Directors: Bulgaria–Milko Lazarov (Alienation, Ága,The Herd)

The Herd Shoots in NW Bulgaria

Milko Lazarov currently shooting The Herd in north-western Bulgaria
Director Milko Lazarov on the set of The Herd

After the internationally acclaimed movies Alienation and Ága, Bulgarian helmer Milko Lazarov is shooting his third feature, The Herd.

It is once again backed by Bulgarian production company Red Carpet, with 42film (Germany) and Amour Fou Luxembourg (Luxembourg) acting as co-producers.

Lazarov has chosen a remote setting, with the villages of Karlukovo and Kamenno Pole–situated in the decaying north-western reaches of Bulgari–as his locations.

Shooting on 35mm film kicked off on the 29th of August in the region of Lukovit city and will continue for 31 days.

Editor Veselka Kiryakova has said: “We’ve got several really difficult locations up on the rocks, which are inaccessible by car, so all of our equipment has to be carried up to the set by the crew”, she explained. “We’re also working with children and animals, which is always very challenging”.

The script, written by Lazarov, Ekaterina Churilova and Simeon Ventsislavov (Directions, Ága, Rounds), focuses on Ali, his daughter Tarika, and her grandmother Chrysula, who are leading an isolated life in a village hut near the border.

Tarika suffers from rare bone malformation known as “butterfly wings,” a condition passed down through the maternal line.

Despite having lived in the area for a long time, enjoying a peaceful and harmonious relationship with their neighbors, the family have always been seen as strange. And then, out of nowhere, the animals in the village are struck down by disease, the river dries up, and sick boy Nikola dies after befriending Tarika. Driven by xenophobia and superstition, the villagers become increasingly suspicious and decide to deal with this unusual family themselves.

Lazarov is again working with his long-term DOP partner Kaloyan Bozhilov, while thirteen-year-old newcomer Vesela Vulcheva plays the part of Tarika.

The Herd is funded by Bulgarian National Film Center, MDM, ZDF/arte, Film fund Luxembourg and Eurimages, with a budget of €1,500,000.