40, MARIA LUISA BOULEVARD
Producer: Maya Vitkova-Kosev, Viktoria Films (Bulgaria)
Total Budget: 400 000 Euro
Funding: Production support Bulgarian National Film Center – 207 000 Euro
Kristina Spassovska is a Bulgarian writer-director born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1990. Currently based in Sofia. In 2018 she graduated from EICAR – The International School of Film and Television, Paris, France with Masters of Fine Arts in Film Directing. Previously Kristina has graduated with Bachelor of Art History from the New Bulgarian University. Since 2016 she is gaining experience in short film production as a first assistant director and production manager in France and Bulgaria. In 2018-2019 Kristina took a position at the Television Sales and Development Department of the distribution company the Wild Bunch in Paris. In the early 2020, she moved back to Bulgaria to continue her career as a freelance writer and director.
“MOTHERLAND” (2019, Bulgaria-France, 14 min) is her graduation film, selected in the National Competition for best Bulgarian short film at the 24th Sofia International Film Festival.
Kristina Spassovska’s debut feature film “40, MARIA LUISA BOULEVARD”, currently in development, has received production support by the Bulgarian National Film Center.
Sofia, a 36-year-old Bulgarian, returns to her childhood home for her father’s funeral, where ghostly events start unraveling the missing pieces of her life.
Sofia, a 36-year-old Bulgarian, returns to her childhood home for the funeral of her father Slav, after years of living abroad. The two of them have not spoken since the mysterious disappearance of her older brother, Peter, which tore the family apart and subsequently led to her departure.
Sofia experiences a number of inexplicable situations, but when Slav’s ghost appears, eating an ice-cream in the kitchen after his own funeral, she understands that her father has not really found eternal peace…
The supernatural events that keep puzzling her, as well as the administrative delays urge Sofia to stay for the forty days of mourning, postponing her plans to sell the apartment and return to her life in Paris. As the mourning progresses, the spirits in the house become restless. Despite the efforts to forget the past, Sofia finds herself wrapped up in her family’s old wound – the unresolved disappearance of her brother Peter.
Little by little, everything seems to lead her to him – the random passers-by who look alike, the security camera recordings of his disappearance, the strange animals showing up in weird places, even the tombs at the Père Lachaise Cemetery during her virtual tours as a guide seem to be giving her a clue. Sofia cannot help but feel hopeful she might find out what happened to him.
The fortieth day of the mourning comes along with the decision of the District Court – Peter’s death is declared and the local Police finally closes the case. It is time to move on. Yet, Sofia is still restless… Instead of going back to France, she heads to Mount Strandzha, where her father used to go fishing and spending time alone, hoping to find peace for her own soul. Arriving at the mystical spot, famous for its healing powers, Sofia lays down on the ground… When an unknown man comes and sits next to her…
In the last conversation with my grandfather, who used to live at 40, Maria Luisa Blvd., I asked if he was afraid of death. He replied that death does not exist. My grandfather died soon after, on top of his birthday…
“40, Maria Luisa Boulevard” will be my debut feature – a drama, mystery, and a ghost story. Although death is a central theme, the ghosts will bring a dose of absurdity and humour. “40, Maria Luisa Boulevard” will be an intimate film set in one main location – Sofia’s home. The apartment plays a key role, as it represents a collective image of the family and helps the main character to catch the fleeting glimpses of the afterlife.
I believe my debut feature will capture the life of a contemporary Bulgarian family from a new, different perspective. My aim is to explore how the past forms an unbreakable link to our present, and how the things that are lost, sometimes find their way back to haunt us… Now that my grandfather is gone, I wonder – what else would he like to tell me?