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437 Binka: To Tell a Story About Silence
Portrait of Bulgarian director Binka Zhelyazkova, one of the first women directors on the Balkans
Directed by Elka Nikolova
Produced by Vreme Film Studio

Video: Binka: To Tell a Story About Silence opening scene

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Portrait, Foreign Worlds, Social Issues, Politics, and Arts


Bulgarian film director Binka Zhelyazkova (1923-2011) never shrunk from controversy. A film pioneer, she was at the forefront of political cinema under Bulgaria’s Communist dictatorship. Her allegorical and urban dramas examined human rights, artistic freedom and the legitimacy of the political system itself. While she was well regarded abroad and her work reached such film festivals as the Expo 67, Montreal, Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Cartagena Film Festival, Moscow Film Festival, Karlovi Vari Film Festival, in Bulgaria she was met with suspicion and distrust. The double standard applied to Binka Zhelyazkova was evident. While openly, the communist government awarded her artistic achievements, behind the scenes she was fired from the film studio, her films were banned and her projects rejected every time she dared to ask questions and not comply with the accepted rules. Four out of her nine films were stopped from distribution and barely seen by audiences after 1989.


Show treatment



Running time

48 minutes


Vanyo Georgiev ... Cinematographer

Elka Nikolova ... Director

Hristo Bakalov ... Cinematographer

Ivan Andreev ... Sound Designer

Roumen Boiadjiev ... Composer

Roumen Boiadjiev Jr. ... Composer

Svetoslav Vladimirov ... Editor

Vreme Film Studio ... Producer

Elka Nikolova ... Writer

Production Details

Prod. Co.

Vreme Film Studio



Production years



Sofia Bulgaria, Los Angeles, New York, USA

Prod. Partners

Bulgarian National Film Center, private funding

Distribution Details

Release year



April 4, 2007 MoMA, NY US Premiere; South East European Film Festival, LA 2007; Golden Rython Festival for Nonfeature Films, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 2007; FIFA International Festival of Films on Art Montrel, 2008, The Brave Film Festival, Poland, 2010


The audience Award SEEFF, LA, 2007; Best debut film, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Golden Rython Festival for Nonfeature Films, 2007; "The bitter Cup"- The award of the department of communications, Sofia University, Bulgaria

Broadcast (Acq.)

Bulgarian National Television Channel 1


Bulgarian, English


English subtitles