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Katya Trichkova • Producer, Contrast Films

"The story comes first"


- The producer behind the films of Stephan Komandarev tells us about her current projects ahead of her participation in Producers on the Move

Katya Trichkova • Producer, Contrast Films

Bulgarian producer Katya Trichkova founded her company Contrast Films in 2013 and has since produced three features by Stephan Komandarev and documentary filmmaker Svetoslav Draganov’s fiction debut Humble [+see also:
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. She also collaborated with HBO Europe on Petya Nakova’s documentary Silent Legacy. Trichkova, selected for the EFP's Producers on the Move 2022, tells us about her current projects and the situation in Bulgarian cinema.

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Cineuropa: You work both in fiction and documentary cinema. What attracts you to a project and how do you pick them?
Katya Trichkova: It is pretty simple: the story comes first, if it is something that I care about or that moves me emotionally, and the professional and personal qualities of the director, as I will spend a lot of time with them over several years. I am interested in stories that examine human relations and behaviour and how a given event or decision can influence one’s life.

Can you tell us a bit about the projects you're currently working on?
Currently my company’s slate includes several projects in different stages of development and production. One of them is Gambit, the fourth fiction feature by Konstantin Bojanov, that we are in financing with. It's a suspenseful art-heist film with elements of the thriller aimed at broader audiences that balances plot with complex character development. It is centred around a criminally minded young woman who concocts a plan to rob an art museum. Soon, however, she finds herself caught between her desire to cash in on the bounty and her deepening feelings for her lover, whom the police unjustly accuse of being part of the heist. The project is unique for the Bulgarian film industry in its scope, artistic qualities, and potential for broad international distribution.

Milena Andonova's third film Kiril's Luck, in development, follows a modest man who finds himself in a paradoxical conflict between €6 million that chance has bestowed upon him, everybody else’s ideas about how his life should look from now on and his own genuine need for intimacy, understanding and love.

My Father's Shoes, the debut feature by the talented young director Hristo Simeonov, in its special way raises social and psychological issues about the loss of faith in family relationships and the inability to forgive (the project is in financing).

Also in financing, in her documentary debut No Way to Say Goodbye, Plamena Slavcheva undertakes a journey to reconstruct her life in Bulgaria after the sudden death of her father in a car accident. Her attempts to find out the truth about the crash fail but lead her to discover how broken the local healthcare and legal systems are.

I am also a co-producer on Adrian Voicu's Capturing Sami, produced by Marcian Lazar of Romania's Axel Film Echipamente, which is in post-production.

Besides the films under the umbrella of Contrast Films, I also provide services as a freelance producer for other Bulgarian companies, and as such I'm working on two films by Stephan Komandarev: Blaga's Lessons (in post-production, we finished shooting in the second half of April) and Made in EU (in development, it will be presented in this year’s edition of Cannes L’Atelier), The Block by Viktor Chouchkov (in development) and Snescha and Franz, a documentary by Svetoslav Draganov (currently filming).

What is your view of the potential of Bulgarian cinema?
I believe it is promising and I expect something really good to happen soon. After Covid-19 we also had a very challenging 2021, where due to the legal reform of the film industry and related administrative changes, the Bulgarian National Film Centre in fact couldn’t operate fully. Now we have a new executive director, Peter Todorov, who brings a lot of energy, expertise and dedication to make things happen and to carry out a modernisation of the institution. As a result, on the first call for applications, a record number of fiction films have been submitted (more than 120 in different categories) and I am optimistic that we can expect exciting and strong Bulgarian films in the next few years.

What do you expect from your participation in Producers on the Move?
I expect new partnerships, new friends, an intense exchange of ideas and experience and a lot of inspiration, fun, sun and (some) wine.

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