Javor Gardev's provocative neo-noir debut Dzift, which won a best director prize at the Moscow fim festival, is Bulgaria's bid for an Oscar nomination.
The noted theatre director's black-and-white film also received an offer for an American remake following its screening at the Toronto film festival and was recently selected by the European Academy to compete in its December 6 awards ceremony in Copenhagen.
Radically mixing Soviet pseudo-socialist art with bitter and ironic neo-noir symbolism Dzift is based on Vladislav Todorov's novel of the same name.
Showing the troubles of a man nicknamed the Moth in totalitarian Sofia of the sixties the plot is set during one wild night. Month's false conviction for murder and his release from prison after the Communist coup of 1944 are presented as frantic sketches and delusional flashbacks. The film was shot by cult cinematographer Emil Christov, who used 35, 16 and 8 mm cameras and elaborate lightning systems.
With a budget of under 1 million euros, the first feature film from Sofia based Miramar production company was financed with public support from the Bulgarian National Film Center and Bulgarian National Television. Dzift was bought for theatrical distribution in Russia. Gardev is preparing to travel to Los Angeles to pitch his next project, Neon, a futuristic film of a totalitarian Bulgaria. In the meantime, already hailed as the ‘best film' made after 1989 Dzift looks likely to win the National "Golden Rose" award of the Varna NFF (October 3-rd-9th).