won’t let her
see their daughter again and Nick will be beaten to
death. Irene knows that her husband is serious and
there is a real threat; she won’t be able to rely on
Ivo Liudmilov Staikov
Written by
Ivo Liudmilov Staikov
Alexander Peytchev
MVM International
32, Zlatovruh St., 1164 Sofia
Tel: + 359 88 919 9737
Tel: + 359 2 962 1393
judicial protection, for the corruption in the country
has fully subdued the institutions. Not to loose her
child and to save Nick, Irene parts with Nick, who
is deeply shattered by the unexpected end of their
relationship and leaves for a European country, where
he has won a scholarship for a Masters Degree.
Bulgaria. Lovech, 2000 Irene is already divorced and
has won the lawsuit for guardianship of her daughter
at first instance. Victor’s lawyers assure him they
have “guaranteed” the success of the case at the next
instance. Because of feelings still left in him or little
nobleness Victor abandons his appeal. Irene’s love
for Nick hasn’t faded away. She tries to contact him,
but learns from his parents that he lives abroad and
has a family. Bulgaria, Plovdiv, 2005 Nick with his
family and relatives celebrate the baptizing of his son
in a restaurant. Unexpectedly he sees Irene. Deeply
moved, he manages to speak privately with her. Their
love is still alive, but Irene doesn’t want to destroy his
family. Irene has seen his little child – Nick is not ready
to leave his family. They separate. Bulgaria, Sofia,
2010 The hospital. Through his conversations with
Irene, Dr.Zarrev gets to understand the circumstances
that led her to attempt suicide. The final push came
from her finding out she has leukemia. To help Irene
overcome all this the doctor uses the strongest of all
curing means – human spirit. A European country,
2010 Meanwhile Nick leaves his wife, Diddy. To
understand him most precisely I will cite his words
to his son, just a little before the partition: “People
are like parts of a very big “Jigsaw puzzle”, very big!
But the rules are still the same – one part can only
match the other correspondent part. Sometimes
you think, you can connect two similar, two, which
seem to be alike … And you almost succeed. But
almost. You never manage to see the whole picture.”
A European country, Bulgaria, 2010 Plovdiv. Sofia.
Nick looks for Irene. Their love has always been
alive. Through her daughter he learns the truth about
her illness. Irene is discharged from hospital. A man
in his forties waits for her in front of the hospital. This
is Nick. He has come to meet her and to live the life
that didn’t happen. Can they overcome the toughest
hurdle, standing in front of them – the terminal illness
and death? Can love be stronger? The answer is
Dr.Zarrev’s words said as if to himself while watching
Nick meeting with Irene: “Time is the most relative
quantity... Maybe for the time left they will experience
what I haven’t in my entire life”. Nick takes Irene to a
beautiful small house at a lovely lake in the Rhodopi
Mountains. Bulgaria, Rhodopi Mountains, 2020 10
years have passed. Nick lives in solitude. The illness
has taken away Irene. His son has come to see him.
The boy wonders how his father can live in solitude
for so many years. But is Nick really alone? Doesn’t
love create images invisible for the people around
correspondent part. Sometimes you think, you can
connect two similar, two, which seem to be alike
… And you almost succeed. But almost. You never
manage to see the whole picture.” And is there any
sense of an unfinished picture? The two halves of
my “Jigsaw puzzle” have met. But the labyrinth of
life makes them make the most difficult choices. Our
characters part, and meet again and again under the
hardest circumstances. Can destiny be rewritten?
Can we overcome the most frightening and most
inexorable obstacle – death? Maybe, if we find inside
of us the strength to resist the routine and listen
tentatively to our within, to our soul. In the film I will
be looking for authenticity and depth of characters.
Real life situations in the story would make actors’
performance more believable. The story is built up on
half-tones. This is the reason for me to put a special
accent on the presence of the actors. The close
up plan and the detail will determine the situations.
Together with the DOP we will seek poetry as well as
dynamism – picturesque locations, extensive use of
camera movement. Another component of greatest
importance is the score – intimate, powerful and
impressive themes. In editing I will seek moderate
dynamics, aiming at not only the complete realization
of the dramaturgy but also at maintaining spectator’s
attention. As to the others aspects of the film –
costumes, dressing, spaces – I will seek authenticity
and beautiful texture.
director’s notes
The dramaturgy of this film is close to everyone,
because it considers love, nobleness, the choice, the
compromises, the balance between responsibilities
– all parts of our life. The themes are presented
in a light and delicate way, with humor and good
spirits, but not saving the truth and the earnestness
of the different problems. The story is subdued to
the idea that somewhere, every one of us has his
other half. It is the person with whom you can
experience harmony and who can make you feel
the fire of love. But most often our life passes
compromisingly… The exact definition of the leading
theme is represented by the words of the main hero,
Nick, to his nine-year-old son: “People are like parts
of a very big “Jigsaw puzzle”, very big! But the rules
are still the same – one part can only match the other
1994 The Demolition, short fiction,
presented in the Munich film
festival '94.
1995 The Transfer, 40', documentary
1998 Falafel – Bulgarian Cheese,
45', a personal documentary
2000Heepvention, 180', documentary
2002 Play it Again, Moshe, 50',
Kiril Stankov
Kiril Stankov was born in 1969, in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has a BFA
from the Department of Film and Television, University of Tel Aviv,
Israel. Between 1998 and 2000, he was the co-owner and creative
director of Pepper Production Ltd. (Israel) – a production and postproduction film company, involved in the creation and release of
several documentary and educational movies. Since 2003, he has
lived and worked in Bulgaria and Canada.
Filmography online:
Kiril Stankov
Written by
Kiril Stankov
Galina Toneva
Gala Film
1b, Strumitza St.
ap.11, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 981 42 09
Mobile: + 359 888 451 632
Fax: + 359 2 981 29 71
[email protected]
Dana returns from a long stay abroad, meets her old
friend Dju and spends the night at her place. In the
next morning they decide to leave for the seaside.
Upon arriving they discover their favourite wild places
being transformed into huge hotel complexes. They
head to Krapets, a northernmost village up the Black
Sea Coast, very close to the Romanian border. They
meet Dju’s friend Lilly at a petrol station, and Dju
convinces her to join them. On the beach the women
find the peace they have been looking for. Dana tells
them that she finally finished her novel and hopes to
publish it in Bulgaria. But the local policeman, Ivan,
spots their camp and tells them that they should
hide somewhere – sleeping outdoors is forbidden in
the area. The next morning they move to the caves
on the rocky seacoast. They stop at a hot spring,
where the local “mafiosi” – “The Seal” and Marin
– take pictures of them bathing nude and begin to
harass them. Dana hits their car with a stone and the
women manage to escape from the angry men. In the
evening the women visit the local pub, whose owner
appears to be Milko – an old friend who once had
romantic relations with both Dana and Dju. “The Seal”
and Marin also arrive and insult the women. Milko
manages to calm things down and avoid a fracas.
Dju gets drunk in a drinking game, while Dana plays
chess against Milko and his father. Later, Dana and
Dju start arguing, insulting and thumping each other.
