First Films First




Petar Krumov was born in Sofia in 1988. He took two years of Cultural studies in SU„Kliment Ohridsky“, before entering NATFA „Krustyo Sarafov“ with a major in film directing, which he graduated in 2014.

He works as assistant director for film productions and TV commercials.

His debut short film „Shame“(2017, fiction) has been selected in San Sebastian IFF and Moscow IFF and it won the Clermont-Ferrand IFF nomination for EFA awards 2018 and Special mention at the Sofia IFF.

His debut novel „Hearse, two rhinoceros’’ („Colibri“, 2017) won the „Feather“ award for Best Debut (2017) and is nominated for the National Fund “13 Centuries Bulgaria” award Novel Of The Year.


Winter. A knight leaves his horse on the shore and takes his clothes off for swim in the lake, but when the wind blows, turns out his horse is Đ° rag doll, which soars away. Deyan (32) is a prominent photographer, who is about to make the biggest step in his life – a photo shoot for a prestigious fashion magazine. His idea is to put ugly faces in fancy clothes. What place could be more suitable for finding such models, then his hometown in the province? But when he comes back from Berlin after a long absence, nothing feels right. Everyone in the town is still whispering about his father, a legendary local poet who, we gradually understand, disappeared mysteriously three years ago. Annie, Deyan’s mother, and Pavel, his father’s best friend, are in great grief that flows into madness, alcohol abuse, and obscure decisions – one of which is to ask Deyan if he can arrange a tombstone for his father. He tries to keep it cool, but the memories and old wounds arise. The horse-doll roams alone trough places, floats over the lake. In the very last moment Deyan finds a boy with a raw, unruly face. In a try to pursue the boy to be his model Deyan visits his bizarre house in the nothingness. There he realizes how fake and vile it is to use that innocent orphan and to pretend being a friend. Deyan gives up the shoot. He had met someone who wouldn’t judge him and he finally feels free to expose himself. The photographer confesses that he keeps no love for his father, or his mother. He is empty. He is empty even now, for the boy. And yet you came for dinner, the boy says. It the morning the boy goes on his way to place his rabbit traps in the forest and Deyan leaves with the useless bag of ultra-fancy clothes. He comes back home with a package of new photos. It turns out he secretly took a photo of every single person and place he visited since his arrival. This restoration of the past and the future is his sincere gift to his mother. We see these black and white moments of truth through her eyes. While browsing, she stops shocked by one photo – is that Deyan’s father? Deyan can’t remember taking it. It turns out the boy took it. And when they take a more careful look at the blurry image, they realize it is not the father; it is the son in the photo. The knight, on his horse, rides off along the lake. It is summer again.


This is a story about lonely souls, which, whirled by the winds, touch each other and part. A story about wandering, which, like all wanderings, ends with settling.

The wind is that elusive spirit that pierces everyone, that seems omnipresent, but not belonging anywhere (just like Deyan). It is the thread between past, present and future. It is a natural phenomenon, but it appears also as the exhilaration of existence.

With his films our hero wants to tell stories about outcasts, but he has nothing in common with them. And the outcasts couldn’t care less about that kind of films. Deyan doesn’t realize that his interest in primitive faces and desolate locations is merely a trend, but it soon becomes obvious to the viewer and gradually – to him. Actually, he is deeply lonesome and it takes him time to realize how much he resembles the Boy (the holy fool), whom he treats condescendingly.

Deyan returns to his hometown. Thus he roams not only through provincial manners, but through a realm of memories, buried beneath the surface. We distort the real events in our memory; we sift them. They become totally subjective… romantic. Deyan is digging for his private memories – material that he believes can turn into a successful film. At the same time he is avoiding the most powerful of them – that of his father.

His relatives are forcing on Deyan their subjective, ideal image of him – a reminiscence of the obedient and responsible kid. At the end – he is the one who has to convert the intangible memories into a stone memorial of his father, thus bonding the family again.

In this case we may agree that Deyan is entering a reality that is semi-present, semi-past; reality infiltrated by memories. The visual style needs to resemble somehow that sensation of floating in a stream of memories. The time is not linear. It’s a puzzle of pieces, flashes emerging one after another. Even the common dialogues will be torn up by ellipses in which fragments of time have collapsed.

For the moment when Deyan is searching /locations, casting, at the cemetery/ smooth, wind-like steadycam shots will lead us into worlds of devastation and elation, surreal and mundane at the same time. The camera may sometimes leave the characters to „go with the wind“ or towards an object that reminds them of a memory. This appearance of the memories is more likely to be done via sound (sounds of children, whispers, voices, mechanical objects).

The French philosopher Emmanuel LĂ©vinas says that the human face \”orders and ordains\” us. It calls the subject into “giving and serving” the Other. The face-to-face moment serves to awake our own responsibility towards the Other.

Through Deyan we meet the faces of the children. Black and white photos… videos… interviews… In the film the human face should be not only an image, but the most candid invitation for a relationship and a measure for humanity. But the face, in contrast to every other part of our body, can resist possession – as the face of the Boy will resist the director’s power.

Each face is a landscape on which cuts are made, as if by a knife, forming abysses and heights: eyes, mouth and teeth. This feeling of the vivid, vigorous face we can get via lenses and light. The suburbs where Deyan roams are also kind of faces and we will get the notion that they are alive with the help of sound, too.

The director „digs“ for faces, yet remaining blind for their anguish or joy. At the end of the film our hero regains his sight.

Producer: Rossitsa Valkanova (KLAS FILM)

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