Shelter / Подслон (Bulgaria, 2010)

directed by Dragomir Sholev, drama, 88 min, eng subtitles
written by Razvan Radulescu, Melissa de Raaf, Dragomir Sholev
with Czvetan Daskalov, Yanina Kasheva, Kaloyan Siriiski

They are a most orninary couple living a most ordinary life, like countless others in the housing estates of suburban Sofia. They have spent their days watching TV, discussing politics and dealing with everyday problems. It has been a tedious and uneventful life but not especially unhappy or unrewarding, and most importantly, they have two sons. But one day, 12-year old Rado disappears and terrible flaws start to appear on the seemingly secured and calm surface of everyday life. It turns out that both parents have completely missed his growing up and have no idea what he has been up to. The father, a professional coach of a waterball team, fails to understand why his son would so obstinately want to be a punk. The mother desperately tries to make peace... Their life of easy comfort has come to an abrupt end and communication is as impossible as a nondescript conversation with a stranger on Skype.

Shelter is co-written by young Bulgarian actor Dragomir Sholev who is also the director, Romanian Razvan Radulescu and Dutch director Melissa De Raaf. In the director's own words: "As happens in life, the everyday routine numbs our senses and we are often unable to distinguish what is important, and we miss crucial moments in our lives and in the lives of those close to us, while satisfying a whim or a habit. We find the strength to admit only minor mistakes and deal with only simple problems, but we are blind to our grave failings and in living the illusion of our righteousness we can't accept any other point of view."

Bulgarian Academy Award 2011 (Best Film and Best Director)
Sofia IFF 2011 (Grand Prix for Best Film in the International Competition, Kodak Award for Best Bulgarian Film and Audience Award)
Cyprus Film Days IFF 2011 (Special mention)
Golden Rose Bulgarian Feature Film Festival 2010 (Best Cinematography and Best Debut Film)
Bratislava IFF 2010 (Best Director)
SEE Film Festival Los Angeles (Best First Feature)