After receiving this text message, form a friend who has helped me and my family a great deal over the years, I can only overflow with joy and gratitude. Here is to making movies, being vulnerable on and off the screen and sharing our stories!
After a sold out screening in San Francisco, we sold out in LA. While I made the movie, THERE is what it is because of the people in it. It is those people, back in Bulgaria, who make up our collective experience of the film. And it is truly magical to see this movie the old school way, on the big screen! I fell in love with the movies watching them in the movie theatre, getting there 20 minutes before a showing to do some daydreaming. In those daydreams my own films played up there. I guess I was practicing magic from a little kid without knowing it was magic I was playing with. Now that we have all been together in Los Angeles, ‘there’ and ‘here’ draw closer and closer. Here in the audience and there, on the big screen bring me back to my childhood. Or perhaps just awake the child in me who had forgotten about his 20 minutes of daydreaming.
Our next stop is Vancouver BC in Canada and we are currently discussing a second screening in Los Angeles. Thank you Bulgarian Education and Culture Society Pchela for your support over the years! Thank you LA friends and family for coming out! Follow the tour at Filmabee and www.filmabee.com. See you at the movies!
We are born without memories. Or are we? We are born out of emptiness, become full and return to emptiness. Or do we? I used to worry about empty seats, where and how my films will be seen. Most of all, I used to worry how my films would be perceived. Then, one day I quit worrying and decided to speak my truth and if people connect to it - great. If they don’t - great. With THERE, both through filming and touring, I’ve met people who live and celebrate their truth daily. One of them is Tanya Kostova who has led the San Francisco community for twenty years. “Oh, Tanya, your grandmother is a big antika,” would speak her grandfather. Like a treasure chest, an antika is the keeper or traditions, wisdom and culture. An antika bridges the ancient and the modern and, therefore, inspires both reverence and a desire to know more about one’s roots. So Tanya, an antika herself, created Antika Bulgaria Cultural Club/Chitalishte. Thank you Tanya and all the antikas around you for your kindness and wisdom! I can’t wait to be back again in San Francisco! Connect with ANTIKA Bulgaria here!
I'm so humbled and honored of how incredibly warm our San Francisco audience was! Every seat was full with people standing and seating in the isles. More photos, thank yous and stories to come as I catch my breath. See you at the movies!
Who could have imagined that the dreaming boy would one day find himself returning to San Francisco with his second film. Who could have imagined that year after year he would be welcomed by Albena and Niki, the kindest of hosts and friends whose Airbnb has been my home away from home away from home. Where, just out of the back yard, I can walk up and rest under the eucalyptus, to count my blessings as many as its leaves, to watch another sunset draw open the curtain for yet another screening tonight! Imagine is all one can do, under the eucalyptus where dreams do come true, not because of a single boy, but because of the hearts of the many who come together when one follows his calling.
Tonight the screening is bittersweet as a gentle man, an American who rekindled my love for my heritage is no longer with us. He is part of the story of the eucalyptus now and will live in my heart forever. Thank you Tom Derring for the love you showed me I am capable of giving. See you at the movies tonight, San Francisco!
The film premiered in front of 80 people which was double the number we expected. After the movie two gentlemen introduced themselves. Both Bulgarian emigrants from the 60s and 70s when Bulgaria was still ruled by the communist party. One more talkative than the other with visible longing for what, over 40 years ago, was his home. The other, silver hair, listening with the mindfulness and patience of an eighty year old man who has been through more than several stories. I come to find out he was a political prisoner. A prisoner with a past he wishes to share. And so a new adventure begins! I am humbled and honored that the film brought out these old emigrants and can only hope that we continue to meet each other at events like this and continue to exchange our stories in the conversations that follow. Thank you to every single audience member who made our Portland premiere such a special evening!
Thank you Jan for recommending the theater, Luba, Vesko and Vania for helping get the word out and Podkrepa Bulgarian - Macedonian Association for your support! Like Filmabee for more stories! See you at the movies!
And so a boy’s dream to make and share his films starts a new chapter. Imagine seeing the title of your film welcoming you as you drive up to one of the oldest operating movie theatres in the US. One truly feels like a child in moments like this. Imagine your film showing on the same screen where since 1915 thousands of films have shown. The Clinton Street Theater is family owned with a mission to support the community through the power of independent film. And how did I find out about it? The old school way - word of mouth, a Portlandian telling me about it. What a magical way to start my first ever film tour!
The film was presented with the generous support of Podkrepa Bulgarian - Macedonian Association! Thank you Vania Karachobanova, Luba Nenchev & Vesko!
Let the child in you keep dreaming! See you at the movies!