Experiencing Interruptions?

My Heart Is an Octopus or My Father on the Shore of Black Sea

An experimental video-art film by Neno Belchev
Based on the novel of Bezmer Bagryanov "My last abstract painting"

"Everything is meaningless, even in cases when the meaning is obvious!
In other words: There is sense even in the most meaningless acts!"
My father (an artist)

About the movie:
I've been working on the full length experimental pseudo-autobiographical fiction "My Heart Is an Octopus or My Father on the Shore of Black Sea", since the beginning of 2014. I took me around two years and half, because it is independent, no-budget production - all other expenses over the movie has been covered by me. Finished in 2016, the film has been reedited in March 2017 – from 112 minutes it became 93 minutes.

One line synopsis:
The try of a man, who feels immigrant to his own homeland to make a documentary about his father.
As a story structure, it reminds a postmodern novel: fragmented, plotless and on first view: chaotic. Individual pieces can be rearranged and each one has its own life. In terms of genre, the film stands on the border between pseudo-documentary, dark comedy, punk (as an attitude) and video-art. The movie uses the expressive means of a documentary film, however, it is not a documentary, and it even contains some phantasmagorical and sci-fi elements and criminal moments, which it skillfully combines with grotesque animation and poetic visual language. It aims to bring to life author's understanding regarding art and his innovative position of a man, who works with the moving image, of a film-maker.
About the story in the film, my friends said that I gave this story to the audience on homeopathic pieces. But anyway, here it is:
The story runs mainly in a hypothetical Balkan country where the communistic regime collapsed at the end of the 80-ties, but after few decades it “reincarnated” itself making a contra-revolution. So, more or less, the movie is about the post-communistic mentality, despite that the main characters travel a lot around the globe. "My Heart Is an Octopus or My Father on the Shore of Black Sea" examines the problems of the lost-in-the-transition generation through the eyes of one of its representatives, but it also touches problems common to all mankind. The main character (middle-aged man) is an immigrant, who comes from a hypothetical Balkan country, where he has returned illegally to make a documentary about his father (known but forgotten artist from the recent past), and he returned illegally because in his youth he was involved in a bank robbery. All his life, the son has passionately defended his own artistic and creative position, but he has not reached the popularity and success of his parent, and, at the same time, he failed to find his place in society and to cope with the chaos in his personal life. His voice (behind the characters, voiceover) leads the narrative as a series of comments over the memories for his father by means of which he unobtrusively sets out his understanding of life, art and death. At the same time, he also presents a personal reading of history from the end of the 20th and early 21st century. Likewise, delicately, but slightly ironically, the story juxtaposes the life of the father with his son's life and presents their relationships, acquainting us with them through the prism of different cultures and temporal contexts.
The film has innovative and interesting creative approach, combining it with a thorough analysis of the past few decades of the life in post-soviet societies. Such analysis made in the light of art is necessary and useful not only for the public discourse in my country, but could be helpful for all societies around the globe and I hope to be interesting for any kind of audience.

Producers: VIDEOHOLICA and Neno Belchev
Directing, camera and editing: Neno Belchev
Scenario: Bezmer Bagrianov and Neno Belchev
Sound and music: Martin Evstatiev
Cast in order of their appearance in the film: Pavel Shanov, Neno Belchev, Petar Atanasov, Tsonka Belcheva, Pavlina Mladenova, Radul, Belcho Belchev, Irena Dimitrova, Polina Miltcheva, Petar Kostadinov, Rumen Rashev, Alexi Ivanov, Emil Yovev, Plamen Dimitrov, Mariana Shieverska, Ivan Barakov, Kalin Belchev, Krasimir K. Kostov, Hèléne Sabatini, Milka Judova, Veselin Nachev, Ilina Slavova, Jakub Shieverski

  • Nэno Bэlchэv
  • Nэno Bэlchэv
  • Bezmer Bagryanov
  • Nэno Bэlchэv
  • Videoholica
  • Plamen Dimitrov
    Key Cast
  • Mariana Sieverska
    Key Cast
  • Petar Kostadinov
    Key Cast
  • Polina Milcheva
    Key Cast
  • Pavlina Mladenova
    Key Cast
  • Tsonka Belcheva
    Key Cast
  • Pavel Shanov
    Key Cast
  • Nэno Bэlchэv
    Key Cast
  • Martin Evstatiev
  • Kalin Belchev
  • Martin Evstatiev
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Моето сърце е октопод или баща ми на брега на черното море
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Feature, Other
  • Genres:
    pseudo-documentary, video-art, post-punk, dark comedy
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 32 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 20, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    5,500 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • MoziMotion International Film Festival
    October 12, 2019
  • screening at ESMoA (El Segungo Museum of Art)
    El Segundo, Los Angeles, CA,
    United States
    December 13, 2018
    GRANT at ESMoA 2018 А-i-R program, ESMoA (El Segundo Museum of Art)
  • screening at Qualcomm Building Q, 6455 Lusk Blvd,
    San Diego, CA
    United States
    December 2, 2018
  • Istanbul International Experimental Film Festival
    November 25, 2018
    nomination in category EXPERIMENTAL FILM
  • Fatherhood Image Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    October 20, 2018
  • IV-th Film Festival Bremen
    September 22, 2018
    nomination in category INNOVATION
  • Antropical 2018 „KOLA“
    August 19, 2018
  • Freedom Film Festival
    Kuala Lumpur
    July 19, 2018
  • Madhouse Movies Film Festival
    , New York
    United States
    July 11, 2018
  • screening in the gallery STRUCTURA
    January 17, 2018
  • Los Angeles CineFest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    January 14, 2018
    November 23, 2017
    South American Premiere
  • VIII Sofia Independent FIlm Festival (So Indipendent)
    October 28, 2017
  • 1st Russian (Russky) Film Festival
    Russian Federation
    October 16, 2017
    Russian Premiere
    Лучший экспериментальный фильм (the PRIZE for BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM)
  • IV Lisbon International Film Festival
    September 24, 2017
  • Hope Film Awards