Dana escapes to a watchtower, while Lilly helps Dju
to the camp and then joins Dana and admits that she
and Dju met at a rehab centre, years ago. Dana feels
guilty for being harsh with her friend and arrives at
the camp just in time to pull drunken Dju from the
stormy sea. Finally all three make things up and
spend the night in the cave. The next night is July
Morning – with its custom of waiting for the sunrise
at the seaside. During the party, the women hear
gunshots coming from the shore. Milko and Ivan who
are visiting claim that this is coastguard training. But
at sunrise, the women discover Natasha – a Ukrainian
– has been shot in the shoulder in the inlet below their
campsite. The previous night, having being brought
to Bulgaria in a small boat, she had run away from
white slave traffickers who turn out to be “The Seal”
and Marin. The women’s attempt to seek help form
the locals and from the policeman Ivan is futile. The
traffickers ambush Lilly while she drives Natasha to
the near hospital, beat and threaten her. They kidnap
Natasha. The women’s camp is destroyed. Dana’s
novel is lost, thrown into the sea. During the night, the
three women manage to seize the traffickers in their
own villa. Both men refuse to tell them where Natasha
is. Their desire for revenge is total – the anger and
disappointment amassed during all these years is let
loose, taking the form of most brutal violence. The
women start demolishing everything they can in the
villa and, finally, they set the furniture on fire. Terrified,
Marin admits that Natasha is locked in the back of the
SUV. The four women take the SUV and drive away
from the house. In the background, fire breaks out
from the villa’s windows. In the dark they quickly
get lost and, instead driving to Varna, they find
themselves approaching the Romanian border. While
manoeuvring to turn back, they see the lights and hear
the horns of police cars approaching. They have no
choice but to cross the border. Already in Romania, a
traffic policeman stops them for speeding, but he lets
them go after they bribe him with a couple of beers.
country. The story, partly based on real people
and events, is about three lonely women trying
to escape from arrogance and triteness for the
summer. They also try to escape from their own
problems and worries for a few weeks. But the
idyll is very soon destroyed. Crime, violence,
corruption reach out to the three women even
in this faraway, deserted place. When they need
help, the people whom they trust, cowardly
betray them. Unlike most people, they decide
not to give up. Each of them has nothing to
lose, and for the last time, they want to fight for
their own personal freedom and dignity. Today,
these persons would be classified as outsiders,
losers – people who cannot obey the rules and
who just “play the game”. But in every person,
no matter how weak and desperate he may be,
there is always a place reserved for some pride
and freedom. My intention is to try to make the
movie as realistic as possible and aesthetically
appealing. The beauty of the location where the
main events unfold will contrast with the evil
the three women face. I rely on the fact that the
actors will be very familiar with the situation
and the feelings of the characters – as all of us
need to cope nowadays with similar situations,
even if not so acute. Many people in Eastern
European ex-communist countries experience
the humiliation, the absurd, and the corruption
of the New Era – a time that was supposed to
bring more freedom, higher moral values and
a better society. This is not a pessimistic film.
There is fun and laugher; good things happen,
and sincere friendship and a young spirit are
revived. And Good wins, at least for a while.
director’s notes
The idea for the script came to me after a few
months I spent in Bulgaria, following a long
stay abroad. Being away from my homeland for
more than a decade, I discovered a completely
changed culture and set of values. Many people
from my generation cannot find their place in
this new society – a society where the highest
value is making money, and where the artificial
breasts of Barbie-like pop-folk singers are
considered beautiful. The years after the fall
of the communist regime brought violence,
profanity, corruption and lost hopes. Many
tried to find a better place, leaving for abroad,
but not many found what they were looking
for. Some returned to Bulgaria, hoping to once
again find their friends and peace of mind,
only to discover that during the years spent
abroad, they had become strangers in their own
Ognjen Isailovic was born in Gornji Milanovac, Serbia in 1988. During the revolution, he was playing
in front of his house.
Dane Komljen was born in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1986. During the revolution he
was unsuccessfully trying to play basketball.
Ognjen Glavonic was born in Pancevo, Serbia in 1985. During the revolution, he was rehearsing
with his band.
Damir Romanov was born in Pancevo in 1984. During the revolution, he was riding his bicycle.
Senka Domanovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1982. During the revolution she was almost
arrested in Budapest (final high-school excursion) while she was writing graffities on the streets.
Milica Tomovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1986. During the revolution, she was watching TV.
Ivan Pecikoza was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1983. During the revolution, he was protesting in
front of the parliament.
Ognjen Isailovic, Dane
Komljen, Damir Romanov,
Senka Domanovic, Ognjen
Glavonic, Milica Tomovic &
Ivan Pecikoza
Faculty of Dramatic Arts,
Belgrade, Serbia
Slobodan Sijan,
Stefan Arsenijevic
Stefan Arsenijevic
Faculty of Dramatic Arts
Bulevar umetnosti 20
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Mobile: +381 64 20 50 818
[email protected]
They are students of the final year of Film and TV directing on the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in
Democratic revolution in Serbia happened on
October the 5th 2000. 10 years later, seven
young Serbian directors are preparing feature
omnibus OCTOBER, asking questions: how much
the present reflects the promises brought by
the revolution? Have changes really happened?
Are the hopes of more free and more just world
fulfilled? In what kind of a society are we living
today? This film brings fresh views of seven young
directors who were teenagers when Milosevic
was overthrown. In a personal and emotional way
they present the complex image of contemporary
Serbia, an ambivalent society carrying the weight
of transition between the old system and the new
one that hasn’t been established yet, between
dictatorship and European Union, wars and
reconcillation, conservativism and openness.
In the story Birthday, a wealthy family is celebrating
their daughter’s 7th birthday. From a specific
perspective of her playing with the doll, we
discover well-kept and disturbing family secrets.
The outlaw’s lullaby is a poetic story of a woman
who, after several years of living in Canada and a
nervous breakdown, returns to Belgrade hoping to
find peace and safety. Instead of calmness, she
starts feeling the presence of her dead brother
who killed himself ten years ago.
Urban melodrama Cinderella follows a rendezvous of an odd couple on the background of the
10th anniversary celebration of the democratic
revolution. How can you make a much younger
woman happy, if you are a writer with no money
at all?
In the black comedy Tales from the Grave, the
inspection orders a 10-year old girl and her father,
a grave-digger, to move from their home – a log
cabin placed at the edge of a cemetery. The girl is
forced to find a new home with the help of dead
criminals from Milosevic's time that only she can
see. In the segment Lilith, a young woman wakes
up in an unknown place, in bed between two guys.
Upon returning to her own appartment, she has
an intimate chat on 'skype' with her boyfirend who
has emigrated abroad.
In the drama Graduation, a young man celebrates
the end of his archeology studies. The celebration
brings up a strong feeling of being torn between
failed loves, friendships and already arranged
employment in his father’s firm that has nothing
to do with archeology. After being left alone, he
burns his just acquired diploma.
In the social satire Strike! workers from the
bankrupt social company are on a hunger strike.
After several weeks of hunger they go crazy and
turn into zombies. They find their victims among
drunk and drugged young people who are leaving
clubs early in the morning. Mother, a zombiestriker, recognizes her own daughter in a potential
director’s notes
Through seven intimate stories, OCTOBER is the
generational statement about Serbia nowadays
shown in different ways and genres – from black
comedy to melodrama, from poetic portrait to
socially engaged horror. Those different views on
life in transition are making a unique mosaic. The
motif that links the stories is the 10th anniversary of
the democratic revolution. Every film is happening
on the day of celebration, October the 5th, and
every film is reffering to it in different ways and
levels. We want our films to be low-budget, filmed
with digital technology and small mobile crews,
whose members are of our generation. That will
allow us to approach reality directly, in all its
aspects and layers. We hope this will be an honest
and exciting look into the world we are living in.
We talk about the things that we are interested in,
in the manner that is interesting to us. Revolution
eats its own children, but we are hard to digest.
Peter Oda
Director/writer/producer, is the founder of the production company Odavision and has produced
several films from 2003 to 2010.
Presently, he is writing, producing and directing the following films:
The Pursuer of Sounds, feature film, supported by the Bulgarian National Film Centre (BNFC),
Chasing the Wind, documentary, supported by the BNFC, 2010, in co-production with Ada Films;
the feature film Das Calderon Imperium, after Lea Cohen’s novel of the same name (ZSOLNAY,
The following is a partial list of the films directed and produced by Peter Oda:
Hotel Bulgaria, drama series, Nova TV, Special Prize winner at the Golden Chest ITVFF,
The Movie Buff at the Turn of the Century, documentary, Special Prize winner at the 2005
Golden Rhyton FNFF, Plovdiv and winner in the Best International Documentary category at the
2007 New York Independent Film Festival
Peter Oda
Written by
Peter Oda
Peter Oda
24, Graf Ignatiev Str.,
Sofia 1000, Bulgaria
Tel: + 359 2 989 7089
+ 1 561 716 8494
+ 49 151 578 75982
Fax: + 359 2 986 4006
Mobile: + 359 887 627214
[email protected]
A Kiss for Good Night, short film, selected in many international film festivals and won several
Fouette, short film, selected in many international film festivals and won several awards.
