Viktor Chouchkov starts shooting 18% Gray
by Stefan Dobroiu
- The €1.3 million project is being staged by the Chouchkov Brothers production company
Six years after his first feature, Tilt, Bulgarian director Viktor Chouchkov has started production for his sophomore project, 18% Gray. The €1.3 million project is being produced by the Chouchkov Brothers, represented by Borislav Chouchkov and Katya Trichkova, and co-produced by Ostlicht Filmproduktion (Germany), Cinnamon Films (Serbia) and Raised by Wolves (Belgium).
An adaptation of Zachary Karabashliev's novel of the same title, the screenplay was written by Karabashliev and Ivan Vladimirov. It follows Zack, a Bulgarian immigrant in London. Zack, a failed photographer, is devastated by his break-up with Stella, the love of his life, which pushes him into a haze of alcohol and destructive behaviour. One night, an extreme misadventure has an unexpected ending: Zack finds a bag full of marijuana. It marks the beginning of a long drive from London to Berlin, a journey governed by Zack’s attempt to deal with the past and also by his obsession with winning Stella back. The main parts are played by Ruscen Vidinliev and Dolya Gavanski. Nenad Boroevich is the DoP.
After four days of shooting in the Bulgarian city of Varna in October, the production will be on hold until March and April 2018, when another 24 days of shooting will take place in the UK, Germany and Belgium. The film was supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center, MDM, the Bulgarian National Television, the Serbian Film Center, the Creative Europe MEDIA programme and the Varna Municipality.
Viktor Chouchkov says his film is about “loss, fear and getting stuck because of life’s failures”, and about “finding the will and the way to continue living in spite of everything”. Interestingly, the director considers the main character both the protagonist and the antagonist of the story. He will use flashbacks in order to explore the character’s past and how he has reached such a dead end in his life. 18% Gray will also explore the hardships of being a Bulgarian immigrant in London.
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