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Distribution of Bulgarian films gains traction

2008-10-21

The fall kicked off with the first success of a modern distribution style for new Bulgarian films.

The start was driven by Javor Gardev's Dzift that opened on September 26. Leading distribution company Alexandra reported that for the first time since 1989 a Bulgarian film grabbed the first position of the top ten, surpassing Taken, Mamma Mia, and Tropic Thunder. The film went on to increased admissions in week two, and continues to hold the second spot in the latest results. Gardev called the results "most satisfactory for the process of normalization of the commercial distribution of Bulgarian films in Bulgaria."

Second to grab the spotlight was Bulgarian-German-Hungarian-Slovenian co-production The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner by Stefan Komandarev. After an aggressive advertising campaign that took different forms during several months, finally the film opened October 9, reaching the sixth place with six prints on six screens. Bulgarian producer Stefan Kitanov said the film has participated in ten international film festivals, with another ten are to come. Because of the strong international potential Kitanov is optimistic about reaching large audiences next spring in Germany and in Slovenia and Hungary by the end of the year.

Alexandra is also planning to take special care with the release of A Farewell to Hemingway by Svetoslav Ovcharov in January. The fictional story, based on a supposition, that the famous writer arrived to Bulgaria with the Orient Express and passed only one night (October 18, 1922) in a small railway station, introduces two unknown talents: Bulgarian Gergana Pletnyova and American Chris Huisler.

The company follows with Forecast by Zorniza Sofia (Mila from Mars), aimed at young audiences in Bulgaria and abroad. It is a co-production from Bulgar Beats and Nu Boyana Film.

A relative new player on the market, the Bulgarian Distribution Company is planning to distribute two new Bulgarian films: the psychological drama Small Talks by Vladimir Kraev on October 31; and the absurdist comedy Hindemith by Andrei Slabakov on November 21.

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