During the Prague Spring, 1968, Grey, an officer
of Bulgarian State Security, is assigned the
task of keeping several young musicians under
observation – the jazz pianist Sancho, the Czech
jazz singer Mirka, the violinist Julia, the opera
singer Pavlina, the violinist Vladi and the orchestra
conductor Shumov who attempt to flee to the
West in order to escape the stifling atmosphere
created in Bulgaria by the communist regime.
The game of cat and mouse they are playing with
Grey is no obstacle for Pavlina and Vladi, now
lovers, to prepare their escape to Vienna, which
is to happen when they go to the West to take
part in a chamber music festival. The impulsive
and reckless Sancho and Mirka have chosen a
more direct route – to use diving suits and swim
underwater across the border. The conductor
Shumov resorts to a more intricate and scheming
plan: he becomes an informer for the secret police
and tries to outwit his masters from State security,
going abroad with the gifted violinist Yulia, whom
he plans to use as an alibi. When Gray learns that
Sancho is preparing to defect together with his
girlfriend Mirka, he attempts to warn Sancho that
the plan has come to the knowledge of the secret
police, but he fails to alert them in time and the
two young people are killed at the border. Grey
vents his rage on the murderous border guards,
thereby arousing mistrust in his superiors. As
part of a mission he is carrying out, he decides
to prevent the escape of the conductor Shumov,
who informed against Pavlina and is thus morally
responsible for her destiny, and who has also
unscrupulously involved Yulia in his schemes.
Grey stops Shumov at the airport in Vienna and
returns the humiliated conductor to Bulgaria
while at the same time helping Yulia go through
with her escape; with this, his angered superiors
completely lose faith in him. He is arrested and,
though later released, is dismissed from the
secret service. A few months later, following a
similar escape plan as that of Sancho and Mirka,
Grey swims in a diving suit across the Bulgarian
border into Turkey.
society in which a person capable of independent
thinking must choose between the lie and a
pseudo-life; if he rejects both, then he embarks
on a road of risks to liberty and life. A story that
proves beyond a doubt that life is a never-ending
game played between the good and the bad, and
that scoundrels can be found on both sides.
director’s notes
The film focuses on the idea whether it is worth it
to be a slave to ideology and the risks one takes
when crossing the ethical line. Gray stands up to
a society eaten through to the core by ideology; a
In development:
2009 Pepe The Invincible (1st draft
of script and treatment available)
Petrinel Gochev
Petrinel Gochev was born in 1968. He graduated in Theatre Directing
from the NATFA, Kr. Sarafov, Bulgaria in 1999. From 1996 to 2005,
Petrinel Gochev worked as theatre director in leading theatres in
Sofia and the country. From 2000 to 2001, he was the General
Manager of the Nikola Vaptsarov Drama Theatre in Blagoevgrad.
In 1998, Petrinel Gochev won the Best Performance Award at the
Festival of Bulgarian Drama and was nominated for the Best Director
Award of the Union of Bulgarian Artists for the play, “Epic Times”. In
2001, he was nominated for the Askeer National Theatre Award for
the stage design of “Play No. 27”. As a painter and sculptor, Petrinel
Gochev has had over 30 national and international exhibitions. “Pepe
The Invincible” is his debut project in cinema.
Petrinel Gochev
Written by
Gergana Zmijcharova
Margarita Radeva
GIS Design
Gis Design
Hipodrouma, 142, Entr. A
Sofia 1612, Bulgaria
Tel: + 359 2 859 24 58
Mobile: + 359 887 21 50 31
[email protected]
When Pepy’s father suddenly dies, the boy’s mother
does everything she can in order to protect him from
the cruel reality. Sent to his Grandpa’s house, in a village
by the sea, Pepy meets his first true friend, Phillip. Their
days pass in fantasies of daring sea battles in which
Pepy’s father – the brave captain of a beautiful ship – is
always the hero. One day, a childish quarrel between the
two boys turns into a real “battlefield” and Phillip reveals
the truth that everyone has been avoiding for so long:
Pepy’s father is never coming back.
up for Death. THE NEW REALITY: Pepy’s mother
has decided to protect him from the terrible truth
by sending him to his Grandpa’s. Both Pepy and
Grandfather do not agree, but succumb to the
decision. The paradox in every child’s mind is
that they can both believe the unthinkable and be
“relentless” realists. I do indeed consider them to
be a separate species of human beings, capable of
mutually exclusive movements of body and soul.
Children are incredibly clever creatures and have
the amazing talent to always invent new worlds. In
the small seaside village, Pepy meets five-year-old
Philip. Fascinated, Philip believes his new friend’s
every word: Pepy’s father is the Captain of a pirate
ship! The little boy never questions this. The daily
games fuel the illusion. The sudden appearance of a
brigantine also supports the words of the “Captain’s
son”. The ship is crowded with pirates and is as
realistic... as in the movies. THE TRUTH: One day,
while the boys are playing in an old boat, Pepy
produces the Stolen Ship. The reality of the game
is transformed into actual reality: the make-belief
boarding resembles a real battleship approaching;
the souvenir looms “real”; the boy’s hand becomes
the hand of a giant. Pepy is now Pepe the Invincible.
Powerful angles, low POV’s, echoes of the sounds
typical of life on board – the child’s reality comes
to life. Philip cannot tolerate such a discrepancy. He
violently destroys the make-belief world. He blurts
out what he has been hiding: “Your father is dead!”
Pepy hits Philip with a rock. The friendship between
the two boys seems to be over, but that is not what
is irreversible in the situation. The truth is finally
out. Grandpa confirms. THE ADULT CHARACTERS:
The main adult characters in the story are the type
of people who voice a brief but powerful message
and make a deep impression, which could change
the rhythm and goals of one’s life. Pepy’s Grandpa
and Philip’s parents are not typical fishermen. They
are people who have escaped their native world
to invade another, determined to be the ones who
make their own choices. These are people who
insist that life feels like salt on a wound, and is not
a predefined and orderly existence. THE BUNCH:
Somewhere between adolescence and childhood
are the village kids from the Bunch. These are the
precocious kids who dream of nothing but being
adults. The encounter between the Bunch and Pepy
and Philip results in a conflict of “childhoods”. The
village kids’ aggression to Pepy and Philip only
gives their days an additional taste of importance
and adventure. THE GENRE: If you look closely into
the story, it is full of humour and lightness, despite
the fact the starting point is a tragedy. This is the
cause we are to defend: children are able to accept
any truth and fit it into their world. Lies are what
destroy a child’s curiosity and interest in life, not
truth. Hopefully, our film will get deeper into the
children’s world, take a closer look into it; and
find its inner roots of inspiration, thirst for life and
creativity. Neither sweetened, nor overly heavy, the
action should easily glide between the dramatic
and the merry – as it is in the children’s world. The
film should be shot as if looking through a child’s
eyes – with meticulous attention to detail, brief and
simple language, easy transitions between play and
reality. One of the important tasks of our film is to
remind adults about the various viewpoints on life. I
see my future work on this film as an opportunity to
fuse into a new form theatre and fine arts, where I
have been working for the last 19 years. I do believe
our curiosity about this new means of expression
will contribute to the creation a film with a clear,
powerful plot and a strong artistic message. One
day my younger daughter told me that she had
finally realized that the Earth really was round: “And
the clouds do not fly away, because we are in a
sort of a round bottle – that’s Earth – and we walk
on the inside walls of that bottle,” she explained. I
was amazed by her desire to discover the world. On
her own! Conversations with grown-ups only come
later. Because every child has something to say.
director’s notes
“I don’t want to die!” – my elder daughter said
sobbing one evening. She was inconsolable, deep
into grief and desperation. She had, for the first time,
become aware of death. THE SUBJECT: Children
discover a lot of things on their own. There are
things, however, which demand the help of grownups. It takes courage and trust to be able to stand
before a little person and explain the world, with
its joys, tragedies, and its brutal apathy for human
happiness or unhappiness. And you should not
differentiate between important and unimportant
facts. Platitudes are unacceptable if we are to
talk to a child about real life. This is the subject
of the story – Truth as a line of defence that has
to be seized; the long journey of a little boy to the
hidden truth, which is in fact a journey to maturity.
