PRODUCTION / FUNDING Bulgaria / Germany
Bulgarian feature on international terrorism Remains of Life in development
- Sevda Shishmanova is working on her feature debut, inspired by real events that occurred during a terrorist attack in Bulgaria
After directing several TV documentaries on hot political topics, experienced Bulgarian TV reporter and journalist Sevda Shishmanova is developing her first feature, based on the circumstances surrounding an explosion on a bus carrying Israeli tourists at Burgas airport in 2012, which resulted in seven deaths. The project is a co-production between Bulgaria’s Red Carpet and German outfit 42films GmbH, which are currently negotiating with a third partner from Israel, since shooting will take place partly there. So far, funding has been secured from the Bulgarian National Film Center.
The plot is fictional; however, it does reflect actual events to a significant degree. In parallel, it narrates the personal stories of the seven victims, including the murderer. In particular focus is the story of the Bulgarian bus driver of Muslim origin who died in the attack, while emphasis has also been placed on the dramatic clash between a photographer and the lead investigator in the case. While working on the script, co-writers Shishmanova and Berlin-based scriptwriter Milena Petrova made use of interviews with the victims’ loved ones, the surviving passengers and the individuals involved in the investigation, as well as records of interrogations of witnesses, photos, and footage from the investigative analysis of the planning and execution of the attack.
The cinematographic approach will include static camera, close-ups and keen attention to the actors’ performances in order to capture the specifics of everyone's daily life and achieve authenticity. Kaloyan Bozhilov (known for his work on Milko Lazarov’s Alienation [+see also:
interview: Milko Lazarov
film profile] and Ága [+see also:
interview: Milko Lazarov
film profile]) has confirmed his participation as director of photography.
Regarding her motivation to initiate this film project, Shishmanova says: “I am familiar with the vicious spiral of revenge fostered by a deeply radicalised political background. Amidst the general feeling of loss and sadness, I also sense particular injustice when the worlds of people with their own personal victories and defeats, loves and separations, troubles and dreams, simply sink and disappear, reduced to “victim statistics”. After this first act of terrorism in Bulgaria’s recent history, I began to study the stories of all those who died in the tragic events, and I decided to make a film about them because I think that in order to oppose an ideology that promotes the easy erasure of human lives, one should extol their values.”
Bulgarian-born German film and theatre actor Samuel Finzi will be playing the lead investigator, while the rest of the cast is still to be confirmed but should also include a clutch of Israeli actors.
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