Shot in five weeks in Sofia and Istanbul, Kamen Kalev's debut Eastern Plays, a look at Sofia's underground youth life, screens at Director's Fortnight before its fall release in Bulgaria.
"The entire crew felt a special energy that seemed to appear from nowhere," Kalev said of the shoot.
Kalev previously directed commercials and (with Dimitar Mitovski) two shorts: Get the Rabbit Back in 2005 and Rabbit Troubles in 2007, both selected by the Critics Week in Cannes.
Kalev said that, "Just waiting for national subsidies did not produce anything serious," so he started to promote Eastern Plays on his own,first at the Sofia Meetings (www.cinema.bg/sff/sofiameetings), then at the Sarajevo CineLink (www.sff.ba) co-production market. Two happy encounters - one with the Turkish actress Saadet Işıl Aksoy ("Egg", Semih Kaplanoğlu) that "clarified the story" and an other with the private investor Anguel Christanov, "who practically financed most of the shooting," made the film possible without the help of the state. Subsequently Eastern Plays turned into a Bulgarian-Swedish co-production with national co-producers WaterFront Film (www.waterfrontfilm.net) (owned by Stefan Piryov & Kamen Kalev) and Anguel Christanov for Bulgaria and the Stockholm based post facilities company Chimney Pot (www.thechimneypot.com) financed by the Film i Väst (www.filmivast.se) regional fund for Sweden. The 80/20% co-production, coming in at under €700,000, was picked up by Memento Films (www.memento-films.com) as sales agent.
Scriptwriter and director - Kamen Kalev
Director of Photography - Julian Atanasov
Set decorator - Martin Slavov
Score music - Jean-Paul Wall
Sound - Momchil Bozhkov,Boris Trayanov
Editing - Kamen Kalev, Stefan Piryov, Johannes Pin
Producers - Stefan Piryov, Kamen Kalev, Fredrik Zander
Co-Producers - Anguel Christanov, Thomas Eskilkson
Executive Producer - Maya Vitkova
Itso - Christo Christov
Georgi - Ovanes Torosian
Isil - Saadet Işıl Aksoy
Niki - Nikolina Yancheva
Georgi and Itso's father - Ivan Nalbantov
Georgi and Itso's stepmother - Krasimira Demireva
Isil's mother - Hatice Aslan
Isil's father - Kerem Atabeyoglu
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