Stephan Komandarev • Argo Film
02/05/2012 - Director and producer of one of the most successful Bulgarian films in recent history, The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner, Stephan Komandarev graduated with a degree in Film & TV Directing at the New Bulgarian University in 1998. He founded his production company, Argo, a year later. His feature debut Dog's Home premiered at the Berlinale 2001, in the Forum sidebar. His second feature The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner won more than 35 festival awards and was shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award in 2009. A well-known documentary director, Komandarev has released titles such as Home for Someone Else (2012), The Town of Badante Women (2009) and Alphabet of Hope (2003). He is currently working on the pre-production of a new feature, The Judgement, expected to be domestically released in 2013.
Cineuropa: You are currently pre-producing The Judgement, your next film. Can you tell Cineuropa a few details about the film? What's the biggest challenge of this new project in terms of producing?
Stephan Komandarev: In short, it’s a story about the relationship between a father and a son and their reconciliation. All events take place in a poor border village, near to a cliff called The Judgement. The biggest challenge in terms of production is to secure the final financing of the film. At the moment two other co-producing countries are on board - Germany and Macedonia - and some of the most important financing institutions have already supported the project: Bulgarian National Film Center, Bulgarian National TV, MDM and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg -Germany, Macedonian Film Fund etc…
What's the biggest advantage of making films in Bulgaria? And the biggest disadvantage?
For me the most important advantage of making films in Bulgaria is that one can find here a really great choice of interesting stories and characters, to be told cinematically. As for the biggest disadvantage, I would point to the continuous problems with the limited financing for the local productions.
If you had five or ten million euro (and be forced to spend the whole amount producing one single film) what kind of topic you would be interested in?
I would be interested to shoot a fiction film about the life of a great man, Dimitar Peshev - the man who saved all the Bulgarian Jews during the Second World War. He was an incredible person and all his life was destroyed as a result of this humanitarian act. His story would be great for cinema.
You have been chosen as one of EFP’s 2012 Producers On The Move. What does this mean to you and how will this be beneficial for you at Cannes?
I have already established close connections with a lot of very talented film producers in the frame of 2011 EAVE program and in Cannes I believe that I can extend my contacts by meeting new partners from the industry and find new film projects.
Producers on the move is an initiative of the EUROPEAN FILM PROMOTION