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Western is the opening night film for the 35th edition of Golden Rose Bulgarian Feature Film Festival

The critically acclaimed Western by Valeska Grisebach, which had its world premiere at Cannes Film Festival, is this year’s curtain-raiser to Golden Rose Festival. Western is screened within the Focus: Coproduction out-of-completion programme featuring five full-lengths Bulgarian coproductions that have gained international recognition.

Western, coproduced by Germany, Bulgaria and Austria, was filmed at a hamlet located on the Bulgarian-Greek border and its cast was made up of Bulgarian non-actors. It tells the story of a group of German construction workers starting a tough job at a remote building site in the Bulgarian countryside. The foreign land awakens the men’s sense of adventure, but they are also confronted with their own prejudice and mistrust due to the language barrier and cultural differences. After its run on the festival circuit (Munich IFF, 2017; Jerusalem IFF, 2017 – Nomination for Best International Film; LUX Film Prize Official selection 2017; 17th T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival, Poland, 2017 – International Competition; Yerevan IFF, 2017 – Jury Special Mention Award) Western has its Bulgarian premiere at Golden Rose 2017.

The long-awaited Bulgarian premiere of Stephan Komandarev’s Directions is also slated to be held within Golden Rose. The movie began its festival circuit from the prestigious Un certain regard, Cannes 2017. A Bulgarian film has for the first time in three or so decades been chosen for the Official Selection of Cannes Film Festival. At Sarajevo IFF 2017 (Main Competition) Directions by Stephan Komandarev received the Special Jury Mention for its cast: Vassil Vasilev – Zuek, Ivan Barnev, Assen Blatechki, Dobrin Dossev, Gerasim Georgiev, Irini Jambonas, Vasil Banov, Julian Vergov, Stefka Yanorova, Nikolay Urumov, Stefan Denolyubov, etc.

Directions tells the story of different people from contemporary Bulgarian reality whose destinies are irrevocably intertwined in the span of twenty-four hours, while the death of one person gives a chance for a new life to another, in six taxicabs in Sofia.

Ilian Metev’s feature directorial debut ¾ is also among the highlights of the festival. The movie had its world premiere at the Festival of Locarno in the Cineasti del Presente section, receiving Golden Leopard Award and in end-September it will compete at San Sebastian IFF. The movie is a poetic portrayal of a father, his son and daughter during their last summer together. Ilian Metev’s previous work, the documentary Sofia’s Last Ambulance (2012) was premiered at Cannes IFF 2012 (Critics’ Week) – nomination for the Camera d’Or, Visionary Award. This year’s award for ¾ in Locarno was preceded in 2016 by a Golden Leopard for Ralitza Perova’s Godless, which scooped also the Golden Rose last year.

For more information about the programme and the highlights of Golden Rose 2017, please visit www.2017.zlatnaroza.bg.