Eastern Plays lines up theatrical releases

By Pavlina Jeleva

    Kamen Kalev's festival success, Eastern Plays, will have theatrical releases in 15 countries across Europe -- including Hungary and Slovenia -- and beyond, through international sales agent Memento Films.

    After its success at the at the 22nd Tokyo Film Festival, where it received the Grand Prix, the "best director" award and the posthumous "best actor" prize for Christo Christov, who passed away at the very end of the shooting, Eastern Plays (www.easternplays.com) was announced as Bulgaria's most successful film of 2009. Sold internationally by the French distribution company Memento Films (www.memento-films.com) the film will be shown in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Norway, Hungary and Slovenia. In the Balkans Eastern Plays will screen in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Monte Negro and Serbia, followed by Turkey. For the moment Australia and New Zealand are the two countries outside of Europe where Eastern Plays will be distributed theatrically.

    In 2009 Kalev's debut also became one of the three nominees for the 2009 European LUX Prize and participated in 23 international festivals. At the Sarajevo IFF it grabbed the CICAE award (www.cicae.org) and in Warsaw (www.wff.pl) it shared the prize for best first and second films. The international jury of the Estoril FF (www.estoril-filmfestival.com) gave Eastern Plays it's special prize João Bénard da Costa. In Bratislava (www.iffbratislava.sk) Kalev won another "best director" prize, the film being qualified as "rendering of a tough and complex social situation in very naked emotional terms, via an original, contemporary film language." Five more festival participations of Eastern Plays in the USA, Spain, Iran and Lithuania are planned for the beginning of 2010.