3 minutes more English tripped “Mother” in the battle for “Oscar” (Review)

Zornitsa Sofia’s film will struggle

for “Golden Rose”.

The committee meets for selection

of a new Bulgarian candidate

for the American award

The Bulgarian film “Mother” by the director Zornitsa Sofia Popgancheva will not participate in the competition for the “Oscar” of the American Film Academy next year in February. The reason is that the rules of the American Academy have been violated.

The news and details were announced by the director herself. She wrote on Facebook:

The pink cloud with the Oscars and the dreams about it ended for us last night. It happened with a call from the most delicate director of the NFC (Peter Todorov – note ed.) 5 minutes after he received a letter from the Academy to the NFC that our film “Mother” has about 3-4 minutes more English speech than the permissible 50% for “international film” (international feature).

According to these accounts, we are not an international film despite our international team – definitions that have changed several times in recent years. I accept this surprise, but I would like:

1. Thank you again for the selection of the esteemed committee for choosing us as the Bulgarian proposal for the Oscars 2023, being interested in the qualities of the film.

2. Let me remind you that nowhere on the site of

The academy does not

explains “exactly how”

this speech is measured

and after we wrote to them most politely to guide us – should we count subtitles or words and letters of the given language, they answered us with “duration” and two people from my team with two stopwatches each measured the speech in the film with an approximately equal result.

One with 30 seconds, and the other colleague with 1:35 more for non-English speech, that is Bulgarian, Swahili and Maasai adverb. And we delivered “Mother” live, more robustly as an “international film” with an international and non-American crew.

3. I wish the next Bulgarian film that meets these technical requirements great success! Because we must have Bulgarian representatives at every significant film event and because the more Bulgarian films are seen around the world, the easier it will be for those coming in the future.

And the movie “Mother” is still the same movie, made with actors who invested 1000 percent and a team of ninjas from Bulgaria, Croatia and Germany in some rather complicated conditions. Regardless of whether there are three minutes more English speech, or one and a half minutes more Bulgarian plus Swahili,

he is talking about me

in the language of the heart

The fact that there is an English speech is determined by the authentic story of the heroine, who goes to work with abandoned children in Kenya, where by chance no one speaks Bulgarian. The movie isn’t American either, as far as I understand. But according to the Academy, it is not international either. It could be an alien.

He speaks the language of the heart mainly because of Daria Simeonova, Leon Luchev, Peris Wambui, Steve Mathias, Daria Dimitrova, Lamar Munene and our wonderful team, to whom I am eternally grateful.

I am sorry that the Academy does not agree to compete with “international films”, and I am especially sad because it is not for creative reasons, but because of some numbers that no one knows how they are obtained and what they mean.

Personally, I am crying, because I saw for the second time after “Mila from Mars”, which was also the Bulgarian selection for the Academy Awards, how this selection means a lot in our country – for my team and actors, for my neighbors in the cooperative even, for people on the streets wishing me well in the States.

Actually choosing a Bulgarian representative from a total of 8 Bulgarian films this year is incomparable to a selection in an A-category festival, such as we already have two for the film “Mother”, where 12 films are selected from several thousand applicant films from all over the world.

This is a specificity that is clear mainly in the cinema circles, where the selections in the competition programs of the A-festivals are a professional recognition, for which we are grateful.

I am at least glad that this “surprise” came while it is still possible to surrender another Bulgarian candidate. I will personally keep my fingers crossed for every Bulgarian film and for my next colleague.

And “Mother” will start at the “Golden Rose” festival in Varna on September 24, then it will be in the competition program at the Warsaw Festival on October 20, then it will be in Cottbus, Germany, then we will open “Kinomania” on November 17 in Hall 1 of the NDK , then it’s in The Hague.

And we are releasing in cinemas in the country in January. The question the film asks is “What is it like to have a mother?”

Welcome to the cinema!

“Mother” was chosen as the Bulgarian participant in the battle of “Oscar” by a 7-member jury chaired by actress Maria Bakalova. The jury was

appointed by the National Film Center.

Now the commission will meet again and choose the new Bulgarian candidate for “Oscar”. It will be one of the films that competed last time: “Stock market players” by Georgi Kostov, “In the heart of the machine” by Martin Makariev, “Petya on my Petya” by Alexander Kosev, “Softly spoken” by Henri Kulev and ” Shakespeare as a street dog” by Valery Yordanov.

It is Teodor Ushev

downloaded his

feature film

from the competition

“Mother” is inspired by a true story. It tells about the vicissitudes of a woman who, in her desire to have children, goes all the way to Kenya in Africa. The main character Elena is 32 years old. She is a successful theater director, fully devoted to her profession.

One day she got the bad news that she couldn’t have children. Elena is faced with a cruel choice – to conceive in vitro by her beloved male conductor, or to use the theater program to transform the lives of orphans in faraway Africa. There, Elena will rediscover in her own way the power and meaning of the word “mother”.

Thus, a Bulgarian woman will turn the trauma of not being able to have her own children into a triumph of a different, but also important type of “parenting”.

The screenwriters are Zornitsa Sofia and Miglena Dimova. The film is a co-production with Germany and Croatia. The cinematographer is Krum Rodríguez, the music is written by Darko Markovic.

Actress Daria Simeonova plays the lead role. Also participating are the Croatian Leon Luchev and the Kenyan “stars” Peris Wam Bui and Steve Matias.

The film was shot in Broadbow and in the largest ghettos from Kibera to Nairobi.


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