Svetoslav Draganov developing his first fiction feature, Waterfall CEO
by Stefan Dobroiu
- The documentary filmmaker delves into the ethics of the genre with a story about… a documentary filmmaker
Documentarian and Zhaleika [+see also:
film profile] producer Svetoslav Draganov is in development with his debut fiction feature, Waterfall CEO. A Cineaste Maudit production, the project is being produced by Draganov and Katya Trichkova.
The project will start production in April 2017. Draganov has planned 36 shooting days in Sofia, Amsterdam and a village on the shores of the Black Sea. The film has received approximately €400,000 from the Bulgarian National Film Center. As co-production companies are needed, Cineaste Maudit is searching for partners in Romania and the Netherlands, and the film’s budget amounts to €850,000. Casting will start soon, and Draganov wants to employ both professional and non-professional actors. The DoP is Vesselin Hristov (Thirst [+see also:
interview: Svetla Tsotsorkova
Written by the director together with Nevena Borisova, the story focuses on Vassil, a documentary filmmaker stuck in an artistic rut. Vassil settles for directing a TV talk show, but he still dreams about making an impressive comeback: he sees his chance when his new subject, Avtonom, a young monk, has a nervous breakdown. As it may be Vassil’s last shot at fame, the director ruthlessly pursues his goal, with unexpected consequences.
Draganov says part of the story was inspired by his work for his most recent documentary, Life Almost Wonderful. “I’ve always had ethical dilemmas – what to include in the film and what to leave out. It has always been very hard for me to decide whether to disclose something intimate about the characters, something that might hurt them, but also something that could make the film even more exciting,” says the director, adding that Vassil is not an autobiographical character: “He has acquired a face of his own and has drifted away from me.”
Among Draganov’s best-known documentaries are Life Is Wonderful, Isn’t It? (MDR Award at Dok Leipzig 2001), Young at Heart (Prix Europa 2003) and the aforementioned Life Almost Wonderful (Special Mentions at Zagreb Dox and Sofia IFF in 2014).