"Ága" will officially open the 22nd edition of Sofia Film Fest on March 7th, Hall 1 at the National Palace of Culture. Presented as a project with the working title "Nanook" at Sofia Meetings in 2014, where it was awarded by the Mediterranean Film Institute, Synchro Film, Video & Audio, Vienna, also awarded as a project with the prestigious award "Krzysztof Keslovski" from ScriptEast, at Cannes.
For the first time in the history of Bulgarian cinema, the work of a Bulgarian director is receiving such an honor - to close the official main programme at one of the biggest festivals in the world!
This surely happens for the first time in the 68 years history of Berlinale as well!
"Ága" is invited in the main program (out of competition) and will be the first Bulgarian film in Berlin’s official program in 29 years, after the participation of Ivan Nichev’s Ivan and Alexandra.
The plot of the Bulgarian-German-French co-production takes the viewers far north and tells a story about the clash of civilizations through the prism of love and human relationships. In a yurt among the snowy fields of the north, the two main characters inuits - Nanuk and Sedna, dream of reuniting their family. They live in the spirit of the traditions of their ancestors. Left alone in the wilderness, they remind you of the last people on Earth. When Sedna's health gets worse and she dies, Nanuk decides to fulfill her last wish - to find their long-gone daughter Ága, who has chosen the life in the city and has forgotten their traditions.
"I have always been excited about how the modern and rapidly developing world affects small communities, how processes that seem to have nothing in common, affect the lives of entire nations ... With this film I explore how the modern world threatens the foundations of basic human values. I admire people who live in conditions that seem unbearable for the modern man, manage to preserve their delicate relationships and accept life humbly and compassionately.", director Milko Lazarov explains the idea of his film. He and Simeon Ventsislavov are authors of the script, which in 2015 competed with ten other projects from seven Eastern European countries. It was awarded with the prestigious Krzysztof Keslovski Prize –ScriptEast at Cannes, for a scenario from Eastern and Central Europe. Before that, "Ága" won two awards at Sofia Meetings 2014, and namely there the producers were able to attract to the project Guillaume de Seille - "Arizona Productions" as a coproduction partner.
Milko Lazarov graduated Film and TV Directing from NATFA Krastyo Sarafov in the class of Prof. Vladislav Ikonomov. He directed some of the most successful projects of the Bulgarian National Television - "The Great Bulgarians" and "The Great Reading". His first film "Alienation" (2013) was premiered in the official selection (Venice Days Program) and has two awards from the 70th Venice Film Festival.
Producer of "Ága" is Veselka Kiriakova, who has worked with Milko Lazarov since his first film "Alienation". She is also a co-producer of "Glory" by Christina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov. Cinematography is by Kaloyan Bozhilov.
"Ága" is a Bulgarian co-production with the participation of Germany and France. Producer is "Red Carpet" - Veselka Kiriakova, co-producers are; 42film, ARIZONA PRODUCTIONS, BNT, ZDF / ARTE. The film was shot with the financial support of the Bulgarian National Film Center, the Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, the Aide aux Cinemas du Monde, Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée, Institut Français.