Archive Cinema City 2016.


Genre: Drama
Country: Germany, Bulgaria
Year: 2016
Duration: 92'

Director: Eliza Petkova
Scenario: Eliza Petkova

Cast: Anna Manolova, Snezhina Petrova, Mihail Stoyanov, Maria Klecheva, Stoyko Ivanov, Boyana Georgieva, Asya Popova, Márton Nagy

Programme selection: Fresh Danube Films


Lora, a 17 years old girl, has to deal with her father’s death. In the small Bulgarian village where time seems to stand still, her family and the villagers expect her to give herself over to grief. From now on, she must wear black, not listen to any music and observe various mourning rituals. However, Lora wants to keep on enjoying her youth but her desire to live a normal life is disrupted by the judgment of others, who force her to play the role of an orphan.


Eliza Petkova was born on 26.07.1983 in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. After completing an MA in Philosophy and Modern Japanese at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, she worked as a freelance filmmaker in Berlin, where she first chose to focus on documentary films. In 2011, she joins the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie (DFFB) to study directing. She has made a variety of films, which have been shown at various festivals. In 2015, her short "Abwesend" (“Absent”) was nominated at the Festival de Cannes for the Cinéfondation. "Zhaleika" is her first feature film.

Original language: Bulgarian
Language of subtitles: English, Serbian

Zhaleika Trailer from cinemanda on Vimeo.