Bulgaria hopes to win an Oscar with Losers
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Ivaylo Hristov’s black-and-white coming-of-age story may become the country’s first Oscar-nominated film
Bulgaria has been sending local productions for consideration in the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign-language Film category since the early 1970s, and only one film has ever been shortlisted (but not nominated): Stephan Komandarev’s The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner [+see also:
film profile], in 2010. For the upcoming edition, Bulgaria is back in the fight with Ivaylo Hristov’s acclaimed Losers [+see also:
interview: Ivaylo Hristov
An eight-member committee assembled by the Bulgarian National Film Center voted on Monday morning and selected Losers with 19 points. Hristov’s film was followed by Svetla Tsotsorkova’s Thirst [+see also:
interview: Svetla Tsotsorkova
film profile], with 17 points, and Dimitar Kotzev’s Monkey [+see also:
film profile], with six points.
Written by Hristov and staged by Pro Film with Assen Vladimirov as producer, Losers follows Elena (Elena Telbis), Koko (Ovanes Torosyan), Patso (Plamen Dimov) and Gosho (Georgi Gotsin), four high-school students in a small provincial town. United by the belief that they are losers, they must face various challenges while their all-too-tranquil town is brought back to life by a concert to be played by a famous rock band.
Losers first met the international audience in June 2015, when it was shown in the main competition of the Moscow Film Festival, winning the gathering’s top award, the Golden George for Best Film (read the news). The feature has won several Audience Awards at the festivals where it was selected, including the one at this year’s Sofia International Film Festival.
So far this decade, Bulgaria has been represented at the Oscars by Komandarev’s The Judgement [+see also:
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile] (2016), Ivan Nitchev’s Bulgarian Rhapsody (2015), Emil Hristov’s The Color of the Chameleon [+see also:
interview: Emil Christov
film profile] (2014), Valeri Yordanov and Ivan Vladimirov’s Sneakers (2013), and Viktor Chouchkov’s Tilt (2011).