PRODUCTION: Stephan Komandarev Shoots Made in EU

    Made in EU by Stephan Komandarev Made in EU by Stephan Komandarev credit: Kalina Ivanova

    SOFIA: The acclaimed Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev is currently in production with his seventh feature film Made in EU, which is a coproduction between Bulgaria, Germany and the Czech Republic.

    The story follows Iva (43), a seamstress in a small town, who is forced to hide the fact that she’s ill in order to keep her job, but after the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in town, all the blame for the infection falls on her and she will be demonised by the community.

    “I don't like to give ready answers, but rather to raise questions with my films. In Made in EU we raise questions about the garment (textile) manufacturing that exist today in the EU in small factories far from the lights of the big cities. We also raise questions about the negative and positive sides of globalisation, and about the division between centre and periphery in Europe. We are interested in what is happening at the periphery: the story follows a seamstress who works six days a week for 12 hours and is unfairly accused as a public enemy. The story is set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it deals primarily with the much more serious pandemic of modern slavery. Everything in the script is based on real stories, because the first COVID-19 outbreaks in Bulgaria happened in such provincial sewing factories”, Stephan Komandarev told FNE.

    Тhe cast includes Gergana Pletnyova, Gerasim Georgiev-Gero, Ivaylo Hristov, Anastasia Ingilizova, Todor Kotzev and Ivan Barnev.

    “The actors are wonderful, and the visual style of the film is quite interesting. Together with the DoP Veselin Hristov we decided to use a more photographic format, 3:2. In our shots the characters are always somehow squeezed in as we shoot them from a distance through other objects. Again, we are very well prepared because that's the only way we can manage the tight shooting schedule. The film is expensive and difficult, we have many episodes with big crowds”, Stephan Komandarev also said. The film is currently being shot for 27 days from 18 March 2024 to 1 May 2024 in Dimitrovgrad, Haskovo, Rudozem and Madan (Bulgaria) and also in Leipzig (Germany).

    Stephan Komandarev is producing together with Katya Trichkova through Argo Films (Bulgaria) in coproduction with Eike Goreczka and Christoph Kukula through 42film (Germany) and Pavel Strnad through Negativ (Czech Republic).

    The total budget is 900,000 EUR. The film has been supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center with 488,000 EUR, MDM with 220,000 EUR and the Czech Film Fund with 120,000 EUR.

    The project was developed at MFI (Greece, 2021), Cannes Film Festival’s L’Atelier (2022) and Arras Days (2023), where it won the award for best project.

    The postproduction will take place in Germany and the Czech Republic, and it will be completed till the end of 2024. The premiere of the film is set for 2025.

    The producers are currently looking for additional funding from coproduction as well as presales from TV broadcasters.

    Production Information:

    Director Stephan Komandarev, credit: Kalina IvanovaArgo Film (Bulgaria)
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    42film (Germany)
    Negativ (Czech Republic)

    Director: Stephan Komandarev
    Scriptwriters: Stephan Komandarev, Simeon Ventsislavov
    DoP: Vesselin Hristov
    Editor: Nina Altaparmakova
    Set designer: Ivelina Mineva
    Cast: Gergana Pletnyova, Gerasim Georgiev-Gero, Ivaylo Hristov, Anastasia Ingilizova, Todor Kotzev, Ivan Barnev