Ivaylo Hristov putting the finishing touches to Fear
- The black-and-white film shows the reactions of Bulgarian villagers when a black refugee enters their lives
Five years after his previous film, Losers [+see also:
interview: Ivaylo Hristov
film profile], won several awards, including Moscow's Golden St George, Bulgarian actor-director Ivaylo Hristov is putting the finishing touches to his fourth directorial effort, Fear. The project, centring on the Bulgarian perspective on the migrant crisis, is being staged by ProFilm and producer Assen Vladimirov. Last week, Fear met an audience of festival selectors, salespeople and distributors at the 17th Sofia Meetings’ Works in Progress (held online from 27-31 May).
The screenplay, written by Hristov himself, centres on Svetla (Svetlana Yancheva), a widow who has recently lost her job as a teacher. She lives in a Bulgarian village near the Turkish border, a spot where one can often see refugees on their way to Western Europe. One day, while hunting in the forest, Svetla comes across a migrant (Michael Fleming), and she will soon be forced to rebel against her neighbours as they urge the black man to leave the village immediately.
Shot in black and white by Emil Christov, Fear started production in January 2019 on location in Southern Bulgaria, close to the Black Sea. Shooting wrapped after 27 days. Stoyan Bochev, Ivan Savov, Krassimir Dokov, Kristina Yaneva and Miroslava Gogovska play supporting characters in the film. The editor is Toma Washarov.
The movie’s budget amounts to €695,000, with the Bulgarian National Film Center supporting the production with circa €460,000. Fear is being co-produced by local production companies Transformers, Kinolight, Sonus and Revo Films.
Ivaylo Hristov says the idea for this film came to him four years ago when, while holidaying in Southern Bulgaria, he witnessed a van packed with terrified migrants being stopped by the police. “This movie is an attempt to explore how and why fear prevents us from being human and from communicating,” he says. Producer Assen Vladimirov tells Cineuropa that he expects Fear to be delivered in September, with a release in Bulgarian cinemas slated for early 2021.
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