SOFIA: Often called “man of hope” and ‘’father of the nation’’ prominent poet, scriptwriter and translator Valeri Nissim Mevorah, known with his pen name Valeri Petrov, died in Sofia at the age of 94.
Highly respected for his resistance against the pro-Nazi Bulgarian government during World War II and his refusal to sign an official petition against Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn during communism in 1970, Petrov also translated the complete works of Shakespeare into Bulgarian.
“During decades his incredible talent and human gift watered the spiritual space of Bulgaria. For the Bulgarian cinema this loss is enormous…” the Union of the Bulgarian Film Makers wrote in its obituary.
Petrov started writing film scripts during the 1950’s. His first work Item One was directed by Boian Danovski and participated in the official competition of the Cannes IFF. In 1958 he wrote the script of On the Small Island, as well as The Sun and the Shadow in 1962, both directed by recently deceased Ranguel Valchanov. The 1966 A Knight without Armour, directedby Borislav Sharaliev rapidly turned into one of the most beloved Bulgarian films for children. In 1981 director Zako Heskia continued with Yo Ho Ho, also dedicated to younger audiences.
In 2006 Petrov’s script Yo Ho Ho was adapted by director Tarsem Singh for his film The Fall which achieved a considerable box office.