FESTIVALS: Ivailo Hristov’s Fear Competes at 2021 Triste FF

    Fear by Ivailo Hristov Fear by Ivailo Hristov

    TRIESTE: Ivailo Hristov’s feature Fear (Pro Film) will be screened in the main competition of the 32nd Trieste Film Festival, which runs 21 – 30 January 2021 and focuses on films from the CEE, Baltic and Balkan region.

    The story follows the growing revolt and the severe opposition of a jobless teacher towards her fellow villagers, who vehemently deny her relationship with an accidentally arrived black refugee.

    According to Hristov, who wrote the script, the idea came to him some years ago while he was spending his summer in a Black Sea village close to the border with Turkey. “One afternoon, I suddenly came across a van with open doors and saw men, women and children packed inside at a temperature of 40 degrees C. Their clothes were stuck to their bodies and their faces were drenched in sweat. I could never forget their eyes,” Hristov told FNE. “But as the film is about a woman making her long way to love in nearly impossible circumstances, so I prefer to define its genre as an absurd comedy.”

    Svetlana Yancheva plays the lead role. The cast includes Michael Fleming, a composer based in Bulgaria, together with a team of top professionals Ivan Savov, Krassimir Dokov, Kristina Ilieva and Miroslava Gogovska. Several non-professionals, including five refugees from Afghanistan, bring their own originality to the cast.

    The shooting, which lasted four and a half weeks, took place during the winter of 2019 in Varvara, Sinemorets and Rezovo, three villages on the southern Black Sea coast.

    DoP Emil Christov, a close collaborator to Hristov, who also shot his previous film Losers (Pro Film), told FNE: “This time, it was the director who insisted that I shoot the film in black and white. He also wanted me to use the 1:2, 50 aspect ratio. Concerning the lighting I have not changed the standard in which I usually work, but somehow here it recalls the pureness of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s last films.”

    The film was produced by Pro Film with the support of the Bulgarian National Film Center. According to producer Assen Vladimirov, several factors made the shooting especially difficult: first, the ban on public funding throughout 2018; second, some amendments in the FIA, which practically decreased the amount of the subsidy; and third, the forced short preproduction period.

    “The good thing is that the director wanted a real camel in the snow and we managed to have it!” Vladimirov concluded.

    Fear won the main prize at the 2020 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and the Golden Rose National Film Festival.

    Production Information:

    Pro Film
    Assen Vladimirov
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    Director: Ivailo Hristov
    Scriptwriter: Ivailo Hristov
    DoP: Еmil Christov
    Production Designer: Mira Kalanova
    Costume Designer: Marina Yaneva
    Composer: Kiril Donchev
    Editor: Toma Washarov
    Cast: Svetlana Yancheva, Michael Fleming, Stoyan Bochev, Ivan Savov, Krassimir Dokov, Kristina Yaneva, Miroslava Gogovska