In just over 10 weeks, and in less than 10 cinema halls, Javor Gardev's Dzift surpassed the expectations of both the Alexandra distribution group and production company Miramar Film.
The cult debut of the Sofia-born young and prominent theatre director, with degrees in philosophy and theatre, sold over 34,000 tickets and earned 130,000 euro. Named the "Bulgarian Tarantino" by the press, Gardev picked up the Best Director award at the Moscow film festival. The neo-noir story of a young man (Moth) jailed on the eve of the installation of Communism in Bulgaria has been called the "perfect black and white satire of our totalitarian past."
Before becoming a distribution hit Dzift set a production record. Filmed on 35, 16 and 8 mm formats, featured over 60 actors and over 100 extras, the film had a 700,000 euro budget (600,000 euros as public support and 100,000 euros of the producers' own investment). According to the producers the most serious challenge was the need to recreate buildings that had been destroyed during the last 20 years.
The film was shot in the dark and authentic suburbs of Sofia, blending artificially created sets with city canal tunnels and public housing. The overall effect was called an "authentic setting of the ruins of socialism." With the help of complex 3D animation, part of the center of Sofia was re-created. The entire film was shot in color and converted into black and white in post-production.
But the biggest record of Dzift was that most of the members of the main team -- director: scriptwriter Vladislav Todorov, composer Kalin Nikolov, production designer Nikola Toromanov, editor Kevork Aslanyan, lead actress Tanya Ilieva and lead actor Zachary Baharov -- were making their film debuts.
With a national Golden Rose award and eight additional domestic prizes the film has already participated in more than ten international festivals. Another ten more are lined up, including Adelaide and the Hong Kong.
The sales agent for Dzift is Montecristo International (www.MonteCristoEntertainment.com)
Director: Javor Gardev
Screenplay: Vladislav Todorov
DoP: Emil Christov
Music: Kalin Nikolov
Production Designer:Nikola Toromanov
Costume Designer:Daniela Oleg Lyahova
Editor: Kevork Aslanyan
Producers: Georgi Dimitrov, Ilian Djevelekov, Matey Konstantinov
Production Company: Miramar Film
Co producer: Bulgarian National Television, supported by the Bulgarian National Film Centre
Cast: Zachary Baharov, Tanya Ilieva, Vladimir Penev, Mihail Mutafov, Djoko Rossich, Ivan Barnev, Snezhina Petrova, Hristo Petkov, Boyka Velkova, Anastassia Liutova, Svetlana Yancheva