PRODUCTION: Komandarev in development with The Judgment

By Pavlina Jeleva

    Following The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner, the first Bulgarian film sold in 25 territories, director Stefan Komandarev is developing a cross border drama The Judgment.

    Building a burning parallel between communist and contemporary times, the scriptwriter/director tells a truthful story about a 19-year-old border guard ordered to shoot a young East German couple shortly before the fall of the Berlin wall. "While attempting to escape from communism over 2000 East Germans have been killed and buried along the Bulgarian border with Greece and Turkey. The criminal behavior of the communist regime went on during years, the last East Germans being killed in May 1989," Komandarev said.

    Based on a true story, Komandarev's drama will take place along the Bulgarian-Greek border near a dangerous precipice known as "Judgment".

    "These are the places where nowadays convoys of refugees keep trying to cross the border guided by smugglers in exchange of money. Some estimated 500,000 people are in Istanbul waiting for a convenient moment to be transferred, via Bulgaria, into the European Union," Komandarev added.

    While filming the documentaries "Bread over the Fence" (2002) and "Alphabet of Hope" (2003) Komandarev became familiar with the region and the people living there, as well as the specific mixture of Orthodox and Muslim rituals which he finds improtant to the process of "repentance and forgiveness".

    The project was first presented at the Sofia meetings (http://sofiaiff.com/sofiameetings) where German LE Vision Film (/www.levision.de) signed on as co-producer. It was selected by the 2009/2010 ScripTeast edition and is tutored by award-winning screenwriter Tom Abrams. Komandarev, who estimates his budget to 1.5 million of Euro, intends to apply to the Media program, through his production company Argo film.