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FESTIVALS Romania / Bulgaria

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Tilt: A Bulgarian Romeo and Juliet

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The enormous Bulgarian box-office hit Tilt from writer-director Viktor Chouchkov and his screenwriter brother, Boris Chouchkov, is one of several Bulgarian films presented at the Transylvania International Film Festival, currently underway.

The film, which made more than €460,000 in Bulgaria since its release in February, spent four weeks at the top of the domestic box office before being dethroned by U.S. animated film Rango in its fifth week.

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Tilt is essentially a love story between two characters from different backgrounds a la Romeo and Juliet. Protagonist Stash (Yavor Baharov) sells pornography and skateboards with his friends and enjoys playing the pinball machine and listening to the Sex Pistols. But in 1989 Bulgaria, this things are all strictly forbidden.

When skateboarding behind a bus going downhill, he sees a pretty girl, Becky (Radina Kardjilova), in the backseat of the bus that causes him to miss a car coming from the right. Not much later, with his leg in a cast, he meets the girl in the square where he hangs out with his buddies, and a romance blossoms.

During a police raid at the hangout of Stash, both are taken into custody, but Becky is soon let go because she turns out to be the daughter of a high-raking official. What follows is their odyssey to try and stay together, first as they both elope to Germany after the wall has come down, later with only Stash and some of his pals in Germany and Becky back in Bulgaria.

Shot in widescreen and with a punk-rock soundtrack, the film looks and sounds great. Acting is also strong, especially from the central pair, who display real chemistry, and Alexander Sano, who plays a buddy-turned-rival of Stash's.

Tilt was produced by the filmmaking brother's own company, Chouchkov Brothers, in co-production with Bulgarian National Television and German outfit Ostlich Filmproduktion. International sales are handled by Berlin-based M-Appeal.

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