Bulgaria – Chris Zahariev, Dom na Kinoto (Sofia)

Bulgaria - Chris Zahariev

Cinema for me is…

Chris in 23 Frames

1. Describe yourself in ten words.
Dreamer, workaholic, optimist, believer, lover of sunsets, untold stories and definitely coffee.

2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
My best quality is being an unshakable optimist. My worst habit is that I often forget to go to bed.

3. Your dream job?
The one I love doing.

4. What do you like most about your country?
The kindness of the people.

5. Your favorite dish in your country?
Pumpkin banitsa with boza. That’s a sweet breakfast pastry filled with sliced pumpkin and a sweet wheat fermented drink. It tastes better than it sounds!

6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what does it mean?
“Vsichko e tok i zhitsa” – Literally translated: “Everything is electricity and cable.” It means everything is perfect.

7. What European capital have you visited lately?

8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?

9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
Freedom, Community, Heritage.

10. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994, US). I still cry everytime I watch it.

11. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
“Dom Na Kinoto” – House of Cinema. It’s a big theatre in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Sofia. I’ve felt so many emotions in their comfy red chairs and have so many memories there. Like going to the movies very late and running to catch the last night tram home afterwards.

12. Who is your movie hero?
Guido in La vita è bella (Roberto Benigni, 1997, IT).

13. Which movie director would you like to be?
Taika Waititi.

14. Briefly describe your favorite scene.
It’s from a polish movie I recently watched called Corpus Christi (Jan Komasa, 2019, PL). The protagonist – Daniel, who is going out of a detention center, is pretending to be a priest in a small village. He is visited by a former friend – ‘Pinczer’ , who knows his real identity. The scene has a big arc, starting from ‘Pinczer’ trying to blackmail Daniel for money to them drinking and talking about life. Seeing that Daniel has found his way in life, ‘Pinczer’ starts crying because he feels like his life is a failure. It’s a raw, beautiful and human scene I think I’ll never forget.

15. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska / Ljubomir Stefanov, 2019, MK)
J’accuse (Roman Polanski, 2019, FR)
Corpus Christi (Jan Komasa, 2019, PL)

16. Which film character do you most identify with?
Spider-man (The Toby Maguire version).

17. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
Cinema Paradiso (Main Theme) by maestro Ennio Morricone.

18. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
West Side Story (Jerome Robbins / Robert Wise, 1961, US).

19. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
Shia LaBeouf.

20. Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to sing good. I can sing now, but trust me – it’s bad.

21. What is your most treasured possession?
A working record player my brother bought for me for 5 Euros at a flee market.

22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I’ve just won “Flight in the Arts” award by Stoyan Kambarev Foundation for my short movies and online projects. That’s the most prestigious award for a young artist in Bulgaria.

23. What is your motto?
“Love God, Love people, Love life.”

Chris Zahariev is the Ambassador of Dom na Kinoto (Sofia). Find out more about the Cinema here.