Year of lab participation:
A piece of desolated land stands between a young boy and his estranged relatives in a battle for lost dignity.
A foreign investor wants to buy people's land and even relocate the local cemetery in a small town in Bulgaria. The locals are happy to sell and leave the decaying area, without worrying what the dead might say. The only one to oppose this transaction is Kaloyan. An old engineer who worked as a director in the big Uranium mine around which the city was built during the Soviet Union. His stubbornness sparks conflict within the community, as well as within his family between him, his son and his grandson. Will the old moral values of Kaloyan help him win this last battle for lost dignity or he will ruin the lives of everyone he loves, and forces the young boy, named after him, to commit a crime.
This movie explores the alienation between three family members who have forgotten how to love and share their feelings. Asen is part of a lost generation stuck somewhere in the transition between Communism and Democracy. Asen’s father Kaloyan, is a man of dignity and long forgotten values. Somewhere between the conflict between Asen and Kaloyan, Koko lies hidden. He’s a boy on the verge of manhood, desperately searching for a role model in his life. I am searching for an answer to the question are we, as society, capable of producing persons of honour anymore? I know that the movie is not going to give a definitive answer but it can lead us searching for it. The most important inspiration for this project was the life of my grandfather. He was a talented poet, but because he was against the communist regime, he wasn’t allowed to publish any books until the fall of the communism. He once told me: “They can always take you everything you have, but no one can take your dignity.” When I heard this sentence, I was so young that I didn’t pay much attention to it. Nowadays I think a lot about this subject and I based the foundation of my movie around it. The rhythm of the movie will be closer to an observation that will urge the audience to search for a self-knowledgeable experience. The lack of any wind even in the widest environments will serve as a metaphor for the lost path that our civilisation is heading on. The camera movement will help me shape this narrative as poetic as possible. In order to achieve this, I will use mainly long static shots. I am also planning to use old anamorphic lenses that will add another layer of timelessness to the movie.
Pavel G. Vesnakov director - writer, Bulgaria An alum of both Berlinale and Sarajevo Talents, Vesnakov’s first feature German Lessons premiered at the Cairo International Film Festival (2020) , and won the award for Best Male Performance and Sofia Special Jury Prize and FIPRESCI award. His short film trilogy Inches of Suburbia screened at Locarno and Clermont Ferrand, where it won the Grand Prix (2014), and was nominated for the European Film Awards (2014). Georgi Ivanov, Teodora Markova, Nevena Kertova co-writers, Bulgaria The writers team created the internationally recognized crime drama Undercover (2011), and was nominated for best foreign TV series at Monte Carlo Television Festival. The team’s mini-series Father’s Day (2019) was selected for the Venice Gap Financing Market; and Berlinale 2017. His feature Bubblegum (2017) won Best Screenplay at the Golden Rose Film Festival.
Georgi Ivanov, Teodora Markova, Nevena Kertova
The writers team created the internationally recognized crime drama Undercover (2011), and was nominated for best foreign TV series at Monte Carlo Television Festival. The team’s mini-series Father’s Day (2019) was selected for the Venice Gap Financing Market; and Berlinale 2017. His feature Bubblegum (2017) won Best Screenplay at the Golden Rose Film Festival.
Veselka Kiryakova Producer, Bulgaria
Veselka Kiryakova’s producing credits include Alienation (2013), which premiered at Venice and won two awards. Ága (2018), by Milko Lazarov, premiered at Berlinale 2018 and won more than 40 awards around the world, such as Grand Prix in Tehran, Cabourg, Chukotka, Heart of Sarajevo etc. An EAVE workshop graduate and a member of EFA, Veselka took part in PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE, Cannes in 2018.
Red Carpet Films, Sofia, Bulgaria
$545.454,55 FSA/ Brazilian Cinema Agency Prize; $365.470,21Globo Filmes / Co-producer through Audiovisual Law; $85.818,18 Private investors through Audiovisual Law; $51.980,15 Direct funds from the producer; $181.818,18 GAP