Bulgaria sends Eastern Plays to the Oscars

By Pavlina Jeleva

    The Film Council of the Bulgarian National Film Center (www.nfc.bg) has selected Kamen Kalev's Eastern Plays (www.easternplays.com) as the country's official entry to the 2011 Oscar best foreign language film competition. Shot with a tiny budget and without public support the intimate story of two brothers living in post-communist Sofia won out from a strong slate of new Bulgarian films, including the 2010 national box office topper Mission London (www.mission-london.com) by Dimitar Mitovsky.

    Both films will participate in the competition of the forthcoming National film festival "Golden Rose" that will take place in Varna (2-8 October) and will show 24 films produced during the last two years, 11 of which completed in 2010.

    Eastern Plays was already announced as Bulgaria's film of the year and best debut by the National Film Academy, which also declared Kamen Kalev as best director. It was shown at an impressive number of international film festivals and became the only Bulgarian film ever awarded with the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix and declared as Official Selection Finalist of the European Parliament 2009 Lux nomination. The film was sold in nearly 20 territories.

    Kalev's second feature The Island (www.waterfrontfilm.net) with French Laetitia Casta and Danish Thure Lindhardt that is being shot at the Black Sea Saint Anastasia Island is focused on the emotional world of a man born in Bulgaria but living outside it.

    "I like films that treat the so called small things because in every small thing there is a big one!" Kalev said.

    The director promises to complete the film no later than April 2011.