Bulgaria, Germany 2022
102 minutes
directors: Ilian Metev, Ivan Chertov, Zlatina Teneva

This film begins its festival life right after its premiere at the big festival in Karlovy Vary, as a new great film by Ilian Metev, a young European author with an English documentary style. This time he is with two other young filmmakers. A documentary that amazed Europe with the magnificent courage of documentary authors to enter a dangerous place and come face to face with things that the whole world wanted to run away from.

This exceptional film stands opposite to everything we saw during the covid 19 pandemic - this is the work of three directors in a completely unexpected relationship. Metev is in isolation in London, and two young colleagues, Ivan Chertov and Zlatina Teneva, bravely enter a space that everyone was afraid of and many were horrified. They spent more than two months in the isolated covid ward of a hospital in Bulgarian city of Kyustendil. All three of them, with immeasurable creative efforts, shape a story about exceptional characters and destinies transposed into a film that throws us into the very center of humanity's greatest battle in the XXI century. By brilliant precise focusing on charismatic heroes, through carefully established direct contacts, authors discretely convey the dramatic atmosphere of the place and events. They are empathetic observers who share devotedly doubts and anxieties of their heroes, in their numerous efforts and sufferings, as well as in their rare but astonishing feats.

This film goes beyond the study of an epidemic. With simplicity of observation and communication, it develops the story of a modest provincial hospital into a supreme parable about life, suffering and hope.

Ilian Metev

Born in Bulgaria in 1981. As a teenager he lived in Germany, where he had an ambition to become a violinist and performed classical music on German radio. While studying fine arts at the London University of Art (Central Saint Martins), he experimented with 16mm film. In 2008 he completed his studies at the British National Film and Television School (NFTS).

Selected filmography

  • GOLESHEVO (Голешово), 2008
  • SOFIA’S LAST AMBULANCE (Последната линейка на София), 2012
  • A PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL (Една провинциална болница), 2022

Ivan Chertov

Worked as a cinematographer on various fiction and documentary films of Bulgarian and foreign productions. As a feature fiction film debutant, he was the director of photography on the film "February", which was in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival 2020. Colaboration with Ilian Metev is his directorial debut.

Zlatina Teneva

She graduated in journalism in 2018 from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. Since then, she has been working as a director, line producer and researcher on numerous film projects for ARTE and Deutsche Welle. This is her feature directorial debut.

Selected collective filmography – Ivan Chertov and Zlatina Teneva

  • A PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL (Една провинциална болница), 2022