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The Color of the Chameleon (Working Title Zincograph)

Directed by: Emil Christov
Written by: Vladislav Todorov (based on his novel Zincograph)
Genre: Dark Comedy-Thriler

Tagline: A maniacal informant creates a phantom secret-police department.

Synopsis:

Batko becomes a secret-police informant. He performs his duties with great zeal, and yet he is unduly dismissed. His ego is badly hurt. His experience with clandestine work makes him realize a simple fact - the system of the political police is flawed by nature. Secrecy is both, its power and weakness. The system depends on the presumed authenticity of the agents and recruitment of informants based on fear. The operations of the secret police could be imitated by rogue individuals posing as agents.
Batko creates a phantom secret-police department – a backdoor in the matrix of political control. He becomes the spider in his own web of informants by recruiting a group of intellectuals to spy on each other. He builds his own secret archive. After the fall of communism, Batko uses it to wreak havoc on the government.


This is a dark political comedy. The provocations that spur the plot forward in a slew of hilarious, yet diabolical absurdities come from the workings of the mind of a psychopathic schemer. The movie offers a paradoxical twist in the standard representation of totalitarianism as a society of victims and victimizers. It exposes the maniacal desire to collaborate and the pleasure of spying on others, the temptation to conform and at the same time hack the system using its own devices.

 

IF Festivals

World Premiere @ Toronto IFF 8 September, 2012

http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/tiff/2012/colorsofchameleon

In Emil Christov's über-stylish spy-movie pastiche, a charismatic schemer in an authoritarian police state, fired from his job as a secret-police informant, conjures up his own imaginary spy network and builds up an archive that he turns against his former masters.

PROGRAMMER'S NOTE

Batko Stamenov (Ruscen Vidinliev) is the ideal secret agent. Orphaned at an early age, he was adopted by his aunt, who later confessed to having been his real mother. But when she passes away and the doctor informs Batko that she died a virgin, it becomes clear to him that lying is a family trait. So when he’s approached by a member of the secret police who wants to recruit him as a spy, he’s more than happy to oblige. For his first mission, he is assigned to infiltrate the so-called "Club for New Thinking." This subversive student group meets to discuss a pseudo-philosophical novel called Zincograph, which tells the story of a raving lunatic who works at the Royal Zincography by day, and by night creates an ever-expanding — and wholly fictional — web of spies and saboteurs that bamboozles the country’s actual secret police.

Batko takes the lesson of Zincograph — that secrecy is both the weapon and the bane of espionage — to heart when he is unfairly dismissed from the department. His ego bruised, Batko takes his revenge when he conjures up an imaginary secret service department — to which he cheekily appends the acronym SEX — out of whole cloth. Thanks to his natural ability to lie through his teeth, he manages to recruit each and every member of the "Club for New Thinking" into his fictional espionage network, and soon has them all incessantly spying on each other. From the reports of his "agents," Batko builds up his own private archive of classified information — one that he will later use to wreak havoc on the government that spurned him.

Ferociously satirical and all too believable, Emil Christov’s über-stylish spy-movie pastiche is a dark political comedy that both castigates and celebrates the actions of its slick, irresistibly charismatic anti-hero. In this caustic vision of an authoritarian police state, there are no victims or victimizers, but only an enormous web of complicity and collaboration where the oppressors can have their own weapons turned against them.

Dimitri Eipides

 

Bulgarian National FF 2012 Grand Prix Award Golden Rose

http://www.filmneweurope.com/news/bulgaria/103996-fne-at-golden-rose-ff-2012-the-color-of-the-chameleon-wins-grand-prix-award/menu-id-147?print=1&tmpl=component

Montreal IFF of New Cinema 2012

http://www.nouveaucinema.ca/en/2012/fiches/longs-metrages/8243/

http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/10/14/fnc-2012-the-color-of-the-chameleon-a-darkly-funny-surreal-story-about-bulgarian-secret-police/

Stockholm IFF 2012

http://www.stockholmfilmfestival.se/sv/festival/2012/film/the_color_of_the_chameleon

http://www.moviezine.se/film/the-color-of-the-chameleon

THESSALONIKI IFF 2012

http://tiff.filmfestival.gr/default.aspx?lang=en-US&page=1057&SectionID=198&MovieID=2258

http://www.observatorcultural.ro/FILM.-Salonic-53.-Premii-si-favoriti.-Plus-romani*articleID_27859-articles_details.html

http://www.cineuropa.org/nw.aspx?t=newsdetail&l=en&did=229359

AFI SILVER THEATRE European Union Film Showcase 2012

http://www.afi.com/silver/films/2012/v9i5/thecolorofthechameleon.aspx

MARKETS OF FILM PROJECTS

Official Selection WORKS IN PROGRESS THESSALONIKI IFF '11
http://www.filmfestival.gr/default.aspx?lang=en-US&page=607&newsid=1533

