Festival of Bulgarian documentary and feature short films in BCI – London

This festival was organised from  the 19 to the 23 of October 2017. The films were projected in the halls of the Bulgarian embassy. The great majority of them  had already won numerous local and international awards from film festivals.The opening event on the 19th was dedicated to the great Bulgarian actress Tatyana Lolova with screening of the specially made in her honor film – “Collage of Tatyana Lolova’s Most Attractive Cinematic and TV Roles”.  Special guests of the gala night were the actress herself and the Bulgarian journalist and director Georgi Toshev.  Unfortunately, we could not attend, but were told by friends that the nigh was very successful and very well attended.

We were able to attend on the 20th and  enjoyed two very different, but equally excellent films – “Serafim” and “Glory“. Serafim was a very short film – 5-10 minutes long and atmospherically shot on  Yovkov’s story with the same name in a village in southern Bulgaria, named Dolen.  The director  – Vanya Doneva spoke after the screening about how she found the location, the actors and the filming process of this film – her second.  It was wonderfully acted with costumes, typical for  the era, with much camera detail towards the inner feelings of the characters. The only minus of the film was the poor English translation of the text.

Glory“, a much longer film – over an hour long, was  also superb. The film is produced by Kristina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov – the team, which gave us the now famed film “Glory“,reflects modern life and the differences of behavior, attitudes and moral of the rich and poor in the Bulgarian society.  Both films show the moral dilemmas facing contemporary Bulgarians in  the context of a extremely corrupt society.  The main characters in both  films are extremely naive and exploited by the people around them. Both characters – the teacher and the railway worker face a moral dilemma, which has to be resolved.  The actress Margita Gosheva starred in both films and had to fight hard not to be outdone by the superb Stefan Denolyubov.  I can’t even fault the English translation – it was much better than that of “Serafim”.  The large audience thoroughly enjoyed both films and we recommend them to you.

On the 21st, the programme included the screening of Vanya Doneva‘s first film – “Randezvous” and  the documentary, made by Andrey Hadjivasilev Steps in the fire”.  Special guests that night were  the directors  Vanya Doneva and  Andrey Hadjivasilev and the actress Desislava Pashova. Unfortunately, we could  not attend.

On the 22nd, the audiences were able to see the screening of the short film by Vesselin BoydevClothes“, and Ralitza Petrova‘s feature film “Godless.

The closing night of the first festival of Bulgarian documentary and feature film, on the 23rd, presented two other films to the audience – of the short film by Boyana HarizanovaLove”  and  Yana Titova‘s documentary “88 MHz”.

I understand, that the audiences of all night included famous British and international film-makers and film journalists, as well as many Bulgarians, living in the UK.  The BCI staff led the event spotlessly and need to be complemented for the good choice of films and the whole organisation of the festival!