In the middle of their path 50 YEARS ANNIVERSARY

Asya Kovanova and Andrey Kulev cannot be written about separately, because they have been inseparable for years. After Andrey‘s frantic passage of „The Line“ and Asya‘s dizzying circling of spaces in „Ecstasy“, the two find themselves in their first film together, „The Pianist“ (2012). A film – a poem, enigmatically beautiful, dragging into the spaces of the soul, searching for the root of human resistance, dying down before the power of hope… Then the trembling with feelings and beauty „Love with occasional showers“ (2015) and „Fish, swimmers, ships“ (2018) were born, in which Andrey combines Préver‘s poetry with the Chinese landscape through his aerial drawing; and their last two films „Paper Kite“ (2019), „Santiago“ (2022), overflowing with love and kindness…. Regardless of whose idea it is and who is the leader in the particular project, Asya and Andrey embed the goals in each of their films. These are all movies – islands, animated poems – parables, an alloy of love and understanding tenderness, of kindness and quiet wisdom. With sensitive fine drawing, airy picturesqueness and expressive stylized typefaces, they bring us back to the innermost essence of life and bring true healing light to the overwhelmingly gloomy cartoon landscape.

Boris Despodov has been living and working in Germany for years and works in feature and documentary cinema as a producer and director. However, animation is a very important part of his creative journey because he is first and foremost an artist and has illustrated hundreds of books and magazines from an early age. His very first animated films – „Mythology“ (2001) and „Tick-tock“ (2005) brought him festival success. His vividly provocative film adaptation of Chekhov‘s „Three Sisters and Andrey“ (co-authored with Andrey Paunov) is also memorable – an unexpected reading of Chekhov‘s „Three Sisters“ as a black absurdist comedy. A film – a terrifying metaphor of a crippled life, turned into a meaningless habit, solved experimentally with actors painted in pastels, looking for the naturalistic cruelty in details and the grotesque in human behavior. „Odeon“ (2016) is his last animated film so far, part of the project „Mark and Verse“, in which Boris continues his experiments with the rotoscope technique and painting. The film is a nostalgic metaphor of the cracking and cooling of the love feeling, built on quotes from a Godard film…

Ivan Bogdanov founded together with Vesela Dancheva, his invariable companion and co-author, the creative platform „Compote Collective“ with the idea of creating a favorable creative environment for young artists and animators to work and communicate. And they really succeed. Over the past years, Compote Collective has become a spiritual space for teamwork, co-authorship, experimentation. Among their most large-scale omnibus projects are „Father“ and „Mark and Verse“ (12 films on contemporary Bulgarian poetry!). In the animated documentary „Father“ (2012), Ivan is the main writer and director; it is a poignant, emotionally wrenching film about loneliness but the child and the broken contact with the father, built from real documentary-told behind-the-scenes stories, dramaturgically orchestrated by Ivan, each developed by a different team in the surreal key characteristic of the Compote Collective. His other author‘s films are the surrealistic interpretation „The Milkmaid“ (2015), based on Dimitar Voev from the first „Mark and Verse“ and the mythical „Travelling Country“ (2017), co-authored with Vesela Dancheva. He is currently working on his next project, „The Voice“. Lecturer in the „Animated Cinema“ program of NBU.

2009, 4’, dry pastel
director Andrey Koulev

2009, 14‘
director Boris Despodov, Andrey Paunov

2012, 10’, cut outs
directors Assia Kovanova, Andrey Koulev

2017, 00‘48‘‘
director Ivan Bogdanov

2016, 7’, watercolor
directors Assia Kovanova, Andrey Koulev

2012, 16’27”
director Ivan Bogdanov

2019, 8’, cut outs
director Assia Kovanova

2017, 00’42”
director Ivan Bogdanov