FNE at the Golden Rose National Film Festival 2021: German lessons

VARNA: Pavel G. Vesnakov’s feature film debut German lesson is in the main competition of 39 National Golden Rose Film Festival (September 23-29, 2021). This Bulgarian-German coproduction was honored as best actor for Julian Vergov at the Cairo IFF 2020.

The plot follows the agony of middle-aged Nicola (Julian Vergov), who the day before her departure for Germany is desperately trying to mend broken relationships with loved ones.

According to Vesnakov, who wrote the screenplay, the idea came to him six years ago, but for various bureaucratic reasons he had to wait five years for shooting to begin. “As a result, the tone of the story changed significantly as my own personality changed. During the forced downtime, my ideas became more radical and dark, ”Vesnakov told FNE.

“All my attention was on the main character, revealing him as a refugee in his own country. Despite his sincere efforts to obtain forgiveness for past sins from his family, his life is falling apart, ”added Vesnakov.

The cast includes Vasil Banov, Elena Telbis, Gerasim Georgiev-Gero and Stefka Yanorova.

Filming in 2019 lasted 32 days and took place mainly in residential suburbs of Sofia, such as Mladost, West Park, Slatina, where the director grew up and felt comfortable.

The DoP Orlin Ruevski shot the film with a handheld camera. There are no more than a hundred pictures, most of which last six or seven minutes. “We wanted the camera to move with the main character, although that requires a lot more attention. In general, I don’t like to explain things, I prefer to suggest them. I want the rhythm of the film to follow the rhythm of life, so there is no music, ”commented Vesnakov.

The film is a Bulgarian-German co-production between Moviemento and Heimathafen Film & Media, supported by Bulgarian National Film Center and the Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein Fund.

The domestic premiere of the film took place on March 13, 2021 within the 25th Sofia FFwhere the film won the special jury award and the FIPRESCI Forgive.

Commercial release is planned for 2022.

Production information:

Moviemento (Bulgaria)
Monica Balcheva
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Orlin Ruevski
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Heimathafen Film & Medien (Germany)

Director: Pavel G. Vesnakov
Screenwriter: Pavel G. Vesnakov
DoP: Orlin Ruevski
Production designer: Severina Stoyanova
Costume designer: Marieta Spasova
Editors: Pavel G. Vesnakov, Victoria Radoslavova
Actors: Julian Vergov, Vasil Banov, Stefka Yanorova, Elena Telbis, Gerasim Georgiev-Gero, Ivan Nalbantov, Meglena Karalambova

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