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PRODUCTION Bulgaria

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Lachezar Avramov is in post-production with A Picture with Yuki

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- The Chouchkov Brothers project is a rare Bulgarian co-production with a non-European country

Lachezar Avramov is in post-production with A Picture with Yuki
Japanese actress Kiki Sugino in A Picture with Yuki

No matter how open the Bulgarian film industry is to co-productions, it is very rare that a film is made in Bulgaria in partnership with a non-European country. Lachezar Avramov’s debut feature, A Picture with Yuki, is the first Bulgarian co-production with Japan. The film is being produced by Chouchkov Brothers, led by Borislav and Viktor Chouchkov, and co-produced by Wa Entertainment (Japan), headed up by Kousuke Ono.

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The screenplay, co-written between Avramov and Dimitar Stoyanovich, is based on a short story by the writer Miroslav Penkov. It centres on Georgi (Ruscen Vidinliev), a Bulgarian man living in Canada, and his Japanese wife Yuki (Kiki Sugino). Their troubled marriage may be salvageable if they have a child, so they travel to Bulgaria for its cheaper IVF procedures. While visiting the countryside, they are involved in a tragic accident that claims the life of a Gypsy child. The tragedy and its consequences will lead Georgi and Yuki to seek answers regarding their future together and their true reasons for wanting a child.

The project’s budget amounts to approximately €500,000. The Bulgarian National Film Centre provided support to the tune of €300,000. The film was shot last autumn over approximately six weeks, in locations including Sofia and Plovdiv, but mostly in several villages in the Bulgarian countryside — including Izvor, a secluded Gypsy community from which the team also hired extras and special extras. The film’s DoP is Torsten Lippstock. Post-production is expected to wrap in the autumn.

Avramov says his film is a story about “birth and death, meaning and lack of meaning”, and that his main goal in adapting Penkov’s short story was to translate to the big screen “the extraordinary sense of detail, the melancholic rhythm and the superb linear narrative” of its literary source.

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