THE BACKGROUND: Our story sets off with the
juxtaposition of the big crowded city and the quiet
small seaside village. This type of location has
been selected for a reason – the main characters
in our story are all strangers to the ordinary
world. THE FUNERAL: Chaos. Little pieces of life
brought together. Short shots in quick succession,
monochromatic, almost graphic perception. Terse
dialogues, hanging phrases, mournful whispers
and sobs. A small world collapses because of the
sudden death of a young man. By contrast, a boy
wakes up having no idea he has lost his father.
Wonderful things are in stall for him: the schoolbag
for his first day at school, chocolate, guests. He
even manages to sneak out with the neighbour’s
souvenir ship. He doesn’t even suspect that he has
been left unpunished out of pity. And the ship itself
is amazing: the deck still seems wet from the mop
of the cabin boy, we could hear the shouts of sailors,
the ringing of the ship’s bell, chains clanging and
feet stomping. Everything about it seems real, even
to us, viewers, so far away from it all! After the theft
has been committed, the camera will be merely
showing us a seemingly tranquil day. No threat of
any kind: the adults manage to successfully cover
Stanislav Evstatiev
Born in 1972. During his teenage years he created concepts, graphics and animation for the first Bulgarian Quest
Game – Hovering Castle, and also graphics and logics for the first High-Res SVGA shooter – CROSSFIRE. In
1991 he founded Dimension Design Animation Group (www.ddag.org) a computer graphics company for TV
spots and presentations. DDAG made the first 3D animated TV spots for Bulgarian National Television. Then, in
need of more elaborate tools, the focus shifted to R&D with the most noticeable achievement being the world’s
first commercially available Hair & Fur system – FUR & Shag: HAIR for 3D Studio MAX. Along with the research
some commercials were done for local distributors and representative of Nivea, Toshiba, Delongi, Pomber, 2be,
TIM, MSAT. From 2001 to 2004 Evstatiev founded and became lead graphic, concept and manager in Garga
Games – a Pocket PC oriented Game company that got several Best of... awards. In 2004 he founded the
company Zoom Design – a creative design studio focused on advertising and production. Since 2006 he works
mainly in the areas of advertising, visualization and animation for music videos, one of which – White Dog for
Nedy John Cross was selected for Annecy 2008.
Svilen Dimitrov
Born in 1980. He started drawing at the age of 5 and completed his first animated short at 11. In 1998 his obsession
with the moving image led him to the Bulgarian National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts. He studied Direction
of Animated Films and soon became known for his off beat short films, influenced by directors as diverse as Tim
Burton, Walt Disney Pictures and David Lynch. In 2004 Dimitrov created several minutes of animation for the Oscarnominated documentary Super Size Me. He also directed many commercials for clients like Nestle, Bulgarian
Telecom Company, M-Tel and many others. Svilen's graduation film, The Air Ace (2007) was selected for the
Berlinale Generation section in 2008. It was screened at many festivals around the world and became a critical
darling, garnering eleven awards. This touching short tells the story of a lovable frog that fell in love with flying.
Stanislav Evstatiev &
Svilen Dimitrov
Written by
Stanislav Evstatiev &
Angelina Ilieva
Based on the book by
Angelina Ilieva
Georgi Dimitrov
40 Evlogi Georgiev blvd.
Sofia 1124, Bulgaria
Tel: + 359 2 943 4904
Fax: + 359 2 944 7268
[email protected]
An opening sequence tells us the story of the world: at
first the earth was dark and covered in ice. The eternal
Spirit lived in the fire, in the water, in the stones, and
in the dragons (Vereni). Then the Sun rose and life as
we know it emerged from the water. The Sun melted
the ice and would have burned the earth if it wasn’t
for the dragons who flew up in the sky and have been
protecting the earth ever since. Many centuries after the
sacrifice of the Vereni, two boys – Dukadin and Sekoul,
are growing up in a monastery run by their foster mother
Abbess Elisaveta. Dukadin has a special gift to charm
animals with his songs. Sekoul is a dragon, but living
among people has made him look half human. The two
boys are always playing pranks and getting into trouble.
One day they enter a cave where they find an altar with
a stone lying on it. Sekoul takes the stone and the little
Vereni – Ay-ya comes out of it. Dukadin’s singing wakes
up the ancient stones that sleep there and the whole
cave starts falling apart. Elisaveta and sebastocrator
Momchil – Dukadin’s father who is also a werewolf, feel
the earthquake and realize what has happened: Dukadin
has opened one of the Gates to the Netherworld and
Sekul has taken Ay-ya, the guardian goddess. Now
Ravens are invading the earth. They are creatures from
another dimension who will destroy the world. Momchil
summons the four Guards of the Gate – four glorious
and formidable knights who ride flying creatures called
Imenshegors. They have to bring Ay-ya back and fight
the ravens. The two boys are hiding from the ravens in
a cave. Dukadin has a vision about their nature. He tells
his friend that he has to return Ay-ya. The Guard Red
Iliya finds the boys and saves them from the ravens.
Sekoul refuses to hand Ay-ya over and they run away.
Iliya catches only Dukadin and takes him to Momchil
and Elisaveta. There he receives his task to lure back
the ravens with his magic song and bring them back to
the Gate. Ay-ya grows up and turns into an enormous
she-dragon. She is thirsty for ‘clean’ water, the kind that
existed on earth before life was born in it. She drinks up
whole rivers, but that doesn’t satisfy her thirst. Dukadin
sings. He proves that heavenly fire burns in his soul
and he succeeds in luring the ravens who withdraw in
a crucial moment from a fierce battle with the Guards.
Now the four knights can go after Ay-ya. They exhaust
her in battle, while Dukadin is leading the ravens back
to the cave. Ay-ya turns small again. Sekoul is trying
to protect her, but Elisaveta comes and persuades him
to bring her back, because she can’t live in our world.
Back at the cave, Sekoul returns Ay-ya and saves
Dukadin who narrowly escapes from the Netherworld
after having taken the ravens there. The Gate is closed
now, but Sekoul remembers well what he has heard:
there are other Gates and he is eager to find what they
hide and where they lead…
accessible point of view. The main concept in the film
is about taking responsibility for one’s actions. We’d
like to show both the very young and the adults that any
action or inaction holds consequences and everyone
is responsible for one’s decisions and the actions one
takes. Along with this central idea, the film features a
story about water and its importance to life on the globe
and we want, through different metaphors and funny
plots to make the audiences think about it. Our task as
directors is to make an entertaining film, which has to
be very simple in terms of its means of expression: no
technical tricks for the sake of the tricks, no gratuitous
shots. But then again, we are willing to make a modern
and worthy product. For this purpose, we want to make
a 3D animation film, which could be slated for shows at
ever more popular stereoscopic 3D and IMAX theatres.
In this way, we shall avail ourselves of a wider choice of
means of expression to represent in details a new fairy
world without long explanations or unnecessary shots.
We resort to the illustrative approach to narration as
we believe in the artistic qualities of the text and we
would like to stick close to its fairy style. We have
opted for the 3D environment due to the rich set of
expressions and the ability to create a more intense
and perceptible fairy reality. We, however, shall use the
traditional animation methods, rather than mechanically
replicated movements in order to preserve the depth
and expressivity of the characters. For this purpose, we
shall use classical animators along with experts in the
field of computer-generated imagery. We are working
in close cooperation with breakthrough developers in
this field and it is our intention to present a product
based on the most recent, not yet generally accessible
animation developments and technology.
director’s notes
We want to make a film that will appeal to a broad
spectrum of viewers. Our target group are kids aged
between 10 and 16. This is also the age group closest
to the main characters and the identification will be
natural for them. Nevertheless, we intend to make the
film appealing to both younger and older audiences,
without focusing on the problems of this particular age
group, but rather, considering universal concepts and
rendering the story interesting and funny. True to this
idea, we plan to make the vision suitable enough for
children by the simplicity and purity of the characters and
the environment. We are going to retell a modern fairy
tale: modern not because it takes place in the present
day, but because its writer, Johan Vladimir (Angelina
Ilieva) is our contemporary. It is a story of a fairy world,
built on Bulgarian mythology and history, but the story
is conveyed from a new, modern and more generally
2007 Say Hello to Daddy, 90',
Bulgaria – actor and director
Nikolai Iliev
Date of birth: 10.10.1981
Place of Birth: Sofia, Bulgaria
Euro Dialogue Productions
13, Hristo Stanchev St.
Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel: + 359 887 474225,
Tel: + 359 888 663085
[email protected]
Two brothers – Khalin and Stephen (Stephi). Khalin
is an unemployed actor forced to earn his living
by working as a teacher of Bulgarian language to
foreigners. He and his friend – the producer (Deyan)
have written a screenplay for a movie. It’s been more
than a year since the expected grant for the film. Khalin
lives with his brother Stephi, who is gay and performs
as a dancer and singer in a transvestite show in a gay
bar. One day Stephi undergoes a serious accident
and is in a comatose state. At the same time Khalin
and Deyan receive the movie grant from a mysterious
businessman (Beloff). However, he lays down a
condition – his wife (Evita), a pop-folk singer must
play the leading part. It is clear for Khalin and Deyan
at the very first sight of her that she is totally unfitting
for a reincarnation into a dramatic character, but
there is no other option left for them, except to agree.
Immediately after that we move to the hospital, where
Stephi wakes up from the coma. It appears, however
that he is in complete amnesia and does not recall
any part of his former life. Another problem as well –
the physician tells Khalin, that his brother is in a very
Nikolai Iliev
Written by
Nikolai Iliev
Boiko Iliev
Euro Dialogue Productions
unstable state and should not be exposed to stress.
Otherwise he may slip into a coma again. Stephi has
awakened as a normal man – meaning that Khalin
has to lie to him that his former life has been just like
that of a heterosexual man. The task does not appear
easy at all. First, Khalin has to alter Stephi’s room
thoroughly, because it is painted in pink and covered
with posters of naked men; then he has to hide all the
wigs, dresses and belongings that are reminiscent of
his previous life. He has to keep Stephi away from all
his gay friends (Jean, Patsy and Mirko) who wish to
see him and most of all from his ex-partner (Drago),
who is particularly insistent. In the very beginning,
despite all obstacles things flow normally and Khalin
succeeds in hiding his brother’s past. Stephi even
gets into a mild flirtation with the nurse (Emma), who
is watching over him. On his turn, Khalin manages to
start an affair with a young actress (Sonia), who will
play in the film to come. In a moment, the problems
start to come one after the other. Stephi begins to
remember things, for example the radio plays a
song which he used to perform in the gay club; his
body starts to make the motions which were part
of his dance in the show. Khalin manages to think
of an explanation and deceives his brother that this
is of no importance, but finds great difficulty when
Stephi discovers his wigs, dresses and the letters
between him and Drago. Then Khalin finds himself
in the awkward situation of telling Stephi that he
himself is gay and these are his belongings. Stephi
believes his brother’s words, but then involuntarily
drops himself in front of Sonia about that and for the
moment the relation between her and Khalin seems
to have reached its end. The action is transferred
on the sea coast, where Deyan and Khalin start to
shoot their film. Evita’s performance is more than
tragic in the leading part, which draws the producer
into a nervous breakdown. After this, under the
combination of various circumstances Emma, Beloff
and Jean, Patsy, and Mirko enter the marine scene,
except for Khalin, Deyan, Evita, Stephi and Sonia.
Everything piles up into a big mess.
carry on, the reason why people often make a
promise to each other for a lifetime. The genre
of the film approaches the traditional Comedy
of situations with certain parody and even farce
elements. The aim is a meeting between two
worlds: the world of a patriarchal socialistic past
in an attempt to keep its human dignity, although
it often seems more preposterous and ridiculous,
and the world of “ the hero of the day” that goes
headlong with a frantic hysteria towards The
Big stage of Life, under the brightness of the
spotlights and invariable cameras. Popularity
is the only guarantee that you are Somebody.
If people don’t know you, you cease to exist…
The main characters within the narration flow
from three love couples which undergo some
comic periphery and as in a Shakespeare
comedy, they get together in the end “Happy
end mends it all”. Khalin is a young actor who
is in love with his work, but troubles with his
brother (Stephi) unlock unsuspected forces and
transform him from a melancholic dreamer into
an active person, in pursuit of his goals, inventive
and flexible. Stephi – Khalin’s brother. Influenced
by his surrounding, he gives himself a way of
homosexuality and participates in a transvestite
show. His acting has accepted an eccentric
hue and turned him into a typical product of his
time. The amnesia acquired after the accident
brings back the child in him and with the help of
Khalin he starts his life from the beginning. What
comes next? Sonia – an actress. A fairytale girl.
Romantic, loving, faithful… More of a dream,
than reality. Evita – a pop-folk singer. A typical,
artificial product of our time in a shy attempt
to discover herself. By mode of production the
film relies on an intriguing plot, good acting that
fills the comic situations, unexpected camera
views and in no search for effects that end in
themselves. The narration should be specific
and clear. The metaphor of depiction should
follow the particular intrigue. Dynamic montage
should follow naturally the dynamic structure
of action. In summary: Our desire is to create
a Color film, a romantic comedy type with
elegantly presented message.
director’s notes
The American movie and TV showbiz created
models of human behavior, moreover, they
created an amusing hyper-reality that changed
the world. The world transformed itself into
a world of celebrities and show-business. A
world of frantic car racing, alternating with
bloody murders and preceding erotic scenes.
A world like… Casino, like… Las Vegas,
like… Hollywood. People watch that world
and copycat. Imitation turns into a mode of
existence in a period when the terms of good
and evil have intermingled and friendship and
love are left as archaisms for the old man. This
“existence” appears to be a debilitated outrun
trying to be up to date with the modern trends
that demand a certain attitude; slightly insane,
obligatory eccentric, ostentatiously wealthy,
unconventionally sexually oriented , etc. The film
“Stephi” or “Seasons’ change” attempts to get us
involved into this eccentric and to some extent
screw loose world, offering a ray of hope that
it is not as immoral, as it seems. Old-fashioned
sentiments like “brotherhood affection” and “love”
Short Films
2009Home Match (A Domicile),
fiction, 9'. San Sebastian
International Festival 2009,
Amiens International Festival
2009, VGIK International Festival
2009, Cinessonne Festival 2009
Premiers Plans d’Angers 2010
2008 If I Fall (Si Je Tombe), fiction, 24'
Kiev International Film Festival Molodist 2008, Estoril Film
Festival 2008, Premiers Plans
d’Angers 2009, FIPA 2009, Montpellier Short Film Festival '09
2007 The Border, fiction, 13'
Tel Aviv International Student
Film Fest '07, Sofia Film Fest '07
2006 Behind the silence (Derriere Le
Silence), documentary, 25'
Bojina Panayotova
La Femis – Directing department (2004 – 2008)
Ecole Normale Superieure Lettres Et Sciences Humaines
Philosophy Department, Honours degree and Masters
Degree (2002 – 2008)
Bojina Panayotova
Written by
Bojina Panayotova
Bruno Nahon
Zadig Productions
Zadig Productions
70 rue Amelot
75011 Paris, France
Tel: + 33 1 58 30 80 10
Tel: + 33 6 60 56 60 20
Neda is 17 years old; she lives in Rousse, in the North
of Bulgaria. She is pregnant to Orlin, her lover. Like all
the girls of her age, she is looking forward to the ball
which will, in a few months, mark the end of school and
the beginning of adulthood. But everything falls apart
the day Orlin announces to her that he is leaving for
France to look for work: he feels it is time he took on
his responsibilities. From that moment, Neda has but
one idea in her head, to join him at any cost. But how
do you cross the border when you are only 17 years
old and have no money? Prepared to do anything,
Neda decides to work for LoveCam, an internet site
offering sexual services via webcam. She learns how
to seduce. Her femininity becomes a power, a source
of easy money. But in becoming an object of desire
Neda becomes distant from both herself and others,
until she loses herself. The day of the ball arrives and
Orlin returns, destroyed by his trip to France. Neda has
to mourn her love and her dreams.
me? I came to France at the age of 8 with my parents
who emigrated when the communist regime fell. It was
a departure that I did not choose. The decision to leave
everything, to flee, to refuse the conditions imposed
upon us, is for me a fascinating mystery. Today, I walk
along the boulevards outside Paris, I pass in front of
clubs and feel an unbearable dizziness when I hear
my mother tongue. Young girls of my age, younger
even. They are beautiful. I know where they come
from. I know the faces. What are they doing here?
