Bulgarian films finding distribution success

By Pavlina Jeleva
    Bulgarian films, including two awarded features and a documentary film, are attracting local audiences and international distribution.

    Stefan Komandarev's international hit The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner with Miki Manojlović in the lead part was sold to Argentina, Chile, Peru and Bolivia by Germany's m-appeal. With 23 territories, over 50 festival participations, nearly 30 international and 23 national awards The World Is Big is on its way to become also a national theatrical record holder. Having started its distribution on October 10, 2008 with only six prints the film is still on screen. The nearly 30,000 admissions range it on second position after Zift by Javor Gardev - the most popular Bulgarian film since 1989. Although only with one print The World Is Big is still shown in Sofia and continues to rank in the top 20 of the Bulgarian box office.

    Despite its world premiere at the Cannes Directors' Fortnight and after its national premiere on October 16, 2009, Kamen Kalev's debut Eastern Plays initially achieved only modest results. The situation reversed after its success at the 22nd Tokyo Film Festival, where the film won the Grand Prix, the director's prize and best actor award for deceased Christo Christov. The qualification of Eastern Plays by the president of the Tokyo Jury Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu as a "film that in a few words, in a subtle way, captures the essence of young people in a very dramatic and complex social" were widely quoted in the national media and had an effect on the distribution results. Nationally distributed by MVM International, with only 3 prints at the moment after its ninth week the film is on its way to reach 15,000 admissions.

    Andrei Slabakov's 54 min documentary Jazzta - Prasta or Which Are the Bulgarian Notes on the Vienna based gypsy accordionist Martin Lubenov has been released in theatres for only two weeks, but already took the ninth position in the national box office.