FNE at Cannes: EFP Producer on the Move Kamen Kalev

By Pavlina Jeleva

    Bulgaria's Kamen Kalev won international attention with his first film as both director and producer, Eastern Plays.

    {mosimage}After the international success of Eastern Plays, produced by WaterFront (www.waterfrontfilm.net) in association with the Swedish postproduction company Chimney Pot post (www.thechimneypot.com), Kalev will begin promoting of his new project The Island in Cannes. With strict budget restrictions for 2010, the €1.5M film is has support from the National Film Center and from Bulgarian National Television as a national co-producer with a 6.5% share. Stockholm-based Chimney Pot will be involved as international co-producer again.

    Born in the Black sea town Burgas in 1975, Kalev graduated from La Fémis (Paris) in 2002. His production partner Stefan Piryiov was born in 1974 and studied at the New York Film Academy. After graduation both worked on commercials and shorts. Wishing "to make their own independent projects with freedom of expression," they founded WaterFront with Eastern Plays as first feature film.

    WaterFront quickly became visible on the Bulgarian film production landscape as a company with courage, ready to take the risk of producing without state support. Due to Kalev's philosophy determines his film ethic. "Business is important but should not be the only aim for people wishing to live in a healthier society," he says. He wrote and co-directed (with Dimitar Mitovski) the unconventional shorts Get the Rabbit Back in 2005 and Rabbit Troubles in 2007 (selected by the Critics Week in Cannes). Now his aim is to write, direct and produce his own films following European standards. In Cannes he expects to find the right partners not only for The Island but for future projects as well.

    The Island will be the story of a "profound inner transformation of a complex character at the age of 33." The shooting will take place on a small Bulgarian island not far from the director's home town.With the help of "dreams and imagination," Kalev says his film will mix "reality and fantasy" in order to show a "human being finally freed from painful anxieties, fears and tensions."


    WaterFront Film (Bulgaria)

    Kamen Kalev & Stefan Piryiov

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    Eastern Plays (www.easternplays.com) main awards:

    Grand Jury Prize (European feature films), Anger Film Festival

    Best European film, Mons Film Festival

    CEI AWARD 2010, Trieste Film Festival

    Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix for best feature film, best director & best actor (Christo Christov), Tokyo International Film Festival

    European Parlament Official Selection Finalist, LUX 2009 nomination

    "Best director" & "best actor" (to Christo Christov) & the Ecumenical jury prize - Bratislava IFF'09

    Special Prize of the jury, Estoril Film Festival

    Best film, Warsaw Film Festival

    Youth jury award, Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival

    CICAE award, Sarajevo IFF

    Sofia Municipality Award, best feature film

    Award for achievement in Bulgarian culture, Apollonia Festival of Arts