Bogdan Mirica's "Dogs", awarded with FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes, with premiere at 21st Sofia Film Fest

"Dogs" was presented in "Un Certain Regard" competition programme as "a promising debut, which cleverly mixes the crime genre with elements of western, presenting conflicts in contemporary Romania". The film is a co-production between France, Romania, Bulgaria and Qatar, as producers from Bulgarian side are Stephan Komandarev and Katia Trichkova ("Argo Film") and production is carried out with the support of the Executive Agency "National Film Centre".

"I read the synopsis and that "western story" taking place in the Romanian Dobruga, arouse my interest, - said Stefan Komandarev to "Capital". - In general, the producers are looking for specific stories from a country which would be understandable and well received worldwide. These stories have to excite people from different cultures. "Dogs" is shot in a Mexican way, but the story is ours, absolutely it can happen also in Bulgaria. Co-productions in any case are not a formula for everything - each requires a different approach. International co-productions are important when you want to do something with bigger budget and greater complexity of implementation. But one of the good things that came out in recent years at that Bulgarian National Film Center already have a session for supporting low budget and short films, ie there are already various options for low-budget productions debuts."

An editor, novelist and copywriter by training in his native Romania, Bogdan Mirica began his directing career in 2011 with the short film "Bora Bora" which met with the popular acclaim of the Festival d'Angers. With his first feature film "Dogs" (Câini) he received the grand prize at the International Festival in Cluj, Transylvania, awards from Sarajevo, Stockholm and also it was nominated for European Discovery of the Year by EFA 2016. This film offers us a fresco of corrupt human nature, in which the protagonists are engaged in a war with their inner selves. A young Romanian returns to the village of his grandfather, whom he has inherited. Determined to sell big, not used property, he received a warning that his grandfather was a local crime boss and his men will not give up the land that develop contraband business.

"There wasn’t anything in particular that triggered the idea. There was a feeling, an atmosphere that I’ve always carried with me – ever since my childhood at my grandma’s in rural Romania, - says Bogdan Mirica. - Sometimes, during the summer nights I’d witness these savage fights between the locals. They’d use all kind of improvised weapons from a bike’s chain to planks or axes. And I remember that what puzzled me the most was not the violence but the randomness of it. These guys didn’t need a reason to enter a fight – they just wanted to see who would come out on top. For all their savagery and lack of morals, there was a sort of ancestral purity about their acts. I can still remember that feeling. That’s what "Dogs" is all about".

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