    United States
    September 24, 2017
  • 12 Months Film Festival
    September 4, 2017
    SECOND PRIZE in category BEST FILM
  • XXXVIII (38th) Durban International Film Festival
    South Africa
    July 17, 2017
    African premiere
  • LANDSCAPES 1st Film Fest
    Sever do Vouga
    June 30, 2017
  • XXIII-rd International Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art
    May 18, 2017
  • IV-th Derby International Film Festival 2017
    Derby, UK
    United Kingdom
    May 2, 2017
    UK premiere
  • Whistle Stop Film Festival
    United States
    May 17, 2017
  • Bulgarian Film Academy Awards
    April 25, 2017
  • XXI-st Sofia International Film Festival 2017
    March 11, 2017
  • XV-th Pune International Film Festival 2017
    Pune, INDIA
    January 16, 2017
    Asian Premiere
  • 7th Yashwant International Film Festival 2017
    Mumbai (Bombay), INDIA
    January 25, 2017
  • XXXIV-th National Festival for Bulgarian Feature Film "Zlatna Roza"
    September 24, 2016
    World and National Premiere
Distribution Information
  • videoholica & Nэno Bэlchэv
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Nэno Bэlchэv

Neno Belchev was born in 1971 in Varna, Bulgaria. Lives and works in Varna. He graduated in Mural Painting from the National Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria. Belchev works as video artist and filmmaker as well as in the fields of performance, installation, sculpture, new media and independent curator. Neno has participated in a wide range of solo and group, national and international exhibitions. He has made one full-length movie (2016), four medium-length documentaries and numerous short narrative films and video art works, which won prizes, awards and nominations from international video and film festivals in the United States, Russia, the Netherlands, Spain and Austria, as well as residency-grants in the United States, Russia, China, Japan, France and Portugal. Among his most important international participations are: XXVIIth CEC ARTSLINK FELLOWSHIP AWARD in KALA Art Institute (Berkeley, CA, USA / 2014); IN-SONORA VIII: at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte REINA SOFIA (Madrid, SPAIN; 2014); EAST+EUROPE: Eastern European Contemporary Art Exhibition at Hong Kong City Hall (Hong Kong, HONG KONG / 2013); Solo exhibition MAYATNIK (PENDULUM) at National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Saint Petersburg, RUSSIA / 2011); SANCTIONED ARRAY – international video exhibition at White Box Gallery (New York, USA / 2010); "COMMERCIAL" ART VIDEO – international video exhibition at Apexart (New York, USA / 2010); WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR BODY? Solo exhibition during the International Art Residency 2009 at OCAT, He Xiangning Art Museum (Shenzhen, CHINA / 2009); Wichita Falls Museum (Texas, USA / 2009); DEPO Tutun Deposi (Istanbul, TURKEY / 2009); Today Art Museum (Beijing, CHINA / 2008); Moerenuma Koen Hidamari Museum (Sapporo, JAPAN / 2007) and many others. His works are possession of the He Xiangning Art Museum (Shenzhen, China), SAMCA – Sofia Museum for Contemporary Art (Sofia, Bulgaria), Varna City Gallery (Varna, Bulgaria), private collections in UK, Japan, Canada, Spain, Ukraine and more.
Neno Belchev is one of the founders of the Videoholica International Video Art Festival in Varna, Bulgaria.

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Director Statement

In my work, I say seemingly well-known truths and facts, but by matching them with contradictory but very strong visual elements, which if considered at one level, seem to be in conflict with one another both ideologically and visually, but the appearance of these contradictory elements change the meaning deep in its roots and make it multi-leveled. As a result of it, I achieve multilevel message with strong irrational impact, which does not have to be considered by using logical thinking. The art is beyond the direct message. In my work, I use very often humour, beside that in the other hand I take my art very seriously.
I believe the most important thing being an artist is to have freedom of the thinking. I’m not a slave of the tendencies. In my video works, I work in my own direction. My task as an artist is to look through the cover of things in their real essence. To provoke the people to see how of front of their own eyes their own world is changing. For me the art is a form of communication with other people and the artists has in their hands the art as a tool, in which the opportunity to provoke and change the thinking of the others is hidden.