PRODUCTION: Milko Lazarov Shoots Bulgarian/German/Luxembourg The Herd

    Director Milko Lazarov on the set of The Herd Director Milko Lazarov on the set of The Herd credit: Red Carpet

    SOFIA: Award-winning Bulgarian director Milko Lazarov is shooting his third feature film The Herd, an allegory on the subject of mass xenophobia. Bulgaria’s Red Carpet, Germany’s 42film and Luxembourg’s Amour Fou are coproducing.

    Used to work with the same creative team, Milko Lazarov co-wrote the script together with Simeon Ventsislavov and Ekaterina Churilova.

    The story takes place in an outlying village not far from a border, where Ali, his daughter Tariqua and her grandmother Hrisula have lived for years. Due to the mysterious disappearance of Tariqua's mother, who jumped off a cliff, the family is viewed as alien. At the same time Tariqua is suffering from a rare bone malformation known as Papilio alas (Butterfly Wings), an anomaly transmitted on the maternal side. When, one day, animals become stricken with diseases, the river runs dry and sick Nikola suddenly dies, the village residents decide to settle their scores with the family themselves.

    Young Vesela Vulcheva is the lead.

    According to Lazarov, who became famous with the daring Arctic shoot of his Bulgarian/German/French Aga, coproduced by Red Carpet, 42film and Arizona Films Productions, “this time the story may be too obvious a narrative for my liking, but at the same time, it is very contemplative and delicate.”

    The project was first launched at the 2020 Berlinale European Film Market, where it generated interest. Later, it was granted nearly 481,000 EUR by the Bulgarian National Film Center and 30,000 EUR by MEDIA Creative Europe. 42Film received financing from MDM and ZDF/Arte, while Amour Fou assured a Film Fund Luxembourg grant. By the end of 2021, Eurimages supported the coproduction with the amount of 240,000 EUR.

    The shooting started on 29 August 2022 and it will last for 31 days. Due to the need for breaks, the wrap is scheduled for 8 October 2022.

    Two villages, Karlukovo and Kamenno Pole, are the main locations, where Lazarov’s usual cinematographer Kaloyan Bozhilov is once again shooting on 35mm film stock.

    Red Carpet will also handle the editing, 42film will be responsible for the colour upgrade and the sound postproduction, while Amour Fou will assure the make-up and the VFX.

    “We shot Aga in Siberia and we met numerous specific problems there. Shooting in our homeland now surprisingly raises other difficulties, not less challenging at all. One such is the construction of the house of our main character Tariqua and her father Ali near the Karlukovo village”, producer Veselka Kiryakova, told FNE.

    MG Film Boutiques will handle world sales.

    Production Information:

    Red Carpet (Bulgaria)

    42film (Germany)
    Amour Fou (Luxembourg)

    Director: Milko Lazarov
    Screenwriters: Milko Lazarov, Simeon Ventsislavov, Ekaterina Churilova
    DoP: Kaloyan Bozhilov
    Editor: Veselka Kiryakova
    Production designer: Ivaylo Petrov
    Costume designer: Kiril Naumov
    Make-up artist: Emilie Franco
    Composer: Penka Kouneva
    Sound designer and re-recording mixer: Florian Marquardt
    Cast: Vesela Vulcheva