five senses from my world: ralitza petrova, director

Five senses from film director Ralitza Petrova's world. 

Ralitza Petrova’s early life was spent making fine art, with the idea of directing films dawning on her in her early twenties. After making an experimental documentary in Tokyo about teenage suicide survivors, she went on to study Film at University of the Arts, later completing her Masters in Fiction Directing at the National Film and Television School. Ralitza's films often explore the individualistic responses of those whose environments are rife with societal and political pressures. Her latest multi-award winning film Godless, presented by London-based film collective The New Social, takes a look at the effects of communism on the ordinary lives of the inhabitants of Bulgaria, resulting in a candid and raw portrayal of the darker aspects of human nature when faced with trying circumstances. 

1

I currently live in Sofia, Bulgaria, which is certainly a more chaotic place than London.

As a filmmaker, I find such places more inspiring. You have more things to rub against, and talk about. There is also more potential for developing your creative voice, as you are not distracted by ‘hot’ trends, as you probably would be in places like London, or New York. 

2

The driving force behind me first wanting to direct was I think to make sense of the world around me by reimagining it.

Artists and filmmakers are very lucky in that way. They can experience many lives through their work and storytelling. It’s like living in a playground forever. It’s beautiful, and free. The first time I became aware of the art of filmmaking was through ‘The Fly’ by David Cronenberg. I was impressed by the minimalism in the film. It was all shot in one apartment, with this incredibly tense atmosphere - it hooked you. 

3

I often walk the line of morality in my films.

I like questioning what is socially accepted, or not. I like seeing beauty in what is usually perceived as ugly. Or to find darkness in what seems innocent. I guess since a young age I had a problem with accepting the status quo. My filmmaking is often both visceral and allegorical, where real life experiences merge with fiction to portray more complex narratives and ideas. I like immersing the viewer in the story through stimulating visuals and sound. 

4

I’m someone who’s very alert to the atmosphere of spaces. 

The architecture of things affect me very much. So I often write down ideas of images and sounds. Later they pop up in my films in a fictional context. I like subverting meanings and connecting things that initially didn’t belong. I love the austere beauty found in the Bulgarian National Park Pirin (2,914 m). Being around Vasilashki Lakes can make you become pretty quiet.

5

If I had to eat one thing forever, it would be cucumber. 

Since it's 98% water, it'd keep me nicely hydrated for the rest of my life. I think I need a bit more water than the average person. It must be because of my height - I’m six foot tall. In Bulgaria, it’s a popular vegetable. We use it a lot in salads and in a summer soup called “tarator”. The recipe generally includes yogurt and water as a base, then ground walnuts, bit of garlic, ground cucumber, and lemon juice. I recommend it. Especially in summer, it’s very refreshing.

This Week

making images: behind the scenes

Take another look behind the scenes at photographer Harley Weir’s journey in capturing five women from around the world and get to know some more creators who are defining the image of today in documentary filmmaker Chelsea McMullan’s Making Images video. 

Read More

making codes: behind the scenes

Take another look at Making Codes, Liza Mandelup's behind the scenes video of digital artist and creative director Lucy Hardcastle's piece Intangible Matter that features producer Fatima Al Qadiri, artist Chris Lee and a host of more leading digital artists.

Read More

making films: behind the scenes

Take a look behind the scenes in director Eva Michon's Making Films with Alma Har'el video: a look at the making of JellyWolf and the current state of play within the film industry through the eyes of female filmmakers championing diversity, and Alma Har'els Free The Bid initiative. 

Read More

making movement: behind the scenes

Take a look behind the scenes in filmmaker Agostina Galvez’s Making Movements: a look at the making of The Pike and the Shield: Five Paradoxes with ballerina Nozomi Iijima and other leading movers and shakers from the world of dance including choreographers and dancers Holly Blakey, Aya Sato and the duo Project O. 

Read More

making exhibitions: behind the scenes

Take a look behind the scenes in director Christine Yuan’s Making Exhibitions with Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel: a look at the making of Just A Second: A Digital Exhibition Curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, inspired by CHANEL Nº5 L'EAU, and a look at other leading curators and collectives from the art world including BUFU, Rozsa Farkas, Fatos Ustek, Angelina Dreem and Yana Peel.

Read More

seeing sound: in conversation charlotte hatherley & carly paradis

Two of London’s most sought after figures in visually-shaped music meet.

Read More

lizzie borden: feminist trailblazer

As her magnum opus returns to UK shores, Lizzie Borden – the visionary artist behind Born in Flames – talks rebellion, feminist artistry, and her nostalgia for 70s NYC.

Read More

rebecca lamarche-vadel's
just a second

Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel is the Paris based curator for the Palais De Tokyo. Dedicated to modern and contemporary art she puts on large scale exhibitions that span installation, dance, sculpture, photography and spoken word. For The Fifth Sense she created a digital exhibition based on the transformative power of Chanel’s Nº5 L’EAU.

Read More

reba maybury: she’s got the power

We sat down with the editor, writer and dominatrix Reba Maybury to discuss her taboo-breaking publishing house Wet Satin Press, her latest novel Dining With Humpty Dumpty and what it means to be a woman in control.

Read More
loading...