Sundance Standout 'Viktoria' Gets U.S Distribution


The film is said to be the second Bulgarian movie to get a theatrical release in the U.S. in 30 years.

Maya Viktova's Sundance standout Viktoria — about three generations of women and a child born without a belly button — has been picked up for U.S distribution by Brooklyn, New York's Big World Pictures.

The debut feature, which had its world premiere at Sundance last year, it is only the second Bulgarian film to get U.S. theatrical distribution in the past 30 years.

A hit on the festival circuit, the film has played at a range of leading U.S events, including AFI Fest, SIFF, Chicago and RiverRun.

The film follows three generations of women in the final years of communist-era Bulgaria and the early years of democracy. Focusing on a reluctant mother Boryana and her daughter Viktoria, who is born without an umbilical cord and is named the country's Baby of the Decade, the pair's relationship mirrors the difficulties of a society making a transition from one world to another.

Jonathan Howell, director of acquisitions at Big World Pictures, said the film was "both very personal and universal, demonstrating a precocious command of all elements of the filmmaking process."

Viktova, who produced and directed Viktoria through her own production company Viktoria Films (Bulgaria) and Anca and Cristi Puiu's Mandragora (Romania), was named a Producer on the Move during the Cannes film festival by European Film Promotion.

Viktova told The Hollywood Reporter she was thrilled that the film was getting a U.S. release, adding it was "the second Bulgarian film with distribution there in the past 30 years," after Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov's The Lesson was picked up by Film Movement after its Toronto screening last September.