Binka: To Tell a Story About Silence

Directed by Elka Nikolova
Produced by Vreme Film Studio
Portrait of Bulgarian director Binka Zhelyazkova, one of the first women directors in Eastern Europe


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


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


  • Hristo Bakalov ... Cinematographer
  • Ivan Andreev ... Sound Designer
  • Roumen Boiadjiev ... Composer
  • Roumen Boiadjiev Jr. ... Composer
  • Svetoslav Vladimirov ... Editor
  • Vreme Film Studio ... Producer
  • Vanyo Georgiev ... Cinematographer
  • Elka Nikolova ... Director
  • Elka Nikolova ... Writer

Production Details

Prod. Co.
Vreme Film Studio
Years of Production
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


Binka with camera 2_thumb
Binka directing we were young copy_thumb
The last word still 2_thumb
The attached balloon still 1_thumb
Binka portret older_thumb

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