Producer Rosa Bosch, Directors Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova Discuss New Partnership | Characteristics
Spanish producer Rosa Bosch was involved in the Mexican New Wave as the co-founder of Mexico City and London-based sales and production company Tequila Gang alongside Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron in the late 1990s. .
“When we were touring Hollywood, the agents told us we were too Latin for Hollywood,” she recalls.
Two decades later, the industry veteran is once again supporting emerging talent with a new partnership with Bulgarian director duo Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova.
Directors have exploded internationally with their success at the Brexit Britain festival Cat in the wall in 2019 and were in Cannes in July with The women cry, which premiered at Cannes Un Certain Regard and presents Borat 2 actress Maria Bakalova in the cast.
They were also in Venice this year as the first couple to jointly chair a major festival as co-chairs of the parallel section Giornate degli Autori, overseeing the deliberations of young moviegoers representing the 27 European Union member states that make up the jury. .
“We met through mutual friends in London, then when they did Cat in the wall, I was one of the first people to watch the movie. When he was selected for Locarno, I helped the sales agents, ”Bosch explained. “The relationship has grown organically since then.”
The trio have decided to formalize their working relationship at Cannes this year. As part of the move, they have created a joint venture that will operate under the banner of Activist38, the name of the production company Mileva and Kazakova established in 2008.
The new partnership coincides with the decision of longtime London resident Bosch to return to her native Spain following Brexit, where she also continues to operate under the banner of her existing company B&W Films.
So far both Mileva and Kazakova have produced and directed their productions and worked with small budgets and compact teams. The aim of the partnership is to bring them to a new level in terms of the scope and scope of their work.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve spotted the right talent. I like their way of working, their desire, their ambition and their voice. We are partnering to ensure that these two new cinematic voices can have the space and structure possible, to safeguard their artistic integrity and make it viable, ”said Bosch.
Mileva and Kazakova say it’s a relief to have Bosch on board to handle the business side of their job.
“It’s a blessing for us. We were so exhausted from this kind of guerrilla type cinema. We couldn’t keep producing and directing. It was starting to collapse, ”Mileva said.
“She has a flair for a good movie and an intuitive understanding of the business,” Kazakova added. “We want to make good films that are close to our hearts and that are as global as possible.”
Along with the development of Mileva and Kazakova’s third feature film, details of which are kept under wraps, the trio also want to explore international drama series.
“They’ve never done television before, but it’s something we are thinking about,” said Bosch, who would like to exploit the trend of European filmmakers to make international series. “Let’s say if Ava DuVernay contacted them to do an episode of one of her shows, we’d be interested.”
Another sign of the partnership’s international ambitions, Activist38 is also a minority co-producer of the first feature film by Spanish filmmaker Avelina Prat. Vasil with Distinto Films, based in Barcelona, which is currently in post-production. Award-winning Bulgarian actor Ivan Barnev stars as an idiosyncratic chess champion who leaves his native Bulgaria to live in Spain, where he survives thanks to the kindness of strangers.
In addition to developing new projects, Bosch also plans to explore new sources of income for the duo’s catalog of politically charged documentaries exploring Bulgaria’s recent history; The beast is still alive (2016) and Uncle Tony, three fools and the Secret Service (2014).
The latter title, about a real secret service informant, caused a political storm in Bulgaria, with authorities putting pressure on cinemas and European institutions not to show the film.
The first priority of Mileva and Vesela, after finishing the jury of Giornate degli Autori in Venice, will be the Bulgarian release of Women cry September 15.
A group portrait of a group of women from the same family facing separate life challenges, the film draws on the events surrounding Bulgaria’s decision in 2018 not to ratify the Istanbul International Convention aimed at prevent violence against women and domestic violence.
For a while, the duo thought the work was under some sort of tacit censorship at home when they struggled to find a Bulgarian distributor, and they were about to organize a protest campaign to raise awareness.
However, Stefan Minchev’s main distribution label, Alexandra Group, acquired the Bulgarian rights just as their protest plans came to fruition and he is now set to launch the feature on around 40 screens. “It’s big for Bulgaria,” Bosch commented.
The hope as a backdrop is that the feature film will be Bulgaria’s Oscar bid this year, even as the director couple continue to be a pet peeve for the Bulgarian authorities.
“The dynamics are very interesting, while we were banned we have accumulated a number of supporters,” said Mileva.
“The film also has Maria Bakalova in the cast. If you show up at the Oscars, there is no bigger name in Bulgaria right now, ”Bosch adds.