Nadejda Koseva begins filming Beggar by the Danube
- The Bulgarian director’s second feature seeks to explore the animalistic side in men and the human one in animals
Two years after her debut, Irina [+see also:
interview: Martina Apostolova
film profile], triumphed at various festivals worldwide and аppeared among the nominees for the European Discovery 2019 - Prix FIPRESCI award (read the article), on 10 June, Nadejda Koseva will start filming her next feature, provisionally titled Beggar, with a set positioned along the South bank of the Danube, near the town of Ruse. The river plays a key role in the plot according to Koseva – it is not just part of the background landscape, but has a narrative function. The production, handled by Bulgarian company Borough Film, is financially supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center and Bulgarian National TV while negotiating co-production possibilities with Hungarian Proton Cinema.
The story, written by veteran Bulgarian screenwriter Boyan Papazov, known for his rebellious scripts in the 1970s, revolves around a 250 kg wild boar brought to a Danube village in order to be ritually shot for a trophy by a wealthy Canadian. Local man Glukhov (filmmaker Kamen Kalev, who directed February [+see also:
film profile] and Eastern Plays [+see also:
interview: Kamen Kalev
film profile]) organises the hunt, expecting the Canadian to help him close a deal for millions of euros. However, Yovo the Beggar (Alexandr Triffonov, who appears in Godless [+see also:
interview: Ralitza Petrova
film profile]) — a former miner, owner of an improvised zoo and perpetual joker — intervenes as he is the only one who has a perfect dog for hunting. Glukhov’s plan goes upside down and nothing will fall into place until he sets his old scores with Yovo.
“Instincts, fears and love between characters (humans and animals) are the real engine of the story”, says Koseva. “Lively, dense, paradoxical, ridiculous and multi-layered, they constitute the film’s flesh and reflect the surrounding world.” The action takes place during the Holy Week, so the protagonist Yovo the Beggar is charged with the symbolic mission to oppose the egocentrism and mercantilism of our time in order to bring hope, like every year at Easter. “Yovo proves that intelligence does not depend on education, but on the strength of one’s personality. He mocks the cynical "elite" that treats notions such as national identity, culture, history and solidarity as empty words”, adds Koseva.
Direction of photography will once again be in the hands of Kiril Prodanov, who proved his talent for creating meaningful portraits in close-ups in Irina. Static camera and smooth light will mark the visual style, while found footage material from local cable TV, drones or mobile phones will be also included.
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