This article was originally published on AUBG Daily, written by Janina Ormanova.
On Feb. 1 the independently produced documentary “Morality is Goodness” was screened in the BAC Auditorium on the AUBG campus. The film presented the story of Bulgarian legal scholar Dr. Kristian Takov, whose mission was to protect justice and stand up to the wrongs through writing, teaching, and media appearances.
The event was organized by two AUBG professors – Darina Sarelska and Simona Veleva from the department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Sarelska believes that the film is “a great and inspiring story worth sharing” and “a learning ground for our students on both short film storytelling as well as civics and social activism.”
During the screening, students were laughing and towards the ending, they were crying. Teona Sima, a sophomore at AUBG, said “this is the most beautiful story I have watched in a long time”.
The director of the film Veselin Dimanov participated in the event. He was surprised by the audience’s reaction. He explained that usually during his film “adults” cry because they remember the disappointment and sorrow of some of the political moments captured in the film. “Young people like the students at AUBG cry simply because they were touched by the story’s message,” he said. “I was even more surprised to find out that non-Bulgarians also cried which shows that the problem with justice and morals is universal”.
After the screening of the film, a question-and-answer session took place. Students expressed their gratitude to the director for his work and his mission to spread the word about Dr. Kristian Takov. It turned out that only nine out of 60 people previously knew who Takov was.
The discussion lasted around half an hour and important questions were raised. Among them was one about change in Bulgaria and whether the film will bring back the impact that Takov once had on people.
“The change is already happening,” Dimanov said.
Some mayors in big and small towns along with two universities refused to show the film. After this, many rebelled against the decision and got involved in the process of screening the film in their towns despite the will of the people in charge. “This is the movement that we are looking for,” Dimanov said.
As of now, Dimanov is making history. His documentary is the first to be projected in commercial cinemas, like “Kino Arena”. It was watched by more than 15 000 people and was screened in many places around Europe, such as Luxembourg, Geneva, and Bern, and around North America such as Toronto, and others. Dimanov believes that despite all hardships, documentaries have significance in Bulgaria. “People should make documentaries about contemporary problems”, he said, because “these films not only attract viewers but also appeal to them”.
The director thinks that if more and more people in Bulgaria start creating documentaries about current problems, in 10 years the powerful will be afraid of documentary filmmakers, not the other way around as it is now.
At the beginning of the Q&A Sarelska said, “Moral extremism is not welcomed everywhere but I am glad it is welcomed at AUBG”.
Veselin Dimanov is currently working on his second project: A documentary on Milen Tsvetkov. “The topic about Milen Tsvetkov is also very serious and it will take me a lot of time to finish it,” said Dimanov. However, he is looking forward to coming back to AUBG.