Bulgaria sends The Judgement to the Oscars
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Stephan Komandarev’s previous film was the only Bulgarian production ever to be shortlisted for the Best Foreign-language Film category
The National Film Council, a committee under the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian National Film Center, has selected Stephan Komandarev’s The Judgement [+see also:
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile] to represent the country at next year’s Oscars. Komandarev’s previous directorial effort, The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner [+see also:
film profile], is the only production in Bulgarian cinema to have been shortlisted for the Best Foreign-language Film category of the Academy Awards.
The Judgement was produced by Argo Film (Bulgaria) and co-produced by Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion (Germany), Sektor Film (Macedonia) and Propeler Film (Croatia). The project received financial support from the Bulgarian National Film Center. It also won the top award at the 2014 edition of the Golden Rose Film Festival in Varna, a festival intended to screen domestic productions to local audiences.
The Judgement tells the story of Mityo (Assen Blatechki), a middle-aged man who has lived for 25 years with a terrible secret – as a soldier on the Bulgarian border, he was forced to kill a young couple from East Germany trying to escape to Turkey. Mityo is still on the border, but this time smuggling illegal immigrants in the opposite direction, from Turkey to Bulgaria and the European Union. After losing his wife, his job and the trust of his son, Vasko (Ovanes Torosian), Mityo now has one last chance for redemption.
Last year, the committee selected Ivan Nichev’s Bulgarian Rhapsody for the Oscars. The decision was met with astonishment by local filmmakers, as Nichev was a member of the committee and his historical drama had no international career when compared with more famous Bulgarian productions such as Maya Vitkova’s Sundance-selected Viktoria [+see also:
interview: Maya Vitkova
film profile] and Milko Lazarov’s Venice-selected Alienation [+see also:
interview: Milko Lazarov
The international sales of The Judgement are handled by Premium Films.
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