Bulgarian actress of the year: Ernestina Shinova


    Known as the beautiful muse of her extravagant film director husband Andrei Slabakov, Ernestina Shinova visibly advanced her career with portrayals of two characters in his long-awaited Hindemith.

    She was awarded best actress at the 28th Varna national film festival for her two female roles in the story of two very similar couples vainly trying to look different. The film also proved a commercial success. Shinova repeats her own success in Slabakov's Wagner (1998), displaying an affinity for absurdist comedies.

    Ten years ago, the avant-garde black and white Wagner started its international career at the Mannheim IFF. At that time the German critics called Shinova the "Bulgarian Greta Garbo." She had previously worked at a model in Italy, where she appeared in Alessandro Cane's three-part mini TV series La Ragnatela 2 (1993), and Marco Bellocchio's TV adaptation of a Pirandello play (1992).

    Shinova's achievement in Hindemith washailed by critics, who called her the "intelligent emotional perpetuum mobile" of the film.

    "To be honest, I was expecting the jury to offer me two awards, not one, but I can forgive that," joked Shinova at the official ceremony in Varna. "Thanks to my husband, for the first time, I also had the chance to play alongside his father, the great Bulgarian actor Petar Slabakov!"