Why when we say “Eastern European girls” today do
we think “prostitute”? A question remains more than
ever unanswered: the question of Bulgaria. Who was
this girl there? Why, when she was sinking deeper and
deeper, did she not choose to return? Like many exiles’
tales, Ginka Trifonova’s story is always presented from
the moment when she left Bulgaria. One considers that
the story begins here. But in going through that which
precedes her departure, in simplifying the reasons for
her flight, we act as though her downfall was inevitable.
For Westerners there is a received wisdom that people
leave their countries through necessity, because these
countries are poor, because opportunities are limited.
And that is that. It is as if this famous “necessity”
closed the question. When actually, it does not. Ginka
has gone. But others like her are still there. In the spring
of 2009 I decided to follow the path of Ginka’s journey
in reverse. The journey eventually took me to the banks
of the Danube to the town of Rousse, her birth-town,
her home, and her parents. There, the reality took me
by surprise. Ginka’s parents had just received Mosco
Boucault’s documentary, but they did not understand
a word of it because of the language. So they asked
me to translate it for them. After 2 hours viewing
and pausing on the images, I saw to what point the
film shook them. Nine years after the death of their
daughter, they at last understood what had happened.
They entrusted me with a mission: recover their
daughter's personal belongings, her bag, her jacket
and her notebooks, lost in the administrative labyrinth
of the French judicial system. Before sending them to
Ginka’s parents, I dive into this disconcerting writing
– nothing about prostitution, just a few notes about
her day-to-day life in Paris. Only ardent aspirations,
passionate sentences. But above all else, what took
my breath away was the childish aspect of the writing,
leaning letters in still uncertain forms, drawings of
hearts which blacken the pages. Ginka was 18 years
old! Ultimately, it is this adolescent image, instilled in
Ginka’s notebooks, that polarises the various pieces
of my research. The departure, love, prostitution itself,
everything seems to me to be the yardstick of this
age of transition. Ginka is not simply a victim of the
prostitution rings. She is above all an adolescent with
whom idealism blindly flirts. As determined as she is
naive, as combative as she is in love, she throws herself
into life with too much impetuosity. Ginka is an 18 year
old girl who faces the question: how does one become
a woman? What does one believe in? This story does
not interest me in the context of a problem of society.
It is not a question of deciphering the prostitution rings
or painting a picture of an Eastern European girl martyr.
Far from the myriad discussions in the media on this
subject, I wish to attach myself to the singularity of
this person, around her departure from Bulgaria. It
is in thinking about Bulgarian youth that one of the
strongest images of my voyage to Rousse resurges:
the Bachelor’s Ball, the rite of passage which marks
the end of school and the beginning of adulthood.
Fiction can now be deployed. The character in my film
is called Neda. Like the other school leavers, Neda is to
have her ball in a few months from now. But while the
others prepare themselves for the grand ceremony, she
is getting ready to leave everything.
director’s notes
At the origin of this film is the discovery of a lifeless
body. The body of Ginka Trifonova. Ginka Trifonova’s
story is simple, almost ordinary these days. At 18 years
old, Ginka ran away from the village where she was born
in Bulgaria. She left for the west with no other baggage
than her western dream. One year later, aged 19, she
was found murdered in the 19th district of Paris, in the
rue de la Cloture. In the meantime, Ginka Trifonova had
worked as a prostitute. She had also been madly in
love with a man. The pieces that have permitted the
reconstruction of her life show that Ginka had always
been a runaway, never without her roller-blades, even
when she used to go to work on the Paris ring-road.
She worked as a prostitute for love, for a man to whom
she gave her money. This man was her meaning of life.
This is in any case what she wrote at the beginning of
her private diary. Upon her death, two school notebooks
were actually found, one in the form of a private diary,
the other in the form of love letters, writings in the
second person, addressed to her beloved. I discovered
this story thanks to a documentary by Mosco Boucault,
The Lifeless Body of a 19-Year Old. Seven years after
her death the director carried out an investigation to
piece together Ginka Trifonova’s journey. After some
research I discovered the incredible publicity that
this piece of news had received in France. Numerous
newspaper articles, demonstrations of support with
Isabelle Adjani as spokesperson… People were
moved by her fate. Charities raised money to send the
body back to her family in Bulgaria. During this time,
this same family, who could not afford to repatriate
the coffin, were unaware of the mythification of their
daughter. In Bulgaria, the police had never launched an
inquiry and the parents still live today with the acute
sense that they are nobodies. Probably because I am
myself Bulgarian, this story has long haunted me.
I was obsessed with one question: why her and not
2008 Private Investigation 58', documentary
Honourable Mention at the 13th
Festival of Non-fiction Film, Plovdiv,
Cinema Verite Tehran Film Festival,
1001 Istanbul Documentary Film
Festival; Distributed by One World,
2004 Unfaithfulness 30', fiction, TV
2004 Return Ticket for Free 38',
documentary (director)
2003 Neighbours 30', fiction, Jameson
Short Films Awards nomination
2002 Muslim Labyrinths 52', documentary, Grand Prize at the XIII
Belgrade Ethnographic IFF
1999 A Month in the Life of Ephtim D.
55', documentary, best East European Film – Sibiu IFF 2000
1996 I Am Gypsy, I Plead Guilty 47',
documentary, Best TV Production Prize at the First International
Roma Film Festival, Skopje 2002
1994 A Turkish March 29', documentary,
The Prize of the Romanian TV
– Bucharest 1995, Special Prize –
Eserciti e Popoli Festival, Rome '96
Antoniy Donchev
Antoniy Donchev is currently Art and Culture Programmes
Manager at the Red House Centre for Culture and Debate
in Sofia, Bulgaria, a venue known for its screenings and
discussions enhancing open talk on hot issues. He is also
writer/director of more than 20 documentaries and shorts.
This is going to be his first feature length fiction film.
Antoniy Donchev
Written by
Antoniy Donchev
Ivan Tonev
ARS Digital Studio
Ars Digital Studio
4B, Leonardo da Vinci st.
1124 Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel: + 359 2 846 83 61
Fax: + 359 2 846 83 62
[email protected]
[email protected]
Amar is born in Arbil (the capital city of Kurdistan
in Iraq). When he is four years old he is engaged to
his cousin Zaide (also 4). Fate will separate the two
kids soon after the engagement – Zaide’s family
is forced to leave Iraq. The political circumstances
force later 19 year old Amar to leave the country
too. On the ship to Europe he meets young
Lebanese Leila and falls in love with her. He does
not recognize that Leila is his fiancée Zaide. Their
paths separate again but this time each of them
will forever bear the memory of the other deeply
in their hearts. Fate brings Amar to Bulgaria. He
finds himself in a milieu of complicated relations
of the Bulgarian authorities with leftist groups from
various Middle Eastern countries. Only Amar’s
sound instinct or self-preservation helps him to
find his proper way in the political labyrinths. One
day he meets “Leila” once again but this time he
recognizes that she is his beloved fiancée Zaide
– by the half of the golden coin, which the two
kids have exchanged before the engagement. The
love between the two of them bursts with a more
powerful flame. But Zaide has already changed. She
lives with a distant cousin of hers who takes care
of her after rumours have brought the news that
her fiancée Amar was killed. Zaide’s cousin forces
her to assist a radical international organization
which fights against the dictators’ regimes in the
Middle East including Saddam Hussein’s. Amar
realizes in what kind of a fateful play his fiancée
has been involved. He decides to save her at any
cost. Eventually he succeeds but the price he has
to pay is cruel – the two of them will not be able to
see each other anymore because it will be deadly
dangerous for both of them. Zaide leaves for an
unknown European country with a new identity.
