Footsteps in the Sand / Стъпки в пясъка (Bulgaria, 2010)

directed by Ivaylo Hristov, romance, 89 min, eng subtitles
written by Ivaylo Hristov
with Ivan Barnev, Yana Titova, Assen Blatechki

Two six-year old kids, Slavi and Nelly, swear they will marry when they grow up. Will destiny bring them together to live happily ever after? Their romance is full of dramatic ups and downs, passionate moments and pitiless betrayals. Slavi takes up drinking and gets into trouble with the Bulgarian militia (police) because of his family's tainted record. In the end, he is forced to escape and faces the difficult plight of an emigrant, while Nelly stays back in Bulgaria. Years go by and the paths of their lives appear to have been driven apart for good. But God works in mysterious ways and no one knows what awaits him just around the corner.

Unbelievable as it may seem, director and screenwriter Ivaylo Hristov's film is based on a true story. He met his would-be hero in a café in Chicago where the man recounted him the story of his life "as if he were talking of someone else". Their chance encounter produced an amazing result: a deeply touching film which is also funny and perhaps a little bit sad but nevertheless relentlessly honest.

Awards:
Love is Folly IFF 2010 (Special Prize of the Jury)
Golden Rose Bulgarian Feature Film Festival 2010 (Audience Award)
Sofia IFF 2011 (Best Balkan Film)