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Bulgarian girl in the jury of the international film festival in Athens

17 September 2011 / 13:09:52  GRReporter
6834 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

For the 17th year, the International Film Festival Opening Nights offers Athenians and visitors to the capital an intriguing selection of films, including anticipated premieres of films, unknown directors, "weird" films and music documentaries.

Among the featured premiere films are George Clooney’s The Ides of March, The Conspirator by Robert Redford, Machine Gun Preacher by Mark Foster, the musical comedy Killing Bono, and the Greek film Milk directed by Giorgos Siugas which in fact is a successful theatrical production transferred on the big screen.

An international jury composed of young professionals will judge the films participating in the competition section. Among them is the 21-year-old Bulgarian Svetoslava Lapcheva who GRReporter presents to its readers.

Who is Svetoslava Lapcheva?

I have been studying film making at King's College in London for two years. Before that, I graduated the American College in Sofia in the field of literature and history, so it was quite natural to study cinema. Actually, my main idea was to study something related to art, but because I was not quite sure until the last moment, things went in that direction. The truth is that I am very pleased with my choice, because I intended to study photography, art or design and I decided that the cinema combines all these things somehow.

How did you become part of the jury of the festival? How did the organizers invite you?

In the university, we receive a newsletter related to art and I stumbled on the international festival in Athens by accident. I thought I should try, because I knew it was about an international jury with the participation of young people. I assumed that all members of the jury will be students and because I have been studying cinema the last two years in London, I visited many festivals as a spectator of course. Therefore, I was very interested to see if there is still a chance to come. Furthermore, I wanted to see Athens. I applied. There was no contest, but I had to write a short essay on a preferred topic and a film. Just then, I saw the new Werner Herzog film for the Chauvet cave in France, which is his first 3D-movie. It provoked strong feelings in me, it almost made me cry. Although it is a documentary, it was made beautifully. I wrote an essay on this topic. A little later, the organizers sent me an invitation. Of course, I accepted it and here am I in Athens.

What does it feel like to be a member of a jury, despite your short your experience?
It is very nice. I would be very happy if this or something related to it could be my profession. We arrived two days ago and attended the opening of the festival that evening. The film was The Artist directed by Michel Hazanavisious. A new, beautifully made film in the style of the 1920s, during the transition from silent films to films with voice. I could say it was a very interesting premiere. Then there was a party where we met different and very nice people.

In fact, I am very pleasantly surprised by Greece, I feel very good here. It is especially nice for me to be acquainted with people. All are very nice and smiling, and we liked each other with the other members of the jury too. Every morning we watch two films for the competition and we choose what to watch in the afternoon.

Are you eager to see a particular film by a particular director?

It was slightly unprofessional, but I decided not to check what films are in the competition, or their contents. I do not like the advertisements, describing a film, because they spoil the pleasure mainly from the photography work. Therefore, I'm constantly surprised that I like a lot. I think nothing better could happen to you in cinema than to be surprised.

All images that I looked were interesting. I expect the tomorrow's screening of an English film titled Submarine by Richard Ayuade. This is his first film as far as I know. My interest comes from his participation in an English series some years ago, which I like for subjective reasons. Moreover, I saw a few frames that made the film, which anyway is involved in the competition, even more interesting to me. So far, there are other movies that I liked, but I will not say which ones.

What should a film contain to impress you and give it your highest rating?

Because I have been doing photography for many years, I value cinematography very much. The more interesting, abstract and strange it is as well as the cutting, the more I like the film. However, every film is so different. In recent years, I have seen things that I have not expected that I would like. I have never been a fan of the American cinema, but I liked very much the musicals from the 1930s and 1950s contrary to my expectations. So I try not to be very biased or to have any serious expectations, because I have been very rarely disappointed so far.

Tags: CinemaFestivalJurySvetoslava LapchevaBulgarian cinemaSirector
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