Everybody considers her to be dead. Amar stays
in Bulgaria with her four year old girl – the child
of Zaide and her cousin who is killed on the Iraqi
border in an attempt to enter the country. Amar
believes that one day Zaide will appear again.
have to find themselves and find each other in the
roaring ocean surrounding them. The message of
the film is simple: “Love will save the world.” The
story is told in the first person. Our intention is to
stress the fact of giving the word to a voice that
is not so often heard (one of the script co-writers
is a Kurd). This is not just one person’s story, it
combines various personal stories. This is not a
political thriller. It is rather a romance thriller. We
intend to stress on the personal level which will
be more attractive to the audience. The political
background is very important for our story but it will
remain a background and we will always penetrate
it through the personal level. Why Bulgaria as a
centre of this story? Bulgaria has common history
with the Middle East because all that territory was
part of the Ottoman Empire. That includes similar
patterns in many aspects which help inter-cultural
dialogue not ignoring the fact that Muslims make up
nearly 1 million of Bulgaria’s population. During the
communist era Bulgaria had a special assignment
in the Soviet Block – to act as a buffer with the
Middle East. Many of the bridges created then work
or can still work for good or bad purposes. It is also
not a minor fact that Bulgaria boasts its peaceful
transition from communism to democracy unlike
other Balkan cases.
director’s notes
The Woman of My Life is a project for a feature
length fiction film produced by ARS Digital Studio,
Sofia, Bulgaria. The project has been selected
and developed successfully in the Script to Film
Workshops of the Mediterranean Film Institute,
Greece (from April to December 2009). It has also
been selected for funding by the Bulgarian National
Film Centre (ranked in first place by the National
Film Commission at the December session in
2009). The project is now in the phase of preproduction, and we envisage that shooting will
start by the end of this year or between January
– March 2011 at the latest. The story is based on
true events. It takes place from 1970 to 2000 in
Iraq (Kurdistan), Cyprus, Turkey, Austria, Germany
and Bulgaria. The two protagonists are Kurds – a
boy and a girl. They are ordinary people who want
to live their ordinary lives, to love and to be loved
but the world they live in does not allow them. They
Co-Director, 3D animated children
TV openings for the (BNT) – 8
Director, graphic and broadcast
designer for TV channels
Kaloyan Nachev
Date of birth: December 25, 1967, Sofia, Bulgaria.
1986 Ilia Petrov Specialized High School of Fine Arts –
1997 National Academy of Fine Arts, major: Painting, Master
of Arts in the course of Prof. Valentin Kolev
1997 – 1999 Bulgarian National Television – 3D artist
1999 – present Creative Center Ltd., Creative Director,
Kaloyan Nachev
Written by
Kaloyan Nachev
Svilen Ivanov
Creative Center
Creative Center
192, blvd. Vitosha
1408 Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel: + 359 2 9516150
Mobile: + 359 888 37 57 97
[email protected]
Over nine mountains, at the end of the world, magical
heroes still continue to live – fairies and elves, dragons
and serpents, animals that speak, princes and princesses,
kings and their courtiers, bugbears and hobgoblins (all
well-known from Bulgarian folk tales). These magical
creatures, along with angry and envious ordinary people,
will be the personages of this film. The Devil, who has lost
his role as the ultimate master of Evil, travels throughout
the world and tells stories to people who have become
more evil than himself. In a mountain village he sees a boy
with a special gift. Only the Boy believes that the stories
he is told are true. And his dream is to become a hero. The
Devil’s plan is to use the Boy’s dream. He believes that if
heroes return to the world, the old equilibrium between
Good and Evil will be restored and the Devil would once
again be the master of Evil and would be able to tempt
the good people and collect their souls again. However,
heroes can return only if fairytales and the stories within
them begin to happen again. The Devil knows that only
the Boy can relive the old fairytales, becoming a hero
in each of them. In order to achieve this goal, the Devil
takes the Boy as an apprentice and signs a contract with
him – he will make a hero out of the Boy and the Boy
will serve him in this world and in the afterlife. The Devil
lies to the Boy that he can make the Boy’s dream come
true only if he bathes in the spring’s waters. As he brings
the fairytales back to life, the Boy gains the seven main
qualities of a hero – patience, strength, wit, courage,
quickness, endurance and kindness. Each fairytale grants
the boy companions and magical items. The two brothers
from the story “Three Brothers and a Golden Apple” travel
with him. He gets a hair from the tail of the Horse with
a star on its forehead, a feather from the King of Eagles
and a magic tablecloth. He meets the Unborn Maiden
and she falls in love with him. The Boy reaches the Royal
Court, where the intrigues of the evil Advisor put his life in
mortal danger. The Devil saves his life, because the Boy’s
mission is not completed yet. In search for the enchanted
spring the Boy descends to the Underworld and flies to
the World Above. He crosses the Dark Forest and outwits
Baba Yaga and the Sack Man. The Boy’s adventures and
heroic deeds shatter the evil Advisor’s rule over the Royal
Palace. After failing to execute the Boy, he begins to hunt
him and his companions all over the kingdom. The Boy
and his companions discover the enchanted spring at the
top of the mountain. But the evil Advisor has arrived before
them. In the end the Boy bathes in the enchanted spring,
but feels no change. Good has returned together with the
fairytales. The Devil decides to destroy the contract. The
Boy has to choose whether to take the risk of the final
test and become a hero or to save his own life.
Devil, whose point of view was merged with that of
the narrator. In this magical world that has lost its
balance, the Devil is somehow left in the middle. He
is neither evil nor good, thus he can be accepted
as impartial. However, it is his effort to bring back
the old equilibrium and his own place in the world
which sets the story in motion. After the Devil
came the Boy – a character whose development
is parallel to the development of the story line. As
the only one who is still able to see magic the Boy
seemed to be the only option to bring fairytales
back to life. As he lives through them, he grows and
gains experience and skills which help him march
on along the paths of imagination. His dream to
be a hero came together with the Devil’s dream
to once again be the ultimate essence of Evil, thus
bringing Good back onto the stage. This is how the
antagonist came about, who (according to the idea)
could only be a human being. The evil Advisor had
to oppose the return of Good and the restoration of
the old equilibrium by any means. This caused Faith
and Anger to confront each other. And since no one
fights alone, both the protagonist and the antagonist
began to gather their allies. The Boy’s goal to be
a hero went through the return of fairytales. As
he lives out these fairytales within his own reality,
he participates in each as a character, gradually
becoming a hero. This inevitably sets off, like an
avalanche, the return of forgotten heroes and the
faith that people once placed in them. On entering
the world of fairytales, the Boy grew slowly. Until
the moment when the experience, strength and
wisdom he had acquired proved enough to make
his own choice – the choice which determines
what type of person he is to be. This came with the
realization that every choice demands a sacrifice
from the one who has to make the decision. The
use of well-known characters from Bulgarian
and Balkan folklore helped the creation of a more
believable atmosphere of the story. Along with
this came the hope that an attractive retelling and
recreation of myths of the past would awaken the
interest in Bulgarian folklore again. At the same
time, the humour and comical situations would
make the story even more exciting and positive,
despite all the evil described. The combination of
fairytale characters and the modern medium of
3D animation seems to us a suitable path, along
which we will surely find an answer to most of the
questions which were raised by the idea for this
film. We believe that the audience will enjoy it too,
while they search and find those answers.
director’s notes
When do children stop believing in fairytales? Does
this mean that at that moment they leave childhood
behind? Are they even familiar with the Bulgarian
folklore tradition of fairytales? These questions are
at the heart of the idea for the film “The Golden
Apple”. Many other questions arose during the work
on this project. Such as – what would it be like if…
fairytale creatures lived among people who, being
so preoccupied with themselves, did not pay them
the slightest notice. Or if… people obsessed with
their struggle for power, hunger to gain possession,
to satisfy their own needs, forget that this world
has another side – magical and enchanting – which
they could see each time they choose to look
with kindness in their heart at even the most evil
creature. More questions followed. When exactly
does a person become a grown up? How does he
grow up? Is it possible to become the person he
wants to be, by simply believing hard enough in his
dream and never giving up? What happens when
he acquires personal strength, knowledge and skills
– does this result in more power and opportunities
or more responsibility? During our work on the
idea, all these questions were gathered and stirred
in a medicinal potion, after which the characters
began to appear all by themselves. First came the
One Nation's Courage – full
length documentary film
director / producer / co-writer
Svetoslav Doytchinov
2007-2009 LITTLE BIG FILMS, Sofia – founder and owner
Co-producer of “The Go-Between” – drama, 26 min.