Official Selection Cannes Atelier '10
http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/cinefoundation/ficheFilmAtelier/id/11019596/year/2010.html
http://www.ioncinema.com/news/id/4976
http://cineuropa.org/newsdetail.aspx?lang=en&documentID=141171
http://frognews.bg/news_21582/Balgarski_kinoproekt_-_izbran_v_programa_na_Kan/
http://www.nfc.bg/bg/news-go/kan_2010
http://bnt.bg/bg/news/view/25718/intervu_s_pisatelja_vladislav_todorov_za_novija_proekt_ay_cinkograf_au

Bulgarian national financial aid granted, 2009
http://www.filmneweurope.com/news/bulgaria/bulgarian-grants-announced

Official Selection New Cinema Network - Focus Europe, Rome IFF '09
http://www.romacinemafest.it/ecm/web/fcr/en/home/fondazione-cinema-per-roma/news/-/EOC/NEW-CINEMA-NETWORK-Selection-of-15-Projects-for-the-2009-Edition-Announced.0000.NEWSEN114
http://www.screendaily.com/5006517.article

Official Selection Connecting Cottbus, Cottbus IFF '09
http://www.connecting-cottbus.de/level9_cms/index.php?mid=00360094&LC=EN
http://www.filmneweurope.com/news/region/connecting-cottbus-pitches-a-winning-event

Won Restart Award CineLink Coproduction Market, Sarajevo IFF '09
http://www.filmneweurope.com/news/region/sarajevo-cinelink-announces-industry-awards
http://bnt.bg/bg/news/view/13444/dve_nagradi_za_bylgarskoto_kino_na_festivala_v_saraevo
http://a-onefilms.com/blog/176#more-176

Won Balkan Fund Script Development Award, Thessaloniki IFF '08
http://tiff.filmfestival.gr/default.aspx?lang=en-US&loc=4&&page=727&newsid=1016
http://www.dnevnik.bg/show/?storyid=585962
http://www.filmneweurope.com/news/bulgaria/two-bulgarian-film-projects-awarded-in-thessaloniki


Interviews

http://www.dnevnik.bg/razvlechenie/2012/11/19/1949191_emil_hristov_rejisyor_ot_malkata_i_tiha_bulgariia_se
http://bnt.bg/bg/productions/121/edition/11324/denjat_zapochva_s_kultura_22_dekemvri_2010
http://bnt.bg/bg/news/view/27838/ay_cinkograf_novijat_roman_na_vladislav_todorov
http://www.trud.bg/Article.asp?ArticleId=452436
http://friday.vedomosti.ru/arts.shtml?2010/03/25/229135
http://www.24chasa.bg/Article.asp?ArticleId=327420


Shooting
http://bnt.bg/bg/productions/121/edition/16043/denjat_zapochva_s_kultura_8_avgust_2011
http://bnt.bg/bg/news/view/58224/pyrvi_snimachen_den_na_cinkograf
http://bnt.bg/bg/productions/121/edition/16256/denjat_zapochva_s_kultura_24_avgust_2011
http://bnt.bg/bg/productions/121/edition/16073/denjat_zapochva_s_kultura_10_avgust_2011
http://www.dnevnik.bg/razvlechenie/2011/08/09/1136201_fotogaleriia_purvi_snimachen_den_na_bulgarskiia_film/?ref=rss
http://www.monitor.bg/article?id=302455
http://www.trud.bg/Article.asp?ArticleId=995330
http://novinar.bg/news/agent-rushi-plete-intrigi-v-tajno-podzemie_MzY1Mzs1NQ==.html
http://paper.standartnews.com/bg/article.php?d=2011-08-10&article=377586
http://www.24chasa.bg/Article.asp?ArticleId=996107
http://www.filmneweurope.com/news/bulgaria/production-zincograph-shooting-in-sofia
Description: http://paper.standartnews.com/images/articles/orig_377588_bg.jpg

Samples
http://liternet.bg/publish2/gborisov/vladislav-todorov.htm
http://liternet.bg/publish19/vl_todorov/cinkograf.htm