SOFIA: An ambitious new 12-part political thriller series about a fictional daily newspaper, Fourth Power, will finally air on pubcaster Bulgarian National Television in September, following its victory over real-life political intrigues. It will be the most significant original production since the The Ungiven, which recounted the rescue of 48,000 Bulgarian Jews from the death camps during World War II.
Known for their work on the highly rated Under Cover, the writing team crafted the story of a journalist couple who try to build an independent newspaper while resisting the pressures of authorities and the coping with operating underground. The four-month shoot wrapped in March.
Budgeted at over 1 m EUR, Fourth Power brings together two young directors: Stoyan Radev and Dimitar Kotsev-Shosho. Radev comes from a mainly theater background and Kotsev has made several shorts but found notoriety with his low-budget debut Lora From Morning Till Evening, shot with a Canon 7D.
Executive producer Nayo Tizin, who along with Kotsev-Shosho founded Spotlight in 2003, originally announced to media that the series was ready in spring, but because of Bulgaria's political upheavals this year, its broadcast was blocked. According to the BNT program director Sevda Shishmanova Fourth Power was approved for financing a year ago and expected air it in April, May and June, before the regular elections. “But as the elections happened earlier," she told FNE, "we were obliged to abstain ourselves in order to respect the election campaigns' media regulation rules.” Popular TV star Deyan Donkov plays an investigative reporter, while Atanas Atanasov is editor-in-chief. Samuel Finzi’s character is a deputy prime minister and Hristo Shopov is a mysterious secret services chief.
Because of continuing anti-government protests that have rocked Bulgaria for over two months, Fourth Power is expected to spark broad public debates.
CreditsDirectors: Stoyan Radev, Dimitar Kotsev-ShoshoScript: Vania Nikolova and teamDoP: Anton Bakarski, Vladimir MihailovCast: Deyan DonkovAtanas AtanasovSamuel FinziHristo ShopovVladimir PenevMihail BilalovSnejina PetrovaSvetlana YanchevaAni Papadopoulou