ZVEZDA (post-production)

Feature film DEBUT
3:4 ratio


Kamen Stoyanov


Kamen Stoyanov


Zornitsa Sophia

Mountain Queen Pictures


After graduating in London, the artist Zvezda had to return to Bulgaria to help her single mother. The impetuous Zvezda manages to arrange her first solo exhibition in a renowned Sofia gallery, but the planned opening triumph is postponed due to the Covid lockdown. Zvezda decides to isolate herself in the gallery among her paintings as a living sculpture to be observed from the windows and online in a radical exhibitionism, risking not only herself but her mother’s anxiety and health. The celebrity achieved at a time of deficient cultural events, however, came at the expense of her humanity and values.


After graduating in London, the artist Zvezda returns to Bulgaria to help her single mother.
What the feisty Zvezda wants most is to make a name for herself as a radical and innovative artist,
and not just on her home turf. She manages to arrange her first solo exhibition at the renowned
Sofia gallery Quadrant of the ambitious gallerist VICTORIA. Zvezda has prepared a
minimalist and conceptual exhibition and even dyed her hair green for the opening, but just hours
before the event they announce the first Covid19 lock down and the ban on public events.
Zvezda’s plans, investments and dreams are at stake, but Zvezda decides to turn her exhibition
into a performance by making herself an art object – she locks herself in the gallery for the rest of
the state of emergency, as everything she does inside can be watched through the windows and on
the internet in an unusual (at least for the Bulgarian art scene) revelation. Zvezda’s notoriety
grows at a time of cultural deficit, but the price is an attack on the gallery, ridicule mockery and,
above all, Zvezda’s mother’s peace of mind. She asks Victoria to visit her mother, but Victoria
procrastinates as she is busy selling Zvezda’s artworks. Zvezda wants to run away, but to Victoria
she is a “golden goose” and she won’t let her go. When Zvezda learns that her mother has been
taken to hospital, she has to decide whether to carry on or give up her career to be with her


The spark for the Zvezda project ignited in March 2020 – at the beginning of the Covid
pandemic. In addition to being a filmmaker, I am also a contemporary conceptual artist and in this
regard, the gallery owner I work with contacted not only me but all the other artists she works
with to motivate us to make artwork in this new and unfamiliar situation. In short, she was trying
to capitalize on this historical moment. There was even a secretive collector with a particular
interest. But the stuff had to be on the theme of Covid and made at that time. So why not create a
story based on the experience I have gathered from my venture in the art scene around the world.
So why not write a story about an artist who, during the pandemic, against all odds, has to find a
way to make art that is meaningful to him and to be in touch with the public? A story about an
artist taking radical steps in a radical time. An artist who comes into an ideological conflict with
his gallery owner and eventually into a deep inner conflict. An artist who reaches to the bottom to
find her truth, for whom values are tested and everything she has is at stake.
Zvezda is a story of an artist who is at the beginning of her career and is full of energy to take her
rightful place not only on the Bulgarian but also on the world art scene. In an episode Zvezda is
sarcastically compered to Marina Abramović and thus emphasis, the opposite of originality as an
established quantity in art. Marina Abramović is the most popular performance artist and role
model. In one of her interviews, she states that if a woman wants to succeed then she has to give
up having a family. But is this a universal truth? Blinded by ambition and a desire for prestige,
Zvezda goes through a catharsis before seeing what is truly worthwhile. Her loss is twofold –
personal and professional. This is the price she pays for discovering what is more important to her.
This is the theme and the main question the film poses. The question of ideals in art and how far
could we go in upholding them? The question of the CONFLICT between the professional and the
personal in the pursuit of self-fulfillment, of happiness.


Kamen Stoyanov is a visual artist and filmmaker. He was born and grew up in Bulgaria and studied
visual arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and Film at the New Bulgarian University. His
practice includes short film, single-channel video, photography, performance, installation and
His short experimental film “Up and Through”; 2020 was awarded as “Best Experimental”; at Dumbo
Film Festival, NYC, USA 2020 and got best experimental nominee at Long Story Shorts 2020,
International Film Festival, Bukarest. His last documentary short “A Realist or a Dreamer”, 2023, was
part of Visions du Réel 2023 – VdR–Film Market. His works have been presented at festivals,
exhibitions and biennials worldwide, including: NOW&AFTER’22, International Video Art
Festival, Moscow, (2022); OSTRALE Biennale O21, Dresden, (2021); FLICKFAIR Film
Festival, Los Angeles, California (2021); Dumbo Film Festival, NYC, USA (2020, 2019);
In the Palace, international short film festival, Varna, Bulgaria (2020, 2019); Long Story Shorts
2020, International Film Festival, Bukarest (2020); Cherkasy Short Film Festival, Ukraine (2020);
NOW&AFTER’20, International Video Art Festival, Moscow, (2020); Alyosha and the Cat,
Museum of Humour and Satire, Gabrovo, Bulgaria (with Katharina Swoboda, 2020); Suburbinal
Filmfestival, Groß-Enzersdorf, Austria (2018)); Exhibiting the Exhibition, Kunsthalle Baden -Baden,                                                                   Germany (2018); WRO BIENNALE, Media Biennale Wroclaw, Poland, (2017); SPIELART
Festival, Munich, Germany (2015); Transmediale Berlin (2014); 17th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney,
Australia, (2010); Aichi Triennale, Nagoya, Japan (2010); Looking for an Art Piece, Kunstverein
Salzburg (solo, 2009); At Arm‘s` Length, MUMOK, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig
Wien (solo, 2008); MANIFESTA 7, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Trentino, Italy


  • The Permanent Revolution of Georgi Konstantinov
    Documentary, 75 min. In progress
  • A Realist or a Dreamer
    Documentary, 25 min., 2023
  • Up and Through
    Experimental film, 10 min., 2020
    Best experimental at Dumbo Film Festival, NYC, USA
  • Alyosha and the Cat
    Short fiction, 13 Min., 2020
    Documentary, 30 Min., 2018
  • New Istanbul Dream
    Documentary, 28 Min., 2017