PRODUCTION: Bulgarian Director Georgi Djulgerov in Postproduction with Memoir of a Betrayal

    Plamen Dimov and Ivan Nikolov in Memoir of a Betrayal by Georgi Djulgerov Plamen Dimov and Ivan Nikolov in Memoir of a Betrayal by Georgi Djulgerov credit: Kiril Prodanov

    SOFIA: The Veteran Bulgarian director Georgi Djulgerov is currently in postproduction with his period drama Memoir of a Betrayal, dedicated to the legendary 19th century anti-Ottoman revolutionary Georgi Benkovski. Known for his passionate interest in Bulgarian history and Zahari Stoyanov’s Memoirs of the Bulgarian Uprisings (1870–1876), Djulgerov focuses the narrative on some of the author’s key testimonies. The film is a local coproduction between the Bulgarian National Television and Borough Film.

    “I have a deep respect for the person and work of Zahari Stoyanov (1850-1889), a Bulgarian revolutionary and participant in the 1876 April Uprising. For me, his historiography Memoirs of the Bulgarian Uprisings is the ‘Bulgarian Bible’. I chose two important events from it: the assassination of Benkovski in 1876 and Stoyanov's personal meeting with his traitor Grandpa Valio. The initial idea of the anti-Ottoman resistant fighters was to arrest the wrongdoer, but later on, they decided to pardon him. Therefore, the main theme of the film is that of forgiveness“, scriptwriter and director Georgi Djulgerov told FNE.

    The film was shot in 21 days mostly in the historic town of Koprivshtitsa and in the Teteven Balkan Mountains village of Ribaritsa, the place where Benkovski was killed. Two historical associations, ‘Haiduti’ and ‘Tradition’, participated in the mass scenes with their authentic costumes and weapons from the beginning of the 19th century. Some of Djulgerov’s students also took part in the film on a voluntary basis.

    „The funding for such a serious period film was far from enough, so I had to look for specific artistic solutions aiming at a more intimate look at the past. Young Plamen Dimov (Georgi Benkovski) and Ivan Nikolov (Zahari Stoyanov) are the discoveries in the acting team, and thanks to their outstanding talent, the relation between the two historical characters became extremely interesting. On the other side, Ivaylo Hristov, who is an old friend of mine, creates a fantastic Grandpa Valio”, Djulgerov added.

    Vesselin Hristov, who is new in Djulgerov’s usual creative team, is the DoP.

    The Bulgarian National Television financed the film with the amount of 180,000 EUR to which the Bulgarian National Film Center added 36,000 EUR.

    Georgi Djulgerov’s most famous historical film to date is the 1981 trilogy Measure for Measure, produced by the once state owned Boyana studio. Long rated as the ‘greatest ever Bulgarian film’, it has been lately restored by Bulgaria’s Doli Media Studio, where the postproduction of Memoir of a Betrayal is taking place.

    Production Information:

    Bulgarian National Television (Bulgaria)

    Borough Film (Bulgaria)

    Director: Georgi Djulgerov
    Scriptwriter: Georgi Djulgerov based on Zahari Stoyanov’s Memoirs of the Bulgarian Uprisings
    DoP: Vesselin Hristov
    Production designer: Georgi Todorov-Jozi
    Editors: Georgi Djulgerov, Antonia Milcheva
    Composer: Mira Iskarova
    Cast: Plamen Dimov, Ivan Nikolov, Ivaylo Hristov, Tzvetan Alexiev, George Arabadjiiski, Krasimir Dokov