Bulgaria nudges ‘Tilt’ toward Oscar

Chouchkov bros' pic grossed $1.2 mil

PRAGUE — Bulgaria has forwarded retro youth love story “Tilt,” by helmer/scribe Viktor Chouchkov Jr., and his brother, producer Borislav Chouchkov, as its Oscar submission.

The National Film Center selected the pic, which follows a groups of skate punks as they surf through the fallout of star-crossed love, and the fall of the Iron Curtain, after it drew more than 200,000 local box-office admissions for north of $1.2 million.

Such success is still rare for a Bulgarian pic at home, where foreign fare dominates the screens.

Part of pic’s charm in breaking through is the original street-smart score composed by the director. With backing by Germany’s Ostlicht Filmproduktion, “Tilt” is a co-production with the Bulgarian National Film Center and Bulgarian National Television.

The thread of music through the characters’ lives is appropriate — the Chouchkov brothers have been recording original scores through their shingle SIF309 since 1992, working on more than 500 projects, including Oscar-nommed “Les Choristes,” and “Hotel Rwanda,” plus scores of videos for regional pop artists.

Pic has garnered attention at fests from Seattle, where it scored second in viewers’ choice, to Santa Barbara, London, Gothenburg, Montreal and Singapore.

The brothers are adapting Zachary Karabashliev’s novel “18% Gray,” an offbeat story of a Bulgarian emigre’s misadventures in California.

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