Pavel Vesnakov in development with Dustcatcher
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Production company Movimiento will build a refugee camp on the Danube for the film
Bulgarian director Pavel Vesnakov is in development with his first feature project, Dustcatcher. The film is being produced by Movimiento Ltd, represented by Monica Balcheva and Orlin Ruevsky, and co-produced by Heimathafen Film (Germany) and Lionceau Film (France). Sebastian Weyland, Knut Jäger and Héléne Cases are the film’s co-producers.
Producer Balcheva tells Cineuropa that the shoot is scheduled for March 2017. The movie’s main location is a refugee camp that the crew will build in Rousse, a Bulgarian town on the river Danube. The film’s budget amounts to €1 million. In December, the project won a €600,000 grant from the Bulgarian National Film Center. The screenplay was written by Vesnakov, Konstantin Bojanov and Arnold Barkus.
The story focuses on Nicola, a 27-year-old man recently released from prison. He returns to Rousse, his hometown, determined to break free from the past. Painfully lonely, he becomes friends with Iva, a 23-year-old woman he meets at the refugee camp where he is sent for community service, one of the conditions of his release on probation. Iva's and Nicola's dreams of leaving Bulgaria and starting anew somewhere else will be challenged by a discovery that Nicola makes.
Vesnakov says he wants to show the similitudes between having no country and having a country you don’t want to live in. “I want to show what happens when the refugees arrive in a country that most of the local people want to leave. And we have a very dramatic situation in which you want to leave Bulgaria and try to secure a better future for yourself, but at the same time, a lot of refugees arrive and you start to realise that you also feel like a refugee in your own country,” the director says.
In 2013, Vesnakov directed Pride, a short film that won the Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand (and was subsequently nominated for the European Film Awards), a Special Mention at Sarajevo and the Best Short Film Award at the Golden Rose Film Festival.