29-09-2020

FNE at Golden Rose 2020: A Dose of Happiness

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Valentina Karoleva in A Dose of Happiness by Yana Titova Valentina Karoleva in A Dose of Happiness by Yana Titova

VARNA: Yana Titova’s first feature film A Dose of Happiness, coproduced between No Blink Studio and bTV Studios, will screen in the main competition of the 38th Golden Rose National Film Festival (24 September - 1 October 2020). The privately financed film became one of Bulgaria’s 2019 domestic box office hits. In May 2020 HBO GO included the title in the list of Bulgarian films available to the Bulgarian audience and to the audiences of seven other Balkan territories.

Popular actress Yana Titova, who divides her time between Sofia and London, wrote the script based on Vessela Boteva’s biographical book Fall and Salvation. A well-known journalist and founder of the On the Other Side Foundation, Boteva passionately described her seven years heroin addiction during the 90’s. Unfortunately, on the eve of the commercial release of the film in Bulgaria, Boteva passed away.

The lead role is performed by her daughter Valentina Karoleva. “Some seven, eight years ago my mother started writing her book. At first she wrote about fifteen pages and gave up. Then I went to London, where I learnt that a friend of mine lost her boyfriend because of drugs. After my return to Sofia I told my mother: ‘You just have to write this book! We need to know that someone got out of this.’ This is how I made her finish the work”, Karoleva told the Bulgarian media. “It was not easy for me to transform myself into my own mother with all her sufferings. But after the wrap of the film I realised that what I did actually helped me get out of my own stagnation”.

Dimitar Nikolov, Aleksandar Aleksiev (actor, producer and Titova’s husband), Assen Blatechki, Silvia Lulcheva, and Irmena Chichikova also take part in the film.

The shooting took place during the spring of 2018. According to Titova “the companies that supported us recognised the cause as their own. The film was made only with private money, but that doesn’t mean it's a cheap one. Its real value is around 1 m EUR.”

In November 2019 the film was officially included in Bulgaria’s Ministry of Education and Science educational initiatives related to addiction prevention. As a result, 29 Bulgarian cities organised group visits for students to selected cinemas at preferential prices. The cause of the campaign was to raise awareness of the problem and to acquaint young people in an accessible way with the risks that drug use brings to their lives and health.

On 17 September 2020, the Sofia Municipality awarded the film “for outstanding achievements in the field of culture”.

Domestic release started on 8 November 2019, by national distributor bTV Studios. As of January 2020 the number of theatrical admissions was 92,455.

Production Information:

Producer:
No Blink Studio

Coproducer:
bTV Studios

Credits:
Director: Yana Titova  
Scriptwriter: Yana Titova
DoP: Martin Balkanski
Composer: Christopher Barnett
Cast: Valentina Karoleva, Dimitar Nikolov, Aleksandar Aleksiev, Assen Blatechki, Silvia Lulcheva, Irmena Chichikova