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Theodore Ushev's new short film “The Physics of Sorrow”– a strong highlight in Cinemania 2019

The premiere of The Physics of Sorrow, the new short film of Oscar-nominated director Theodore Ushev, is undoubtedly one of the highlights in Cinemania 2019 International Film Festival held now in Sofia. Based on the eponymous novel by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov, the animated film lasts 27 minutes and is voiced by Donald and Rossif Sutherland, father and son. The French version of the film also stars a father and son duo – Xavier Dolan-Tadros and Manuel Tadros. In September and October, the work was presented at film festivals in the US and Canada, garnering six international awards already, including an honorable mention at the Toronto International Film Festival and a special mention at the Vancouver International Film Festival. The film is dedicated to Theodore Ushev’s father– the late artist Asen Ushev. The script does not fully follow the story line of the literary source. And although it contains many autobiographical moments for the animator, he calls his work "a maze film", "a time capsule", "a film for those who wander around the world and who have not yet found themselves"... The pervading thread of the story is the father-son relationship that is present even in the casting of the actors’ voices for the animation.

The Bulgarian premiere of The Physics of Sorrowtook place at the National Palace of Culture, in the evening dedicated to Theodore Ushev, themed "Draw My Sorrow". Before the screening of the film, the Bulgarian audience witnessed another premiere – that of a cinema concertbased on The Four Seasonsby Vivaldi, produced by the Tokyo University of Arts, which provided special software for the screening. For the presentation of this musical and visual project a team arrived from Japan to ensure synchronization between the rhythm of the images and the music performed by the Quarto Ensemble with soloist Ivan Penchev on the violin.

Photo:  @clubPeroto

The authors of the experimental animation for the most famous work of the Italian composer are world-famous animation directors Theodore Ushev (Bulgaria/Canada), Priit and Olga Pärn (Estonia), Atsushi Wada (Japan) and Anna Budanova (Russia).

A few hours earlier, at the Peroto (The Plume)Literary Club in the National Palace of Culture, Daniel Nenchev organized a meeting with friends and admirers of Theodore Ushev and writer Georgi Gospodinov. Celebrities from the world of cinema and literature shared their thoughts and views on the work of the two world-renowned artists. This event also featured the eighth edition of the novel The Physics of Sorrowwith illustrations by Theodore Ushev.

In fact, the animated shortThe Physics of Sorrow is not the first cinematic collaboration between the two talented Bulgarians.

We were talking with friends (Antoaneta Bachurova and Vladi) about different things and they suggested that we make a movie on one of Georgi Gospodinov's short stories collection entitled "And Other Stories",Theo Ushev recalls.I chose "The Blind Vaysha" and started working on the film. I found funding from France, the funding from Bulgaria was not yet forthcoming… The movie was nominated for an Oscar… We already had funding from Bulgaria… So we made two more films together. We might do a fourth one, who knows.

Teodore Ushev says that the connection between them was made by his classmate from the High School for Performing Arts, art critic Galina Lardeva. After a while, Georgi Gospodinov told him that she passionately recommended that he get to know the artist, because they had many things in common. And although they say that in the beginning is the word:

„In our case, in the beginning was sensitivity, adds Georgi Gospodinov. Theo is from Kyustendil, I am from Yambol both small towns. The connection between us came along The Physics of Sorrow. When the book came out, Theo wrote to me... There are times when you read something and somehow know that you will be able to understand this person in half a word. Do you know what the best thing is – very rarely in Bulgaria could a small community or two people continue to work together for years and not argue over something or be dragged into an argument by someone else. May it continue like this! There is something very nice that, I think, Miron Ivanov, a forgotten writer, once said: “The greatest thing about Notre Dame – its construction took around 400 years is that for four centuries these people were in the same opinion. Several generations to pass on to each other the little they have done, not to quarrel, not to tear it down ... This is how cathedrals are built.”

Photo: BТА

At the meeting with their fans the authors left probably hundreds of autographs on copies of the eighth edition of The Physics of Sorrow– Georgi Gospodinov's book with illustrations by Theodore Ushev.

English Rossitsa Petcova

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