Kamen kalev's debut feature film will compete for the golden camera award The big breakthrough of Bulgarian cinema is completed with the market screening of Stephan Komandarev's award winning feature "The World Is Big And Salvation Lurks Around The Corner" and presentation of the project "Mexican Express" at "Producer's Network"
"Eastern Plays", the debut feature film of the young Bulgarian filmmaker Kamen Kalev was selected for one of the main official programmes in Cannes 2009 - Directors' Fortnight. Last time Bulgaria presented films in that programme was in 1990 - Georgi Djulgerov's "The Camp" and Nikolay Volev's "Margarit and Margarita".
The story of Kamen Kalev's "Eastern Plays" project begun at the 5th Sofia Meetings - it was presented there by the director and provoked interest right away by the Directors' Fortnight's programmer Frédéric Boyer.
The film was shot in the summer of 2008 in Sofia with limited budget and was presented as work in progress at the 6th edition of Sofia Meetings. The film attracted serious attention from representatives from different festivals. Meanwhile Kamen Kalev made an offer to Memento Films and the company achieved the rights for world distribution of "Eastern Plays".
The premiere of the "Eastern Plays" will take place on May 17th in 6.00 PM at the Directors' Fortnight's Hall in "Noga Hilton" Hotel.
"Eeastern Plays" is the first feature film by director Kamen Kalev to compete for Camera D'or Award. But he already presented his previous short movies in Cannes. The shorts "Get the Rabbit Back" and "Rabbit Troubles" made in collaboration with Bulgarian director Dimitar Mitovski and produced by "Camera" were shown at Cannes Critic's Week in 2005 and 2007 as part of the shorts competition. Kamen Kalev is the first ever Bulgarian director with three movies in competition programmes at Cannes Film Festival.
Kamen Kalev was born in Burgas, Bulgaria in 1975. He finished his education in French Language School "G.S. Rakovski" in Burgas in 1994 and graduated cinematography at the National Academy for Theatre and Film Art "Krastio Sarafov", Sofia. Kamen Kalev studied also at La fémis - National Academy for Film Art Paris, France and graduated in June 2002. He has several high appreciated short films, decorated with prestigious international awards; also advertising and music video clips of well known Bulgarian musicians.
The story told by Kamen in "Eastern Plays" is an honest one and appealing. Vibrating with the rhythm of streets in Sofia, the script follows a boy that tries to discover what's meaning of his life. Lost between friends, everyday routine and the breathing town, Izo (Christo Christov) is trying to find his own truth, the elusive love and to feel the pulse of life... Alas too much troubles are waiting on the way towards lost hope. Interesting fact is that a non-professional actor was entrusted with the main leading role; some of the other personages also are amateurs. But all of them attained a special harmony with the professional cast in the movie. Young Ovanes Torosian (forthcoming NATFIZ graduate 2009) and recently graduated (in the class of renown prof. Stefan Danailov) Nikolina Yancheva were entrusted with very important main parts. The expirienced actors Ivan Nalbantov and charming Krassimira Demirova (Which Way Now, Which Way Today) gave their unconditional support for younger actors. Among them there're some Turkish guests - Saadet Isil Aksoy (known from the film "Egg"), Hatice Aslan ("Three Monkeys") and Kerem Atabeyoglu.
Olivier Père, Directors' Fortnight artistic director, explains why "Eastern Plays" was chosen for screening:
"Surprising and moving, the film paints a picture of several generations, a country and a political situation without ever falling into a didactic movie, focusing on the contrary on real and truthful characters and intimate dramas. The shape of the film, its narrative structure leads us into the unpredictable human adventures and creates a movie with an unusual depth. Finally it's a film that shakes, vibrates in tune with the reality of things and beings. The actors are all remarkable.
It is already one of the major revelations of this new Fortnight and we are delighted to welcome you in Cannes."
2009 is a special year for Bulgarian cinema in Cannes. The internationally acclaimed "The World Is Big And Salvation Lurks Around The Corner" by Stephan Komandarev will be presented at Marché du Film. The world sales company "m-appeal" expects the film to increase its sales especially after the decision from MEDIA programme to support the distribution of the film in Europe. "The World Is Big..." already achieved cinema distribution in 12 countries, participated at more than 30 international festivals (15 competitions) and received 10 international awards. The screening in Cannes is on May 18th at 8.00 at Palais B.
As a follow up of the 6th Sofia Meetings the selectors from Producer's Network invited in Cannes the animated feature "Mexican Express" by the writer/directors Andrey Paounov and Boris Despodov.
The address of Bulgarian Pavilion in Cannes is Marché du Film, Pavilion 138.
For further information please contact
About Kamen Kalev's "Eastern Plays"
Marta Radeva (Mob: +359 898 94 55 07
Svetlana Damianova, head of Press Dep’t, Sofia IFF (Mob: +359 885 901 296)
Mira Staleva, head of Sofia Meetings (Mob: +359 887 262 429)
Tel: +359 2 9166029