PRODUCTION: Kristina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov Shoot Bulgarian/Greek Triumph Starring Maria Bakalova

    Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov

    SOFIA: The award-winning Bulgarian directorial duo Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov have started shooting their darkish tragicomedy Triumph, coproduced by Bulgaria’s Abraxas Film and Greece’s Graal Films. Oscar nominee Maria Bakalova was announced as the lead together with Julian Kostov.

    Similar to the 2014 and 2016 Bulgarian/Greek coproductions between Abraxas Film and Graal Films, The Lesson and Glory, the tandem’s latest Triumph is also inspired by a true story. This time, it is about the 1990 excavations carried out for two years in search of extraterrestrial evidence in the Tsarichina village. According to the main creative team, the absurd 165 metres long tunnel, world known as the ‘Tsarichina Hole’, will complete the trilogy on “post-communist absurdities of Bulgaria”.    

    Focused on collective madness, the script is once again written by Grozeva and Valchanov together with their regular co-writer and production collaborator Decho Taralezhkov.

    The project received first development support from the Bulgarian National Film Center back in 2018, later on augmented by a Creative Europe MEDIA development grant. In October 2019, the jury of the Rome MIA Market chose the project for the 20,000 EUR Eurimages Co-production Development Award to which, in November 2019, the Arras FF industry event Arras Days added its second most important 5,000 EUR award.

    In 2020, the project was approved for national production support of 200,000 EUR from the Bulgarian National Film Center, followed by a presale of nearly 40,000 EUR from the Bulgarian National Television.

    The Greek coproducer Graal Films was nationally supported by the Greek Film Center and by a coproduction agreement with the Greek National Broadcaster ERT. In June 2022, Eurimages supported the coproduction with 135,000 EUR.

    The shooting, which also includes regular actors Margita Gosheva and Julian Vergov, is taking place intermittently in 2022 and 2023 with editing in between.

    On 5 August 2022 the Bulgarian National Film Center announced Maria Bakalova as the president of the seven-member jury for the selection of the Bulgarian contender for the Academy Award for Best International Feature. The jury also includes Kristina Grozeva.

    On 25 August 2022, Maria Bakalova surprised the Bulgarian audience by communicating through the media that she would join the production of the film through Five Oceans, a company co-owned by her and Julian Kostov.

    Production Information:

    Abraxas Film (Bulgaria)
    Bulgarian National Television (Bulgaria)

    Graal Films (Greece)

    Directors: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov
    Screenwriters: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov, Decho Taralezhkov
    Main cast: Maria Bakalova, Margita Gosheva, Julian Vergov, Julian Kostov