In Queen Viktoria, a sperm cell previews life in Communist Bulgaria

By Katarzyna Nowakowska

    Warsaw (CentEast Daily News) -- Communist Bulgaria as seen by ... the victorious sperm cell which later gives life to Viktoria, the main character, is the subject of 29-year-old Bulgarian Maya Vitkova's €1 million feature, Queen Viktoria, which is among the 15 projects presented at Warsaw's CentEast Market.

    The film is set on Nov. 10, 1979, 10 years before the Communist demise. Viktoria's mother won't have her; she would rather escape to the West. But the sperm cell gets a rare chance to preview Viktoria's life as the baby of the decade, the symbol of the regime and a political instrument for its leader, Todor Zhivkov.

    "It is a kind of magical realism, but really a very simple story about the need for love, which will apply to every human being," explained Maria Staleva, of Bulgaria's RFF International Productions. Germany's Pallas Film and Austria's Aichholzer Film are on board as co-producers. "At the CentEast Market we are mainly discussing with distributors and sales agents."

    Currently finishing the script at a creative workshop in Bucharest, the director has already shot a few sequences for the film in Warsaw, where she stayed last year to participate in a training programme at Andrzej Wajda's Master School of Film Directing. Queen Viktoria will mainly film on Bulgarian locations, with special effects most probably added in Austria.