Producer of TV commercials
2002-2007 JUNK BROTHERS, Sofia – co-founder and co-owner
Producer of TV commercials
Los Angeles, CA
Unit Production Manager of “The Grey Zone”
1999-2001 MUREX FILMS, Santa Monica, CA
Asociate Producer
1993-1999 CINEMAGIX, Sofia, Bulgaria – founder and owner
Director/Producer of TV commercials
Svetoslav Doytchinov
Dimitar Kotzev-Shosho
Written by
Svetoslav Doytchinov
Svetoslav Doytchinov
Little Big Films
10 Ivatz Voivoda St.
Sofia 1124, Bulgaria
Mobile: + 359 899 966 203
Tel: + 359 2 843 50 64
Tel: + 359 2 943 38 19
fax: + 359 2 944 52 19
[email protected]
1992-1993 LES FILMS DE L’ATALANTE, Paris, France
Associate Producer
“…In the night, when you quietly sleep, a new world
is rising in your dreams. Because your hopes don’t
sleep, your expectations and ambitions don’t sleep,
your emotions don’t sleep, your profound desires and
passions don’t sleep. Your entire inner world doesn’t
sleep. That’s why we are here – to make your dreams
come true…”
Dreamland, Inc.
(quotation from an educational leaflet of Dreamland, Inc.,
distributed in high schools and universities)
In a global world big corporations and marketing agencies
buy and own the dreams of all human beings.
In the fiercely competitive world of global commerce
marketing tools become over used, all advertising media
are oversaturated, until one day, when an anonymous
advertising genius comes up with an revolutionary way
to advertise to people. His sophisticated new medium
is human dreams. Advertisers who bought space in TV
in previous times start to buy the nighttime minds of all
men and women on the planet and begin to advertise in
their dreams. People all over the world begin to sell their
“dreaming space” to big marketing agencies. The process
is very simple, everyone has a chance to sign a contract
with a company of their choice to sell their dreams at a
specified rate. After signing a contract, a small electronic
device – PDR (Personal Dream Receiver) is given to the
contracting person and subsequently he or she has only
beautiful, colorful, advertising dreams every night. It’s
easier that to by a new cell phone.
Quickly the business becomes enormously successful.
All dreams of the first generation are sold. They then start
selling the dreams of their children to the corporations.
The “dream contract” is a success because consumers
gain easy additional income and corporations have a
new way to advertise their products and to sell them
more readily during the day when people buy things they
dream of during the night.
What started as a great marketing concept goes too far
into people’s personal lives. An act of congress created a
special new law to make sure everyone sells his dreams
according to his contract. Large corporations pay off
congressmen to get this legislation passed. Those who
do not abide by their dreaming contract are severely
punished. Dream laws are created all over the globe,
reflecting the power of global corporations. It is a new
system based on increasing consumption. As a result,
most of the earth’s population is satisfied and happy.
need a break. Things get worse and worse in his life. At
the same time, Adam Z feels a growing attraction to the
woman in his dreams. Gradually he discovers that she is
a member of a clandestine network of people “fighting
for freedom”. He doesn’t fully understand everything she
says but he becomes more interested in the message
of her fellow “dream hackers” who aim to destroy the
oppressive system.
At the beginning of our story humans are selling the
dreams of their children. Mr. Adam Z. is in his mid 30’s
and lives in a nice big city neighborhood. He has 2-3
friends, a dog, 2 turtles, a wife Karen and a son Matt.
One day, he asks the women if it would be possible to
meet her in real life. She says yes. He asks when and
where. She answers that she will find him when it is
Adam Z’s life is quiet and routine: home, work, home.
And, on weekends, shopping with his family, walking
the dog, dinner or cinema with their friends. One day,
a strange event breaks up his usual life. In the morning
Adam Z awakes to a strange dream, which he can’t
remember very clearly. The only thing left in his mind
from this is a sense of anxiety and pleasure. He quickly
forgets the dream but a few days later it comes back. Only
this time, the dream is much clearer. In the middle of a
pleasing commercial about a new car being launched on
the market, Adam Z’s dream is interrupted by a woman
who tells him weird things about freedom and escape.
Next morning, Adam Z doesn’t feel well. For the first time
he is late for work. Confused by his feelings he needs to
talk to someone, but the situation is so complicated that
he decides not to tell anyone about the strange dreams
he’s been having. However, these dreams become more
persistent and more intense. The strange women shows
up in his dreams almost every night even though he
tries to make her go away. His life begins to spin out of
control. He goes to a psychiatrist but he is afraid to tell
the doctor the real reasons for his problems.
Next day Adam Z goes to work and sees two men waiting
for him. They represent Dreamland, Inc., the company
he has contract with. They question him. Adam Z is
told that he is violating his dream contract. He doesn’t
fulfill the required number of dream hours. They warn
him that this could create a serious financial problem
for him and his family. They say that if he cooperates
they will see to it that he will not be prosecuted by his
marketing agency. But if he does not cooperate they
warn of severe financial consequences. Additionally, his
personal life would be jeopardized. Financial ruin may
occur in his family. The Dreamland, Inc. representatives
also make him aware of the legal problems he would
have. Adam Z is frightened. He doesn’t know what to do.
He lies to the men – telling them he has serious health
problems, which cause insomnia. Adam Z’s boss is
deeply unhappy with his involvement in such unpleasant
situation. After his interrogation, Adam Z discovers that
someone is following him. He tries to regain order in his
life but with no success. Things get worse and worse.
No one can help him and Adam Z has no chance to get
back to his previous life. He leaves his job, his family
and his house, and disappears into the big city. Now he
must hide from everyone who might recognize him, so
he decides to go to the poor suburbs in the south. This is
the most important journey in his life. In the south Adam
Z. discovers the underground world and finally meets the
woman in his dreams. The battle for freedom is begun.
Different doctors give him different medications but this
only makes his problems worse. Adam Z tries to avoid
the strange women by not sleeping. In a few weeks he
is exhausted and having problems with his work, his
friends and his wife. She blames him for not paying
attention to her, their son and their future and says they
7 th e d i t i o n
1 1-14 M a r c h 2 0 1 0
Mira Staleva – Head
Stefan Kitanov – Producer
Kalina Goranova – Project Coordinator
Marieta Petchanska – Balkan Screenings
Desislava Chongarova – Individual Meetings
Mila Kiratzova – Individual Meetings
Victor Dimitrov – Individual Meetings
Tom Kirk – Editor
Iliana Oblakova, Deyan Tsonev – Translations
Nedelcho Hazarbasanov – Photographer
Stefan Kitanov – Festival Director
Mira Staleva – Deputy Director, Head of International affairs
Kiril Lozanov – Administrative Director
Vihrena Ninova – Office Head
Yordanka Saparevska – Financial Department
Petia Miteva, Ivailo Vutov – Office Coordinators
1, Bulgaria Sq., 1463 Sofia
Tel: + 359 2 986 1540
Tel: + 359 2 9166 029
Cell: + 359 885 502 128
[email protected]
With the Support of:
In partnership with:

Feature Film Projects - Sofia International Film Festival