Faith, Love and Whiskey: A film about hard choices
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Kristina Nikolova's first feature vies for the top prize at Sofia IFF, which begins today (9 March)
For the second time in the 16 editions of the Sofia International Film Festival, two Bulgarian films are in competition for the top prizes. One is Kristina Nikolova's first feature, Faith, Love and Whiskey, a drama that could be released domestically during summer.
The film has already won an important award at Slamdance, the younger and significantly more indie brother of Sundance, for DoP Alexander Stanishev's cinematography. The drama tells the story of Neli (Ana Stojanovska), a young Bulgarian woman who flees her dream life in America to return home to her passionate but self-destructive friend Val (Valery Yordanov). But when her fiancee Scott (John Keabler) shows up unexpectedly, she has to choose between a secure future and a doomed love.
Nikolova wrote the screenplay with writer-editor Paul Dalio and first thought about Love, Faith and Whiskey after reading an article in The Economist, which placed Bulgaria last place in a poll regarding the happiest nations in the world. For her, Neli is the symbol of the wave of Bulgarian immigrants who return home during summer holidays and abandon themselves to wild nights of partying and dangerous decisions.
The film had a budget of €350,000 and was shot after receiving approximately €300,000 from Bulgaria's National Film Center in 2010. It is produced by Magic Shop, with Georgi Nikolov as producer. Nikolova is currently looking for a world sales company and also for a domestic distributor.
Born in Bulgaria, in a family of cinematographers, Kristina Nikolova left her country at 17 to study Economics in US. After watching an experimental film she changed her major to film. Besides directing Faith, Love and Whiskey she served as DoP for six features and more than ten shorts.