Congratulations, You’re Now a Filmmaker!
Inspiration and excitement filled the BAC Auditorium as blooming AUBG documentary enthusiasts became real filmmakers on Monday evening. Eighteen passionate students showed their movies as part of Prof. Melody Gilbert’s Documentary Filmmaking Class in an official screening on Oct. 20, 2014.
The topics of the documentaries were diverse, varying from light and funny to sad and intense, some depicted more philosophical subjects, and others chose to tell the stories of ordinary people. “I am very proud of all my students and their wonderful accomplishments,” Melody Gilbert said. “It’s not easy what they had to do, and they did a remarkable job. Tonight they all became real filmmakers.”
Some of the students worked on their documentaries in teams, and others had chosen to undertake the challenge on their own. “Every time I get in front of a camera I get really embarrassed and that’s challenging for me. In some of the interview parts Mihail was especially helpful,” Alexander Khambir explained about working on his movie “Lonely Traveler” with Mihail Dyulgerski. “He did a great job by talking me through it, sometimes I wasn’t even noticing the camera, it just felt like I was talking to him. So I don’t think I could have done this without him.” Their movie unfolds in the form of an experiment in order to find out if it’s better to travel alone or with a companion but ends as a love story conquering the viewers’ attention and hearts.
“I thought it was going to be easy but it turned out to be very hard, much harder than I expected,” Boryana Kaisheva said on directing, producing and editing her film “Able”, which she did all by herself. ”I had to shoot, edit and put everything together on my own. But I think that I grew a lot while I was doing the movie. I learned that I shouldn’t be scared to talk about things that make people uncomfortable, that’s the most important thing.”
“Able” is the thought-provoking story of Djovani Chemishanov, an AUBG student who tries to prove to himself and the world that his visual disability will not be an obstacle on the path to success.
The rest of the filmmakers were:
Dimitria Vitanova and Heidi Pullyard and their film “I Do. The Roma Way” which allows us a rare glimpse inside a Roma society exploring the community’s traditions and culture. It tells the story of a quite unusual wedding ceremony, featuring impressive shots and a compelling story.
Anna Golub and Nikita Zvyagintsev who chose to look into the human mind, focusing on “Man’s Worst Friend” and what it’s like to live with cynophobia (fear of dogs).
Fear was again in the spotlight in Sergey Zhelezko’s “Mt. Fear”, the inspiring story of Jeko Simeonov who managed to transform his fears into unique skills and abilities.
Maria Teresa Lopez, Roberto Herranz and Maria Marin lightened the mood with their “Kilograms of more” experimenting whether it’s possible for an Erasmus student to stay committed to a diet while at AUBG.
The movie “Being Present” by Christine Stoyanova motivated the public to be brave enough and explore their passions by telling the story of Zornitsa Stoyanova a Bulgarian dancer and performer, living in the US.
Aita Romanova and Aliya Kamaletdinova employed their filmmaking talents in the making of “Bored in Blago”, leaving the audience pondering over the question ‘Are you bored or are you boring?’
Lyndsey Manuel’s deeply emotional “Hiding in a Dark Room” gave everyone a unique insight on what it’s like to live and deal with depression every single day.
The next short documentary was “A Team Player” by Darya Bavykina – the story of the AUBG Griffins American Football team, the struggles they had and what it took to overcome them.
Nikoleta Gancheva took everyone back to their childhood with “Not Enough”, proving that it’s never too late to fulfill your dreams.
And finally Anton Georgiev with his “Rise. Face the Sun. Thank.” – the tale of a man who spends his life searching for evidence to determine if God is a Bulgarian.
All of them gave the audience some insight about their work process, struggles and ideas for the films after each of the screenings. “What I want to accomplish with this documentary is show people that it’s ok to take risks and go for their passion,” Christine Stoyanova said “Don’t just do what you’re told but embrace yourself and be present in everything you do” .
The well-depicted stories kindled the audience’s emotions, leaving them with some food for thought. “When I saw the documentaries, I realized that people here really mean business. Some of them were expertly edited, some had great stories and some had both,” Stiliyan Zhivkov, an AUBG student, said. “This is my second year, attending these screenings and I plan on coming next time as well. I am even considering taking the class.”
The Documentary Filmmaking Class was introduced by Prof. Melody Gilbert in order to give a chance to all students who are interested in the field to experience making a documentary of their own. Ever since then, many AUBGers have taken advantage of the opportunity to express their creativity and enhance their skills under her guidance. One of this semester’s filmmakers, Anton Georgiev, expressed his gratitude toward Prof. Gilbert giving the evening a warm and inspiring ending: “I just want to thank Melody for her coaching and mentoring. We are all very grateful. This really couldn’t have happened without her.”
For those of you who missed the premiere of the films, all of them will soon be uploaded on the class’ blog www.ourshortfilms.wordpress.com