Bulgarian filmmaker Radostina Neykova attracts attention in Ismailia with ‘Marmalad’

Eslam Omar , Monday 21 Jun 2021

Her innovative hand-embroidered animation is among the favorite choices for the animation contest at the Ismailia Int’l Film Festival

A shot of kids film 'Marmalad’, of director Radostina Neykova, screened on Sunday at the 22nd Ismaailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts

It took Radostina Neykova over a year to make ‘Marmalad’; preparing over 3500 hand-embroidered pieces needed for the five-minute animation film, which is competing at the 22nd edition of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, running between 16 and 22 June.

“To show is better than to talk. These are samples of the material. Different parts with different sizes, I move them a little bit when I shoot, frame-by-frame, to get the animation. By touching for movements, the animation gets more emotional and more real” explained multi-awarded Neykova to tens of filmmakers, critics, and audiences attending her seminar at the Ismailia Cultural Palace on Sunday, while showing some pieces she made for the film.

Radostina Neykova
Radostina Neykova speaks about Marmalad at the Ismailia Cultural Palace, Sunday 20 June 2021

“I use [the] minimum [amount of] digital work. In fact, real materials transform feelings better, especially when we are targeting kids. I use different kinds of materials for animation, but I prefer to use touchable materials.

“I want to show kids something different. It’s very good for children because it also involves activities,” added the associate professor in the Institute of Arts Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Science and the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts, who expressed how embroidering could be a relaxing activity.

Among the attendees was the Bulgarian ambassador, who was keen to congratulate the director and ask about the previous awards the film received. Neykova added that the film participated in about 40 festivals around the globe, receiving eight different awards.

Radostina Neykova
Samples of the 3500 hand-embroidered pieces that took Radostina Neykova over a year to produce five-minutes animation Marmalad’, Sunday 20 June 2021, Ismailia, Egypt.

The director of the awarded animated shorts ‘Ugly Fairy Tale’ (2018), ‘Grumpy Does Repairs’ (2015), and ‘Trip’ (2011) has gained very positive feedback in Ismailia and was saluted by different attendees, including the Festival Manager, Samir Farag, who is a veteran cinematographer.

‘Marmalad’s’ synopsis reads; “sometimes, if you want to become a hero, you just have to fly. Innovation handmade embroidery animation” while its maker proved herself as a hero too, flying up high with inspiring dedication.

In the same category that combines 15 films, Russian 28-year-old talented director Pavel Nikiforov had his 8-minute film ‘Самый страшный’ (‘Scariest’) discussed at the same venue on Saturday, gaining praise and congratulations as well. The film tells the story of how a huge Buffalo became friends with a small bird and how this friendship changed him.

Pavel Nikiforov
Bulgarian filmmaker was a among other participants assisted in the interpretation at the seminar that discussed Russian director Pavel Nikiforov's Scariest. Saturday 19 June 2021, Ismailia Cultural Palace, Ismailia, Egypt

Other films in the same contest include the UK’s ‘Push This Button if You Begin to Panic’ by Gabriel Böhmer, Belgium’s ‘Carrousel’ by Jasmine Elsen, Jordon’s ‘Falling into the Summit’ by Aya Ammar, Ukraine’s ‘Family Name in the Pocket’ by Stepan Koval, Poland’s ‘I'm Here’ by Julia Orlik, Denmark’s ‘Nomads’ by Anna Rueskov Schleicher, Austria’s ‘One Left’ by Sebastian Doringer, Spain’s ‘Routine: The Prohibition’ by Samuel Ortí Martí, South Korea’s ‘Salvia at Nine’ by Jang Nari, France’s ‘Dreams in the Field’ by Magda Guidi and Mara Cerri, France’s ‘Souvenir Souvenir’ by Bastien Dubois, Spain’s ‘The Terrible Girls’ by David Orellana, and Russia’s ‘Toy’ by Rita Shagray.

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