PRODUCTION: Ralitza Petrova Preps Bulgarian/Danish/Swedish Coproduction Lust

    PRODUCTION: Ralitza Petrova Preps Bulgarian/Danish/Swedish Coproduction Lust credit: Ralitza Petrova / Private archive

    SOFIA: Award-winning director Ralitza Petrova is currently in preparation with her sophomore feature, Lust. A coming-of-middle-age story and a mystery psychological drama, the film follows a flawed prison officer, who inherits the debts of her deceased, estranged father. This Bulgarian/Danish/Swedish coproduction, produced by Bulgarian Aporia Filmworks, has been recently supported by Eurimages.

    The script written by Ralitza Petrova focuses on a 40-something prison rehabilitation officer. “А control addict, with a phobia of commitment, her defenses are suddenly shaken when she becomes the heir to her estranged father’s debts. Refusing to do anything with a stranger, she is ready to dodge the law, so she can go back to her life as soon as possible. But a startling out-of-body experience makes her unable to leave, sending her on a journey of self-discovery, where she must confront the truth behind her inability to accept love”, Petrova told FNE.

    “With Lust, I am interested in exploring a crisis point in someone’s own fight with their life story. The types of stories we tell ourselves, for a lifetime sometimes, so we feel safe about who we think we are. I want to see the characters as by-products of an egocentric 21st century, ruled by ‘what’s in it for me?’, whose traumas, ironically, hold the keys to their growth”, Petrova added.

    The casting is currently underway. Drawing on her experience from her earlier films the director intends to mix non-professional and professional actors.

    Zuzanna Zachara-Hassairi, a recent graduate from the Polish Łódź Film School, who has already drawn international attention for her immersive camerawork, is lensing.

    The crew includes Bulgarian production designer Vanina Geleva and costume designer Elena Stoyanova, as well as Danish editor Michael Aaglund.

    The film is produced by Aporia Filmworks (Bulgaria) in coproduction with Screening Emotions (Bulgaria), Snowglobe (Denmark) Silver films and Film i Väst (Sweden). The project got support from the Bulgarian National Film Center, the Danish Film Institute, the Swedish Film I Väst, and Eurimages (182,000 EUR). The budget is 735,000 EUR.

    In 2021 Lust won the Artekino International Prize at Sarajevo’s CineLink. The script was developed with the support of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Programme and the NIPKOW Programme. 

    The shooting of Lust is expected to start by the end of 2022 and it will take part mainly in Sofia.

    Petrova’s first film Godless (2016), produced by Bulgaria’s Klas Film, Denmark’s Snowglobe and France’s Alcatraz Films, grabbed the Locarno Golden Leopard in 2016, followed by 26 main awards and a nomination for the European Discovery 2017 – Prix FIPRESCI by the European Film Academy.

    Production Information:

    Aporia Filmworks (Bulgaria)
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    Screening Emotions (Bulgaria)
    Snowglobe (Denmark)
    Silver films (Sweden)
    Film I Väst (Sweden)

    Director: Ralitza Petrova
    Scriptwriter: Ralitza Petrova
    DoP: Zuzanna Zachara-Hassairi
    Production designer: Vanina Geleva
    Costume designer: Elena Stoyanova
    Editor: Michael Aaglund
    Cast: tba