FNE Oscar Watch 2023: Bulgaria Selects In the Heart of the Machine as New Oscar Candidate

    In the Heart of the Machine by Martin Makariev In the Heart of the Machine by Martin Makariev credit: Forward Pictures Entertainment

    SOFIA: The Bulgarian National Film Center has announced Martin Makariev’s period drama In the Heart of the Machine as the country’s new candidate for the 95th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) award in the Best International Feature Film category.

    The star of Borat, Maria Bakalova, who is a member of AMPAS, was once again head of the selection committee appointed by the Bulgarian National Film Center.

    Turgent decision was made on 23 September 2022 after the rejection by the Academy of Zornitsa Sophia’s Mother. According to Zornitsa Sophia, the film coproduced by Bulgaria’s MQ Pictures, Germany’s Ostlicht Filmproduktion and Croatia’s Focus Media “has no more than a few minutes of English dialogue over the limit”. She complained she “was not given clear instructions by the Academy on how to calculate the English dialogue.”

    In the Heart of the Machine was produced by Forward Pictures Entertainment. In 2021 the film won the Grand Prix - Best Feature Film and the Best Script Award (for Boby Zahariev) at the 39th Varna Golden Rose FF, and in March 2022 it received the award for Best Bulgarian Feature Film at the Sofia IFF.

    In the Heart of the Machine is a 2022 national box office hit.