Bulgarian scriptwriter and film and documentary director Svetoslav Ovcharov (A Farewell to Hemingway, Bulgaria, That's Me!) has begun shooting his new feature Voice Over.
Filming willtake place mainly in Sofia in two stages: the first from January 12 to February 8, and the second from May 15 to July 1. The €857,000 production received development support from the Media+ program and was further supported by the National Film Center and Bulgarian National Television.
The script is based on a real Communist secret police file belonging to Bulgarian director of photography Hristo Totev, the screenplay's co-author along with Russi Chanev and Ovcharov. The story recounts young Totev's emotional journey as he is unjustly hounded by the regime and separated from his wife. The anti-totalitarian drama has be likened to Germany's Oscar awarded Das Leben den Anderen by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
The story took an unusual twist when, shortly before the shooting began, it was officially announced that Totev in reality was a secret agent. The news provoked heated discussions in the Bulgarian media questioning the moral value of the whole project. Ovcharov published a statement in the Bulgarian press saying: "When I learned the news I was deeply disappointed, but it did not last long. Who am I to judge my colleague?"
Ovcharov declared that the film will not administer justice. "I want to show how it was to make films during the Communist times and what it really cost people." Ovcharov engaged for the lead part the popular actor Ivan Barnev, most recently praised for his starring role in Jiri Menzel's I Served the King of England.
Voice Over is a national co-production between Gala film and Omega films. The latter is backing the development of Ovcharov's next project Leda and the Swan dedicated tothe Bulgarian-born French artist Jules Pasquin.
Script - Russi Chanev, Hristo Totev, Svetoslav Ovcharov
Director - Svetoslav Ovcharov
Director of Photography - Ralli Ralchev
Art Directors - Boriana Semerdjieva, Georgy Todorov
Costumes - Boriana Semerdjieva
Sound - Valentin Kirilov, Valeria Popova
Editing - Svetoslav Ovcharov, Nina Altaparmakova
Producers - Galina Toneva, Kiril Kirilov (Gala film)
Diko Mihov, Theodore Vassilev, Svetoslav Ovcharov (Omega films)
The Director of Photography - Ivan Barnev
Diana - Kassiel Noah Asher
Antoan - Jassen Atanassov
Diana's mother - Tzvetana Maneva
Serafimova - Gergana Pletnyova
Karlo - Valentin Ganev
Fani - Koina Russeva