News from the Locarno Festival

Pardo d'oro Cineasti del presente: 3/4

Pardo d'oro Cineasti del presente: 3/4


© Sutor Kolonko/Chaconna Films


A father. A daughter. A son. One last summer together. These are the key elements around which Bulgarian filmmaker Ilian Metev builds the microcosm of his first fiction feature film, 3/4, screened in the Concorso Cineasti del presente and chosen by the jury as the best entry in that section. An intimate, quietly moving family portrait and triple character study, delivered with the same sensitivity Metev previously exhibited as a documentarian, focusing on the strained relationship between an astrophysicist (Todor Velchev) and his two children (Mila Mikhova and Niki Mashalov), with the father proving unable to handle the frustrations of a daughter whose talents as a pianist are undermined by a fear of failure as an important audition approaches, and a son who’s prone to the most absurd antics. Three measured, increasingly engrossing performances that Metev handles with grace and genuine affection for his characters (aptly named after the actors portraying them), staging an 80-minute episode of a lifetime that is entirely felt on screen, a bittersweet snapshot subtly set to the rhythm of music (the clue is in the elegantly evocative title). This fateful Bulgarian summer, co-produced with Germany, cements its young director as a strong emerging voice in European cinema, a talent to watch closely as his career, no doubt bolstered by the main prize of Concorso Cineasti del presente, is set to keep moving forward, towards new creative horizons. Horizons that, after the triumphant Locarno experience, look positively golden.

Max Borg

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