Release Year: 2017
Duration: 103 min
Directed by: Stephan Komandarev
A road movie set in present-day Bulgaria, a country which remains optimistic mainly because all the realists and pessimists have left. At a meeting with his banker, a small business owner, who drives a cab to make ends meet, discovers that the bribe he will have to pay to get a loan has doubled. The ethics board which reviewed his complaint about extortion now wants its share of the action. At his wit's end, he shoots the banker and then himself. The incident sparks national debate on talk radio about how despair has taken over civil society. Meanwhile, six taxi drivers and their passengers move through the night, each in hope of finding a brighter way forward.
As they struggle to make ends meet, a series of cab drivers and their rides unfold a bittersweet social kaleidoscope in present-day Sofia over the course of twenty-four hours. Pivoting around an ugly case of bureaucracy and corruption with a tragic ending, six diverse taxi drivers inadvertently take part in a mosaic of graphic vignettes about loss, retribution, suicide, adultery, immigration, and shattered dreams. Is the confined space of a taxi merely an unflattering mirror of what went wrong in Bulgaria?
UN Certain Regard, Cannes 2017 (Official Selection)
Toronto (TIFF) 2017
Busan IFF 2017
Hamburg IFF 2017
Tallinn Black Nights 2017
Warsaw IFF 2017
Palm Springs 2018
Directions film poster and images from Cannes Film Festival
Stephan Komandarev is a Bulgarian director, producer and scriptwriter, born in 1966 in Sofia. He graduated in Film & TV directing at the New Bulgarian University (1999).
Stephan Komandarev's latest feature film "Directions" is a nominee in the section "Un certain regard" at the Cannes Film Festival 2017 official selection. His previous works include award-winning feature and documentary films, such as: The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner (2008 - the first Bulgarian film, shortlisted for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (2010), the most world-wide theatrical released Bulgarian film ever, distributed in 93 countries, won 35 awards at international film festivals); The Judgment (2014) (won 12 awards, Bulgarian entry - Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film - 2016); The Town of Badante Women (2009, doc.), Alphabet of Hope (2003, doc.), Bread over the Fence (2002, doc.), Dog's Home (1999, feature).
Stephan Komandarev is 2011 EAVE graduate and Member of the Bulgarian Film Directors' Association and Bulgarian Film Producers' Association. Member of the European Film Academy.